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Environmentalists protest Pam Bondi for joining a suit to block EPA mercury rule listen

12/13/11 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has joined 24 other states in a lawsuit that would block an Environmental Protection Agency rule to reduce mercury air pollution. But a group of advocates gathered in front of Bondi’s Tampa office today to ask her to drop that suit. The Sierra Club’s Phil Compton is concer...

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SWFWMD considers allowing hunting on some properties, but there's opposition listen

12/06/11 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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The Southwest Florida Water Management District, or SWFWMD, is considering opening more of its public land for hunting. Recreational users like horseback riders and hikers are squaring off against the hunters to stop the plan from proceeding.

Opponents of increased hunting on three SWFWMD properties are staking much of their debate on the financial burden it could put on the agency. Those properties are [Cypress Creek Prese...

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Archaeologists concerned about disc golf course and beach erosion at St. Pete's Maximo Park listen

11/14/11 Andrea Lypka
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Maximo Park is regarded by many as an important environmental and archeological site in South Pinellas. It’s on Boca Ciega Bay alongside Eckerd College. But ten years ago a disc golf course was established. But can the disc golf players coexist with environmentalists and the local community?

Maximo Park is situated on a Tocobaga Indian mound that dates back 6,000 years. Ray Wunderlich, a member of the Tampa Bay Estuary Program’s Citizens Advisory Council, a board member of the Pinellas...

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The Endangered Species Act: Under attack? listen

09/30/11 Olivia Kabat
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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For many years the Endangered Species act has saved hundreds of species from becoming extinct. Now 13 different legislative proposals are pending in Congress that could put the Endangered Species Act at risk.

For nearly 40 years the Endangered Species Act has worked to protect endangered species. The act protects 107 endangered species in Florida alone. But some members of Congress are attempting to weaken the Endangered Species Act. Robert Dewey, vice president for government relations f...

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Florida gets federal grants to support habitat conservation for endangered species including scrub jay listen

09/29/11 Olivia Kabat
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Last month the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced $53 million in grants given to 17 states for habitat conservation planning for endangered species. Florida’s grants will benefit the Florida scrub jay and three endangered plant species.

The Florida grants allow states to work with conservation groups and private landowners to create conservation plans to ensure the survival of endangered species. They’re possible because of the Endangered Species Act. Through the Habitat Conserva...

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Hillsborough Commissioners learn environmental effects of jet fuel spill listen

08/18/11 Matthew Cimitile
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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It has been almost a month since a pipeline carrying jet fuel from Orlando to Tampa ruptured, spilling thousands of gallons of fuel into a creek in Mango, fifteen miles east of Tampa.

Alain Watson is emergency response coordinator for the Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County. This morning he told County Commissioners, in their role as the EPC board, about the extent of the spill and damages to the environment.

“The final numbers on the amount of jet fuel tha...

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How will Florida's battle with EPA over nutrient regulations affect Hillsborough? listen

08/18/11 Matthew Cimitile
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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The state of Florida is in a battle with thefeds over water quality. Hillsborough County is affected by the ongoing dispute over regulating nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in Florida.

In 2008, a Florida Department of Environmental Protection report determine that half the rivers and lakes in Florida were impaired because of nutrients. After getting no response from the state for a plan to clean up its waterways, the federal Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, imposed numeric limits...

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lists gopher tortoise as candidate for Endangered Species Act protection listen

07/26/11 Olivia Kabat
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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The gopher tortoise is being listed as a candidate for protection under the Endangered Species Act in the eastern portion of its range, including Florida. But, the ecologically important reptile won’t be considered a full-fledged endangered species because of a funding shortfall.

In January of 2006 environmental groups filed a petition to list the gopher tortoise as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in the eastern part of its range. In 2009 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service c...

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Water restrictions will continue in greater Tampa Bay region listen

07/26/11 Joshua Lee Holton
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Despite rain this month, there’s still serious doubt about the Tampa Bay region’s ability to manage the recent drought. Today, the Southwest Florida Water Management District, or SWFWMD decided to continue water restrictions in order to maintain the regional water supply.

Robyn Felix is a spokesperson with SWFWMD. She says the water restrictions will continue across all 16 counties because the lack of water during the previous year continues to impact water resources.

For the last ...

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ELAPP members remain optimistic about land preservation in Hillsborough despite state cuts listen

07/21/11 Aaron Dalley
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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On Monday, the board for Hillsborough County’s Environmental Land Acquisition and Protection Program, or ELAPP, met for the first time since the new Florida state budget took effect. In that budget, $305 million of environmental land acquisition money was eliminated. But ELAPP board members remain hopeful. Forest Turbiville, section manager for regional parks and conservation services in Hillsborough County, said the cuts are affecting partnering agencies more.

"The cutting of Florida F...

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