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Going green

  1. As season starts, Hernando promotes sustainable scallop harvest

    Wildlife

    BAYPORT — The parking lot at Bayport Park on Monday was crowded with trucks and trailers that had recently deposited the boats of scallop-seeking divers. According to local marina workers, the waters were even more mobbed over the weekend — the first days of the annual scallop season, which runs through …

    Find the Hernando scallop brochure at flseagrant.org. Click on “scalloping” then scroll down to “brochures by county.”
  2. Lake Park in Lutz may remain closed over lease disagreement through 2016

    Environment

    LUTZ — Amid the annual caravan of red, white and blue proclaiming freedom, one float in the Lutz Fourth of July parade will be decorated in the name of protest.

    Riders from the Happy Talk Farm enjoy using the equestrian trails at nearby Lake Park in Lutz. The park has been closed this year, though, after the discovery of a sinkhole triggered a disagreement over the lease of the property. [ZACK WITTMAN  |  Times]
  3. Proposed ordinance targets items left at beach that interfere with sea turtle nesting

    Wildlife

    TREASURE ISLAND — Michael and Nancy Furlong enjoy their early morning walks on the beach.

    Metal frames of tents line Sunset Beach in Treasure Island. Residents want the city to ban leaving personal items on the beach overnight.
  4. Martin County wants disaster declared over blue-green algae

    Wetlands

    STUART — County officials on Florida's Atlantic coast want the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to close the locks between Lake Okeechobee and the St. Lucie River.

  5. Don't touch, just let nature run its course

    Wildlife

    SEATTLE — As harbor seals are being born in the Pacific Northwest, marine mammal advocates up and down the West Coast are urging people not to touch or pick up pups that come up on beaches and shorelines to rest.

    A baby seal is seen laying across a shopping tote used to carry it off a beach in May in Westport, Wash. [Westport Aquarium]
  6. Florida Aquarium plays role in historic Cuba talks this week

    Water

    TAMPA — The Florida Aquarium made history in August when it partnered with the National Aquarium in Havana on coral reef research — the first-ever collaboration between marine centers from two countries that had quarreled for five decades.

    The Florida Aquarium in Tampa, shown here during a 2014 predators demonstration, 

is collaborating with the national aquarium in Cuba on ways to help protect marine life. [Times file photo]
  7. Wildlife commission considers new protected areas for birds, bats

    Wildlife

    The birds and the bats are about to get some help from the humans.

    Sunken Island near Gibsonton in Hillsborough County, part of the Alafia Banks, is home to more than a dozen species of birds.
  8. Carlton: Bears 1, Hunters 0

    Environment

    This bear had some seriously bad timing.

    A 250-pound Florida black bear turned up this week where he should not have — in a densely populated Tampa neighborhood near the Adventure Island water park. He was darted with tranquilizers and summarily taken away to a more bear-friendly place.

    A Florida black bear lounges in a tree across the street from Adventure Island in Tampa on Tuesday. It was tranquilized and removed by state wildlife officials. All of this happened on the eve of the vote on whether Florida would host a second annual bear hunt. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted 4-3 to put off the hunt for a year to gather more information.
  9. It's not just St. Petersburg: Largo had big sewage spill during Tropical Storm Colin, too

    Water

    ST. PETERSBURG — St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman got plenty of raspberries from the public after his city dumped nearly 10 million gallons of partially treated sewage into Tampa Bay after Tropical Storm Colin passed through early this month.

    Officials with the City of Gulfport put out signs to close Shore Blvd due to flooding at high tide as rains from Tropical Storm Colin roll in at Gulfport Beach Monday afternoon (06/06/16).
  10. Mom and daughter manatees returned to Florida waters after Lowry Park Zoo rescue

    Environment

    TARPON SPRINGS — An endangered manatee and her calf got a second chance to live in the sea on Thursday after they were rescued in March.

    Volunteers with the FWC and staff members with the Lowry Park Zoo work with Shamrock, one of two endangered Florida manatees, back into Florida waters near Tarpon Springs. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times