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Going green

  1. After dismantling land programs, Scott now wants funds for them

    Environment

    When Gov. Rick Scott unveiled a proposal this month to revive Florida's popular environmental land-buying program, to the tune of $150 million a year, the news caught Greg Brock off guard.

    Mosaic — as part of a legal settlement — offered last year to hand over to the state for free the Peaceful Horse Ranch along the Peace River. The DEP said no thanks. 
  2. Crocodile that bit 2 swimmers dies during capture

    Wildlife

    CORAL GABLES — An American crocodile suspected of biting two swimmers in a South Florida canal has died.

    Trapper Todd Hardwick, of Pesky Critters, sets out snare traps in Coral Gables on Thursday. Hardwick had been trying to catch a crocodile named Pancho, suspected of biting two swimmers in a South Florida canal. Wildlife officials say Pancho died Friday morning while fighting capture by two trappers. [Associated Press]
  3. Before and after: What losing 63 trillion gallons of water looks like

    Water

    A new study says that California's drought is so severe it's causing the ground to rise. Angela Fritz of the Washington Post reported scientists estimate 63 trillion gallons of water have been lost in the past 18 months.

    Boaters launch their boats hundreds of yards away from designated boat ramps at Folsom Lake on Aug. 19 in Folsom, Calif. As the severe drought in California continues for a third straight year, water levels in the state's lakes and reservoirs is reaching historic lows. Folsom Lake is currently at 40 percent of its total capacity of 977,000 acre feet. [Justin Sullivan | Getty Images]
  4. Grab a rake, for Weeki Wachee Spring's sake, to pluck algae

    Water

    WEEKI WACHEE — Volunteers again are ridding Weeki Wachee Spring of "witches" — witch's hair, actually.

    Richard Trump, left, and Wiley McIlrath remove Lyngbya algae from the state park spring last year. There’s a new effort to usher in good grasses.
  5. Manatee rescued after rope damages its flippers

    Wildlife

    A manatee tangled in rope from a crab trap was rescued from Allen's Creek in Clearwater on Tuesday.

    An adult female manatee caught in the rope of a crab trap was rescued Tuesday, along with her calf, from Allen’s Creek in Clearwater. The rope injured her flippers, particularly her left, which was deeply gouged. The rescue was coordinated by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Clearwater Marine Aquarium. The manatee and her calf, which was not injured, are at Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa for care.
  6. Freud, sea turtle that couldn't swim, is ready for release

    Wildlife

    TAMPA — A couple of months ago, Freud the sea turtle gave a reassuring sign to his caretakers at the Florida Aquarium: He swam to the bottom of his tank and chilled out.

    Freud, a green sea turtle rehabilitated at the Florida Aquarium, is prepared for a CT scan at University of South Florida Health Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation in Tampa. [EDMUND D. FOUNTAIN   |   Times (2013)]
  7. Dade City's Wild Things damaged in weekend storms

    Wildlife

    DADE CITY — Kathy Stearns was tending to the leopards Sunday night when a crashing sound tore through her zoo.

  8. Crocodile attacks swimmers in South Florida canal (w/video)

    Wildlife

    CORAL GABLES — A South Florida man is recovering after he was bitten by a crocodile while swimming at night in a Coral Gables canal.

  9. Scallop search is for science, not for the plate

    Wildlife

    JOHN PENDYGRAFT | Times

    David Vesper, 58, of Tierra Verde examines a scallop before tossing it back home Saturday during the 21st annual Tampa Bay Watch Great Bay Scallop Search. Volunteers snorkeled in select areas of Boca Ciega Bay and Lower Tampa Bay to get a feel for the water's health, as scallops are …

    David Vesper, 58, of Tierra Verde examines a scallop before throwing it back during Tampa Bay Watch's 21st Annual Great Bay Scallop Search. Each year Tampa Bay Watch plans the Great Bay Scallop Search, a Tampa Bay treasure hunt-type resource monitoring program where 200 community volunteers and 35 volunteer boaters have been recruited to snorkel in search of the ellusive scallops in select areas within Boca Ciega and Lower Tampa Bays. 
The event has been conducted annually since 1993 with a goal to monitor and document the health and status of the bay scallop population. The day brought good news. The scallop count was 109, up from 51 last year. "The health of the bay is constantly, slowly but steadily improving," says Annie Dowling, communications coordinator for Tampa Bay Watch.
for more information and historical data go to www.tampabaywatch.org.
JOHN PENDYGRAFT | Times
  10. Cute panther kitten has a new home to roam (w/video)

    Wildlife

    Yuma, a Florida panther cub, explores his new enclosure at the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park on Thursday. The young panther will live out his days at the park after being rescued in January near Naples when he was about 1 week old. He had been abandoned. The park held a ceremony Thursday …

    Yuma, a Florida panther cub, explores his new enclosure at the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park on Thursday. The young panther will live out his days at the park after being rescued in January from the wild near Naples when he was about 1 week old. He had been abandoned. The park held a ceremony Thursday morning with speeches explaining Yuma’s circumstances, which were followed by a brief countdown for the opening of a gate allowing Yuma to enter his new enclosure. The state animal, the Florida panther is an endangered subspecies of cougar that lives in the forests and swamps of South Florida.