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Going green

  1. Uncharted waters: Restoring the deep Gulf of Mexico fouled by BP's Deepwater Horizon spill


    NEW ORLEANS — Far offshore and a mile deep in the dark world below the Gulf of Mexico's gleaming surface, the catastrophic BP oil spill of 2010 did untold damage on the ocean floor. But scientists are unsure they can do much to heal places in the deep that were hurt the most as they undertake what's being called …

    In November 2010, the Mississippi Canyon 294 coral community in the Gulf of Mexico was discovered to have been damaged during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. In the foreground is a large colony of the octocoral Paragorgia, with numerous, smaller, yellow Paramuricea coral colonies with symbiotic brittle stars in the background. [Lophelia II 2010, NOAA OER, and BOEM, via AP]
  2. Senator promises to study issues of concern to residents on Weeki Wachee River



    For nearly two hours last week, state Sen. Wilton Simpson listened to a crowd of people worried about the condition of the Weeki Wachee River.

    State Sen. Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, vowed to get a task force on the river problem.
  3. Pasco County, residents to split golf course purchase price


    NEW PORT RICHEY — Pasco County is going halves on the cost of acquiring the closed Gulf Harbors golf course west of U.S. 19.

  4. Florida brewery unveils edible six-pack rings in hopes of saving marine life (w/video)


    A south Florida brewery is aspiring to transform the craft beer industry — but its latest creation has nothing to do with a new blend of hops.

    A Florida brewery has created edible packaging for six-packs with the goal of lessening the environmental impact.
  5. Killer Nile crocodiles in Florida? Experts say it's possible


    FORT LAUDERDALE — Step aside, Burmese python — you may no longer be Florida's scariest invasive species. Researchers have confirmed that three Nile crocodiles were captured near Miami, and they say it's possible more of the man-eating reptiles are still out there, although no one can say for sure.

    A Nile crocodile is seen in Homestead. The Nile croc, if it became established in the Everglades, would add one more invasive threat to the region's teetering ecosystem. [Joe Wasilewski, 2012]
  6. Stuck on hot: Earth breaks 12th straight monthly heat record


    WASHINGTON — Earth's heat is stuck on high.

    People collect water for non-drinking use as the same is pumped out from a construction site at a slum area in Mumbai, Maharashtra state, India, in April. Earth's heat is stuck on high. Federal scientists said the globe shattered monthly heat records for an unprecedented 12th straight month as April smashed the old record by half a degree. [Associated Press]
  7. Florida alligator is photographed after swiping watermelon from field


    Florida alligators are known for eating many things: turtles, birds, the occasional human limb.

    "Gator caught stealing watermelon out of watermelon field in Hendry County," a Florida Agricultural Crimes Intelligence Unit officer wrote May 13 on the group's Facebook page. Sgt. Charles White of the Hendry County Sheriff's Office took the photo. [Florida Agricultural Crimes Intelligence Unit]
  8. New Tampa family says snakebit dog was protecting 7-year-old


    TAMPA — Haus is a playful yet precocious 2-year-old German shepherd who has lived with the DeLuca family for two months. On Wednesday he was bitten by what veterinarians think was an eastern diamondback rattlesnake.

    Haus, a 2-year-old German shepherd, looks up at Molly DeLuca, 7, on Friday at BluePearl Veterinary Partners Hospital in Tampa. He was bitten three times but is on the mend. 
  9. Tell the FDA what you fear more: Zika, or GMO mosquitoes?


    MIAMI — What are you more afraid of, the Zika virus, or genetically engineered bugs being released in the wild?

    Containers hold genetically modified Aedes aegypti mosquitoes before they’re released in Panama City, Panama. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is considering whether the biotech firm Oxitec should test its lab-bred mosquitoes near Key West. The public has until midnight today to weigh in on a plan to release genetically modified mosquitoes in Florida. [Associated Pess (2014)]
  10. Endangered sparrows hatch in captivity, providing hope for species' future (w/video)


    The population of Florida's most critically endangered bird just got a little larger.

    A mother Florida grasshopper sparrow feeds four newly hatched chicks, a landmark success for a captive breeding program launched three years ago to save the species from extinction.