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Going green

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. Legendary Hillsborough environmental chief Roger Stewart dies at 89

    Environment

    TAMPA — He incensed real estate developers. He poured fuel on a flickering local green movement. He directed national TV cameras to sewage spills in Tampa Bay and then took the heat from hometown politicians.

    Roger Stewart was surprised by his staff at the EPC with an ice cream social for his retirement.  Stewart was the executive director of the Environmental Protection Commission for 32 years.
  8. Two red-tailed hawks find home at Largo's McGough Nature Park

    Wildlife

    LARGO

    Penny Boehme, a licensed bird rehabber, couldn't figure out what was the matter with Gwen, a rescued red-tailed hawk in her care. Ever since a young male red-tailed hawk had left her side to go to the veterinarian, Gwen uttered motherly bird calls nearly nonstop and refused food. Gwen had acted as a …

    Gwen has acted as a surrogate mother to the young hawk that was found in Palm Harbor. McGough is holding a contest through Sept. 12 to find the bird a proper name.
  9. Demens Landing residents angered by mangrove's severe cutting

    Environment

    ST. PETERSBURG — An investigation is under way to determine who improperly trimmed a large mangrove tree down to its roots last week at Demens Landing.

    Mangroves, foreground, next to Demen's Landing gate 4 were cut down last Thursday without the city arborist's permission. Healthy mangroves can be seen in the background, center. The view is looking east toward Tampa Bay. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  10. Shark nicknamed 'Old Hitler' is legend on Gulf

    Wildlife

    BOCA GRANDE — For decades, legendary hammerhead Old Hitler has been the subject of fishing folklore up and down the southern coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

    Dr. Matt Ajemian, left, and Dr. Greg Stunz, right, collect samples from a tiger shark as Scott Butherus, center, inserts a tracking tag off Juno Beach for the Discovery Channel documentary.