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Going green

  1. Count Bill Nelson in for Florida's next python hunt

    Wildlife

    Count at least one hunter eager for the second round of Florida's official python hunt -- even though he didn't catch any last time.

  2. Swiftmud board member says he has no conflict in approving permit for friend

    Wetlands

    TAMPA — Former state Sen. Pat Neal has built thousands of homes in Manatee County for other people, and now he wants to build four more for his family.

    Swiftmud board member Carlos Beruff is hoping to develop a 463-acre site on Sarasota Bay. [Courtesy photo] 
  3. Institute scores $4 million in Transocean settlement, but can't spend it on rickety research vessel

    Environment

    ST. PETERSBURG — U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson announced Monday that the Florida Institute of Oceanography is getting $4 million to conduct more research on the impact of the 2010 oil spill on the Gulf of Mexico.

    But there's a catch.

    The Florida Institute of Oceanography’s biggest research asset, the R/V Bellows, is falling apart.
  4. How Florida's counties stack up based on scenery and climate

    Environment

    While they may have recently topped the charts of "Sweatiest Cities," the U.S. Department of Agriculture still ranks Tampa and Miami as some of the best areas to live in Florida. According to the department's "natural amenities scale," South Florida and the Tampa Bay area dominate in their collections of scenery and …

  5. Jeb Bush said he loved manatees, but preferred boaters, antitax stance as governor

    Wildlife

    As a presidential candidate, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush hasn't said much about the environmental issues facing America. He has waffled on climate change and supported approval of the Keystone pipeline and drilling in the arctic, and that has been about it.

    A pair of manatees navigate the waters of Kings Bay, Crystal River’s headwaters, in January. The area is the largest winter refuge for manatees on Florida’s Gulf Coast.
  6. Under weight of heavy rains, experts say ground in Tampa Bay could be more susceptible to sinkholes

    Environment

    TAMPA — The onslaught of rain that drenched the Tampa Bay area in the past month unleashed widespread flooding that left the ground soppy and saturated.

    On Wednesday, a fatal sinkhole reopened in Seffner. Experts say heavy rains weigh down the soil and can lead to sinkholes.
  7. Richard Corbett resigns as Florida Fish and Wildlife commissioner

    Wildlife

    Richard Corbett, the Tampa mall developer who chaired the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission when it decided to bring back bear hunting after 21 years, has resigned.

    Avery Cobbs, 48, from Orlando, dressed in a bear suit with a bull's-eye on his chest, heads back to his seat after addressing the group at a hearing on Florida's wildlife commissioners' plan to vote on bringing back bear hunting. The hearing was June 24 at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota. (DIRK SHADD   |   Times )
  8. USDA complaint alleges Dade City zoo offering 'Swim with Tigers' mistreated animals

    Wildlife

    A zoo in Pasco County has mishandled animals, carelessly forcing tiger cubs to swim in a pool and pose for cameras, according to an administrative complaint filed by inspectors with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    Dade City’s Wild Things zoo offers chances to swim with the young tigers it houses. A complaint from the USDA says such situations put stress on the animals.
  9. Workers fill in reopened sinkhole that swallowed Seffner man in 2013

    Environment

    SEFFNER — Workers on Thursday morning filled in the large sinkhole on Faithway Drive that reopened this week, more than two years after it swallowed and killed a man while he was sleeping in his home.

    Crews on Thursday began to refill the sinkhole on Faithway Drive in Seffner that reopened this week. [SKIP O'ROURKE | Times]
  10. For some Yellowstone bison, a date with death

    Wildlife

    YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. — Even for a park with a history of unhappy encounters between people and wildlife, 2015 is shaping up as an eventful year for Yellowstone and its bison. Since mid-May, five visitors have been hurt — gored, trampled or tossed into the air — in run-ins with the park's …

    A bison looks back as it crosses the road near Lamar Valley in Yellowstone National Park. Since mid-May, five visitors have been hurt -- gored, trampled or tossed into the air -- in run-ins with the park's most famous residents. [Photo for the Washington Post by Erik Petersen]