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Going green

  1. Plan advances to protect Boyd Hill Nature Preserve

    Wildlife

    ST. PETERSBURG — A big chunk of habitat for rare plants and animals within Boyd Hill Nature Preserve took a step toward permanent preservation status on Tuesday.

    A swallowtail lands on pentas in the butterfly garden at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve in St. Petersburg.
  2. Fracking to be permitted in George Washington National Forest

    Environment

    NORFOLK, Va. — Over the objection of environmental groups and Virginia's governor, a federal management plan released Tuesday will allow a form of natural gas drilling known as fracking to occur in parts of the largest national forest on the East Coast.

  3. USF gets $20 million to study 1979 Ixtoc oil spill as guide to Deepwater Horizon contamination

    Water

    A consortium of science organizations led by the University of South Florida's College of Marine Science is getting a $20.2 million grant to continue leading studies of the impact of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster — in part by studying the impact of another Gulf of Mexico oil spill that happened in 1979.

    The Mexican runaway oil well, 51-miles offshore in Campeche Sound, Mexico on August 27, 1979, continues out of control and on fire, spewing off huge quantities of natural gas. Engineers say they reduce the flow of crude oil from 30,000 to 10,000 barrels a day but claim they probably won’t be able to cap it before late September or early October. [Associated Press]
  4. Injured panther first patient at new Lowry Park Zoo animal hospital

    Environment

    TAMPA — A Florida panther suffering from shotgun wounds is the first patient in a new veterinary hospital for Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo.

  5. 19th Florida panther killed by car, tying all-time record

    Wildlife

    On a Collier County road on Thursday, biologists found a female Florida panther that had been run over by a car or truck. The death of that 3- or 4-year-old panther marks the 19th roadkill death of one of Florida's official state animals this year.

    Cliff Coleman photographed a Florida panther on the Black Boar Ranch, a hunting preserve he manages which located just south of the newly created wildlife passage called the Lone Ranger Track, east of LaBelle. [Photo by Cliff Coleman]
  6. How the U.S.-China climate deal could affect you

    Environment

    Chinese leader Xi Jinping and President Barack Obama struck a surprise deal Wednesday to limit greenhouse gases that will likely intensify clean energy action around the world — and propel environmental changes in the United States.

  7. Boca Raton surfer says shark attack won't keep him out of water (w/video)

    Wildlife

    FORT LAUDERDALE — The waves in the Fort Pierce Inlet jetty were picking up on Saturday, so Ryan Shapiro and his friends decided to make a move on their surfboards.

    Ryan Shapiro, 18, at South Inlet Park in Boca Raton, on Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014. Ryan was recently bitten by a spinner shark while surfing in nearby Fort. Pierce. "I don't ever want to stop surfing because something bad happened to me," he said. [Robert Duyos | Sun Sentinel/MCT]
  8. Photographer, shore bird see eye to eye

    Wildlife
    A photographer focuses on a lone shorebird among the many species that gathered at low tide along the Dunedin Causeway on Tuesday. Today’s forecast is sunny with highs reaching near 80, Bay News 9 reports. Details, Weather, 6C. 
  9. Years of tracking giant snails costs Florida taxpayers millions

    Wildlife

    MIAMI

    At a little-known government laboratory in South Florida, they keep the snails under lock and key. Sure, any escape would be sloooooow. But giant African land snails are such a threat to humans that the rules say they have to be kept locked away, just in case.

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services scientist Mary Yong Cong holds a live giant African land snail in her hand. Cong keeps live snails in her office (under lock and key) so that dogs trained to sniff them out can get their scent.
  10. Tampa Bay Water's reservoir cleared to be filled back up again

    Water

    Tampa Bay Water's 15.5-billion gallon regional reservoir, which was drained for repairs, is once again fully operational. This week the state Department of Environmental Protection approved the permit to fill it back up.