Going green

  1. Argentine tegu — a large, nonnative lizard — has growing presence in Hillsborough


    RIVERVIEW — Jimmy Doane did a doubletake the first time he saw the giant lizard ambling nearby.

    “I’ve seen reports that they are taking over,” says Gary Morse. “That’s not true. They are there. They are a concern.” He says tegus are problems because they eat native plants and animals.
  2. Florida wildlife commissioners limit harvest of sea cucumbers


    Two months after they postponed a decision to regulate the harvest of one of Florida's ugliest sea creatures, state wildlife commissioners voted Wednesday to limit how many sea cucumbers can be collected.

  3. After attack, wildlife officials kill 5 bears in Florida


    LAKE MARY — After a bear mauled a woman in the driveway of her suburban Central Florida home, wildlife officials said Monday that they had killed five of the animals, who have become dangerously accustomed to humans.

  4. Florida senators moving on bill to protect springs, but House efforts stall


    With the legislative session more than half over, lawmakers in the House and Senate remain at odds over what to do — if anything — to fix Florida's ailing springs.

    Because many of Florida’s springs are major tourist draws, such as Silver Springs, their environmental woes have an economic impact on their nearby communities. Bills in the Florida Senate and House say that “the Legislature finds that springs are a unique part of this state’s scenic beauty, deserving the highest level of protection.”
  5. 'Dive Against Debris' betters Tampa Bay


    Volunteers worked to clean up Tampa Bay during the "Dive Against Debris" cleanup event sponsored by the Tampa Bay Green Consortium in support of Great American Cleanup 2014 at Ballast Point Park and Pier on Saturday in Tampa.

  6. Reflecting on nature


    SKIP O'ROURKE | Times

    Cypress trees and Spanish moss are reflected in the waters of a cypress dome in Lake Frances Nature Preserve at Odessa, where an event Friday marked the 25th anniversary of the Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection Program. ELAPP is a taxpayer funded conservation program in …

  7. Dr. Beach visits Fort De Soto's beaches, talks about his annual rankings


    Barefoot, of course, the man who has for two decades told us which beach is best stood on the soft white sands of Fort De Soto Park and explained to five TV cameras how it all works.

    "Scientifically," he told them.

    Professor Stephen Leatherman, center, a.k.a. Dr. Beach, takes researchers and geographers on a tour of Fort De Soto beach.
  8. Hernando shouldn't bank on rock mining for its economic future


    The tall berms that hide rock mining in Hernando County, a government-imposed regulation, actually do the mines a big favor: Very few people see how bad they really are.

    Mexican company Cemex, which has a plant in south Brooksville, wants to conduct rock mining on land west of Brooksville, but mining isn’t a big source of jobs for the community anymore. The industry employs 69 people in Hernando, according to most recent statistics available from the state Department of Economic Opportunity. A meeting Wednesday will discuss the proposed mine.
  9. Hunter says he was attacked by Florida panther


    A Lake Wales hunter says he was attacked by a Florida panther while he was calling turkeys near Lake Kissimmee in Central Florida. If true, it would be the first recorded panther attack on a human since the 1800s.

  10. Like sea turtles, horseshoe crabs are now in danger


    MIAMI — In matters of love, nothing says romance like a moonlit beach. Especially if you're a lusty horseshoe crab and the tide is high.

    With horseshoe crabs’ prime mating season in Florida under way, officials want help from the public in counting the crabs.