Zachary T. Sampson - Environment Reporter

Environment Reporter

I grew up in Rhode Island, on a bay similar to Tampa's. I'm fascinated by where we're from — how places shape us and we shape them. In Florida, our life turns on nature, from the gulf to rivers and flatwoods and swamps. I want my coverage to be just as expansive. Do you have a place to show me or a story to tell? Reach out. I'm friendlier than my face suggests. We can also talk about baseball, but it might be hard to get me to stop.

  1. A motorist attempts to drive on flooded Bayshore Boulevard as Tropical Storm Eta struck Tampa Bay with downpours and storm surge flooding Nov. 12, 2020.
  2. Water splashes against the seawall along Pass A Grille Way as squalls from Eta move through Pinellas County on Nov. 11, 2020. Though Eta wasn’t hurricane strength when it passed by, it gave an indication of the kind of damage the region could face.
  3. Dead fish fill the end of a canal near St. Petersburg's Snell Isle Marina off Snell Island on July 16 as a Red Tide bloom persists on the Florida Gulf Coast.
  4. A group of manatees surface near a kayaker along the Dunedin Causeway in August. Experts say manatees around Tampa Bay usually have no problem finding food.
  5. Shawn Hamilton was appointed as the secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection by Gov. Ron DeSantis after leading the agency this summer on an interim basis.
  6. A view of a phosphogypsum stack, far, background, and water management at the old Piney Point fertilizer plant in March.
  7. Nancy Norton walks through the Kracker Avenue restoration site in Gibsonton last month.
  8. An overhead image shows the Piney Point site in April.
  9. An overhead image from a drone shows the Piney Point site in April.
  10. Dead fish are skimmed from the surface of the Intracoastal Waterway near Treasure Island in late July.
  11. Dead fish washed up at Lassing Park in St. Petersburg's Old Southeast on July 1.
  12. A drone image shows the old Piney Point fertilizer plant property in April.
  13. Effluent flows from a pipe into a drainage ditch near the old Piney Point fertilizer plant in April.
  14. William Lund, 21, top along with his friend Cameron Martiner, 20, both of Tampa, try their luck with the waves along Honeymoon Island Wednesday in Dunedin.
  15. Two dead, emaciated adult manatees recovered from Brevard County are seen before a necropsy in March at the state's Marine Mammal Pathobiology Lab.
  16. An aerial view shows a phosphogypsum stack run by Mosaic in Bartow in June.
  17. Black skimmers fly over the water while looking for food in June by Indian Shores.
  18. A fish kill from Red Tide dries on the shore of Pass-a-Grille on Saturday.
  19. A sign warns about Red Tide at Indian Rocks Beach on Thursday.
  20. Dead fish fill the end of a canal along Snell Isle on July 16 in St. Petersburg.
  21. Tyler Tucker, left, works with his father, Toliver Tucker, to release nets full of dead fish onto the deck of the shrimp boat, Southbound, while Toliver's wife, Jessica Tucker, navigates the Intracoastal Waterway off Treasure Island on Thursday.
  22. Workers from the city of St. Petersburg use a turbidity boom to corral dead fish as they float near the St. Petersburg Municipal Marina on July 16.
  23. Dead fish fill the end of a canal July 16 near the Sell Isle Marina in St. Petersburg. Red Tide continues to poison hundreds of tons of marine life in Tampa Bay and in the gulf.