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Going green

  1. Tampa Bay's historic cleanup could serve as blueprint for Lake Okeechobee crisis

    Water

    The putrid, rotten-egg smell that has plagued Lake Okeechobee's neighbors is the same odor Rick Garrity remembers gagging on when he moved to Tampa in 1977.

    Blue-green algae coats Hillsborough Bay near Gibsonton in 1970. It’s similar to the algae blooms plaguing the Treasure Coast region today. It took time and money, but Tampa Bay was rescued.
  2. St. Petersburg had options during sewage crisis — so what happened?

    Water

    ST. PETERSBURG — Historic rains last year overwhelmed the city's ancient wastewater system, sending 31.5 million gallons of untreated and partially treated sewage gushing into the waters of Tampa Bay and Boca Ciega Bay in August.

    Last year St. Petersburg officials closed its oldest sewer plant, the Albert Whitted Water Reclamation Facility, which is on Tampa Bay near the small airport of the same name. It was closed because of the costs of maintaining the aging facility and a state rule change that would have raised those costs. But in doing so, it removed more than 12 million gallons of capacity from the city’s sewer system.
  3. Manatees that slipped into Lake Tarpon safe for now, wildlife commission says (w/video)

    Environment

    PALM HARBOR — Vincent Yeo was sitting on his back porch, having coffee and looking out at Lake Tarpon with his wife, Marie, when he saw something moving in the water.

    A manatee surfaces on Monday on the south side of the Lake Tarpon Outfall Canal in Palm Harbor. Wildlife officials hope they find their way out of the lake by winter, when temperatures fall and the water gets colder. 
  4. Toxic algae lurks in Florida's lakes, threatening eagles and other birds

    Wildlife

    First it drives them insane. Then it kills them.

    The toxic algae Aetokthonos hydrillicola, found on the underside of a hydrilla leaf, glows red under ultraviolet light. It was found in Lake Istokpoga in Highlands County.
  5. Manatee die-off in polluted Indian River Lagoon begins anew

    Wildlife

    The manatees are dying again.

    Between 2012 to 2015, state officials said 158 manatees died in Florida's Indian River Lagoon, once known as the most diverse ecosystem in America. They weren't alone — pelicans and dolphins died by the score in the polluted lagoon too.

    There is no discernible pattern to the 167 manatees killed since 2012 by whatever is in the Indian River Lagoon — the victims are calves and adults, males and females.
  6. Video: This is what happens when a bear gets into your Subaru

    Wildlife

    This story about a bear somehow getting stuck inside a Subaru is what we need right now.

  7. Manatee calf named for 'Star Wars' character released near St. Petersburg after rehab

    News

    A pair of manatees are back in the wild after receiving critical care at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo.

    A dependent manatee calf nicknamed Beebeeate (BB-8) moments before Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo reintroduces him and his mother to Tampa Bay area waters on the boat ramp at the War Veterans' Memorial Park, 9600 Bay Pines Blvd. in St. Petersburg on Tuesday morning (07/12/16). The park is located on Boca Ciega Bay with access to the Gulf of Mexico. The two endangered manatees will receive a second chance at life in the wild after critical care at the Manatee Hospital at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo. The manatee mother and her dependent calf were rescued April 14 in St. Petersburg, just north of the Tom Stuart Causeway. The newborn male calf, nicknamed Beebeeate (BB-8), was observed to be excessively buoyant in the water which inhibited proper nursing. Upon arrival at the hospital, he weighed just 59 pounds and has since doubled to 129 after three months of care. Manatee calves are dependent on their mothers for up to two years, so Beebeeate's mother, nicknamed Ciega, a healthy 790-pound female, was retrieved to keep the pair together. DIRK SHADD | Times
  8. Sugar's decades-long hold over Florida Everglades came with a price

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE

    Fifteen years after Jeb Bush and Bill Clinton reached a landmark accord to revive the Everglades, billions of dollars have been spent but not much marsh has been restored, and the River of Grass continues to cycle through the same familiar struggles.

    Adams Ranch, a candidate for protection within the Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area.  (CARLTON WARD JR. / CarltonWard.com | Special to the Times)
  9. Easy ways to enjoy your flowers indoors

    Environment

    As a rule, most flowers will last about as long indoors as they do on the plant. But in the heat of summer, they may live longer indoors. And you don't have to be a florist to arrange them.

    Bring in a single or three blooms and let them float in a saucer or soup bowl. These are passion flowers.
  10. Algae bloom in Lake Tarpon outfall canal causes large fish kill

    Water

    OLDSMAR — An algae bloom of unknown origin has killed what a Pinellas County official described Thursday as "thousands and thousands" of fish in an outfall canal between Lake Tarpon and the northern reaches of Tampa Bay.

    Dead juvenile menhaden washed up in an outfall canal between Lake Tarpon and the northern reaches of Tampa Bay.