Environment

Federal wildlife managers in the Florida Keys have a message for residents: Please stop feeding the endangered deer.

Since Irma washed over Cudjoe Key Sept. 10, pushing a storm surge that submerged much of the Lower Keys including the National Key Deer Refuge on Big Pine, residents who have long tended to the deer like beloved pets began putting out water and food, fearful that saltwater contaminated foraging grounds.

Excess water from Hurricane Irma is still making its way through Florida, exacerbating the significant water management challenges the state's faced this rainy season.

State lawmakers are pushing to ban fracking in the sunshine state.  A similar effort last year failed, but Sen. Dana Young (R-Tampa) believes this year will be different.

A Florida State University study links declining bumble bee populations with climate change.

The researchers examined three bumble bee species in the Colorado Rocky Mountains and found warmer temperatures are affecting flowers, the animals’ food source.

Lead investigator Jane Ogilvie considers the findings a warning for other places like Florida, where she says the issue is not as well-studied.

“There could be subtle changes in how flowers are distributed in a place like Florida that could have these knock-on effects on pollinators.”

A Senate panel has approved a plan to appropriate new dollars for the St. Johns River and Florida’s springs.  But the proposal could wind up vying for funding with a beach restoration measure.

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