Gulf Coast Live

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A big juicy ribeye was once the anathema of 1980s low-fat dieters. People were told that fat was the culprit behind weight gain, heart disease, and all manner of health issues. But, fast forward to today, and we are embracing fat -- but not all of it -- just the good fats. Things like olive oil and avocados. But, is there good fat to be found in that ribeye? And is there more good fat or bad fat in a black Angus cow?  How about a Holstein? A Charolais?

 

We’re talking with Dr. Raluca Mateescu, she leads a team of researchers in the Animal Genetics and Genomics lab at the University of Florida. She and her team recently presented their latest research findings to the Florida Cattleman’s Association, and we're going to explore she’s been studying.

 

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The island of Cayo Costa off the coast of Lee County, north of Captiva, is only reachable by boat, and most of it is a state park offering primitive camping. But, the still-unspoiled island has a rich history that we’re exploring in advance of the new independent documentary Mullet & Mangroves that airs starting Thursday, July 12 on WGCU TV. It tells the island’s story through historical research and interviews with the few remaining pioneers who grew up on Cayo Costa.

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It is officially mosquito season here in southwest Florida. But, what we experience these days is nothing like what we’d experience if it weren’t for mosquito control. We’re joined by Eric Jackson, he's Public Information Officer with the Lee County Mosquito Control District, to learn what lengths they go to to try and reduce the numbers of these flying pests. And we’re joined by Dr. Jonathan Day, he's Professor of Medical Entomology at the University of Florida to find out why mosquitos feast on some people and not others.

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The North American Butterfly Association has conducted its Butterfly Count Program in the United States, Canada, and Mexico since 1993. Local counters try to find and identify all the butterflies observed within a 15-mile diameter count circle in a one-day period. This data is compiled and published to help researchers stay on top of information like  geographical distribution and relative population sizes of the species counted. Comparisons of the results over time is used to monitor changes in butterfly populations and study the effects of weather and habitat change on North American butterflies.

This Friday, July 13th from 10 a.m. to noon, representatives from the Edison & Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers will participate in the count. Teams of butterfly spotters will gather in locations in Fort Myers and Cape Coral, including at the estates, and volunteers are needed in all locations. We’re joined by Debbie Hughes, she’s the senior horticulturist at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates.

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced they are suspending releases of water from Lake Okeechobee as of Sunday evening. Nutrient-laden water coming from the lake is blamed for a toxic blue-green algae bloom that's been moving down the Caloosahatchee River and impacting Lee County waters for about the past two weeks. Governor Rick Scott toured the Caloosahatchee River this morning to see impacts of the toxic bloom first-hand, and said afterwards he would be declaring a state of emergency. We’re sitting down with WGCU’s Rachel Iacovone to find out more about this visit.

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