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  • Southwest Florida is a hotspot for new construction. In Fort Myers alone there are more than 89 development projects, according to the City of Fort Myers development report. Before development happens, companies have to remove gopher tortoises to relocation sites to comply with Florida law – and Lee County is running out of room.
  • The FWC filed charges against eight individuals Thursday, ranging from second degree misdemeanors to third-degree felonies related to the illegal trafficking of venomous and prohibited snakes. The FWC has been receiving intelligence reports and complaints indicating that a black market exists for the sale and purchase of illegal and highly dangerous venomous reptiles in Florida. In 2020, the FWC initiated a long-term investigation with undercover investigators to determine the extent of this illegal activity and hold violators accountable.
  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis stopped in Collier County on Tuesday to announce $3.5 billion in future spending on a variety of environmental protections during his second term.
  • Pope Francis will celebrate the funeral Mass for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in St. Peter’s Square on Thursday, an unprecedented event in which a current pope will celebrate the funeral of a former one.
  • The 26th Annual Candlelight Vigil for the Homeless was held December 21, 2022, on the steps of the Lee County Courthouse. The Lee County Homeless Coalition gathered with the community to remember those who have died while living on the streets or in the shelters of Lee county during the past year and asking to remember those who suffer in the community and face homelessness in Lee County.
  • Bird watchers in Southwest Florida are a passionate group and two months after Hurricane Ian, when they don’t see as many of their favorites, birders are worrying that such a huge storm has simply blown birds aside, killing or maiming them on a species-wide scale.The survival capabilities of shorebirds are extraordinary. Whether due to the changes in barometric pressure, storm clouds causing darkness during daylight hours, or other reasons ornithologists don’t understand research shows many birds species jump into literal flight or fight mode when a hurricane is coming.Many birds sense impending doom when a big storm rolls in and they either tuck in somewhere safe, or fly away. Other avian species are strong enough to best even hurricane-force winds, fly right through them, and live to squawk about it.
  • Water Quality Report Red Tide Blue-Green Algae Cyanobacteria EnterococcusReports from state environmental agencies, conservation group, and citizens said the major waterways in Southwest Florida were clear of red tide, blue-green algae, and other harmful algae blooms as the week began although there were some minor reports offshore and in the Caloosahatchee River.