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Environmental Roundup, Week Ending October 10

Courtesy Science X https://phys.org/news/2020-10-million-tonnes-microplastics-sea-floor.html

Welcome to this week’s roundup of environmental stories that caught our attention.

This week’s must read is a weekend long read from Gilda Di Carli, published in the Miami Herald. It is a deep dive into the practice of sugar cane burning. One elementary school mentioned in the story leases its adjacent property to U.S. Sugar for $12,000 a year--and children attending the school report adverse health effects from exposure to the burning practice. The school and the region consists mostly of people of color. Most other states and countries have abandoned the practice of sugar cane burning. Read Di Carli’s piece here. If the open air burning is adversely affecting your air quality, you can also contact the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Compliance Assurance Program for Southeast Florida at 561-681-6626.

Faster, but equally important reads include this piece on an unknown illness causing swollen joints and death among the already threatened black skimmer population on Marco Island, and a piece in Phys.org on an Australian study that found 14 million tons of micro plastic on the ocean floor.

A read you might have missed from last week on Exxon’s over-commitment to emissions might inspire motorists to buy gas from any number of their competitors committed to cleaner air. Stockholders may consider their earnings projections are based on pre-pandemic times.

For news on Florida’s agriculture industry, you might be interested in a piece from earlier this year, about cover crops and Florida citrus.

Read all of WGCU’s environmental stories, including about the Roseate Spoonbill hanging out in Maine and a young Seminole Tribe member suing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over climate change, here.

We also recently reported on a proposed toll road that will further threaten the endangered Florida Panther. The Florida Department of Transportation is still taking public input on the proposal until Oct. 14 at 1 p.m. You can voice your concerns and opinions via email: FDOT.Listens@dot.state.fl.us.

Got an environment story or tip to share? Email Valerie Vande Panne at Vvandepanne @ wgcu.org.