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Valerie Vande Panne

Environmental Reporter
  • We are all connected by the environment we share. The Earth is our home. This is the space where we share the environmental stories that caught our attention this week, in Florida and beyond.
  • On March 1, Sierra Club Florida released its 2020 report cards, grading the work of Governor Ron DeSantis and Florida Commissioner of Agriculture & Consumer Services Niki Fried.
  • We are all connected by the environment we share. The Earth is our home. This is the space where we share the environmental stories that caught our attention this week, in Florida and beyond.
  • Updated 2/25/21 at 3:50pm: On February 25th, FWC voted in favor of the ban.On Thursday, February 25, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will consider rules that are meant to keep invasive species of reptiles, such as boa constrictors, pythons, and tegus, from continuing to wreak havoc in the Everglades and across the state. While Audubon Florida supports the rule, the reptile industry says the proposal will do more harm than good—and that they'd prefer to be regulated the way Florida's zoos are.
  • Severe winter weather in other parts of the country continues to delay Moderna COVID-19 shipments to Florida. First dose appointments in Southwest Florida are temporarily postponed. Gov. Ron DeSantis faces criticism over a state-run pop-up vaccine clinic in Lakewood Ranch that targets residents of a community developed by one of the governor’s campaign contributors. Hospitals in Southwest Florida continue working to vaccinate people younger than 65 who are at higher risk from the virus. Health officials reported more than 7,000 new infections and 157 deaths, Wednesday. According to AAA, the pandemic continues to discourage Floridians from traveling. Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody warns against COVID-19 vaccine scams.
  • The National Park Service (NPS) has announced the beginning of the prescribed fire season in the South Florida National Parks and Preserve.
  • A pelican rescue group is calling on state wildlife officials to increase patrols at a popular fishing pier in Manatee County where more than a dozen mutilated birds have been found over the past month.
  • According to new research from Harvard University, 8.7 million people died from fossil fuel pollution in 2018.
  • We'll update this page regularly with the latest red tide information for Southwest Florida.
  • The funds will be used to address issues such as sea level rise, floods, and intensifying storms, among other climate change related issues, like wastewater treatment and healthcare.