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Environment

  • This is the Water Quality Report that will be updated weekly to highlight harmful algae blooms such as red tide, blue-green algae, and other fresh water and saltwater blooms. Some are caused by stormwater runoff or leaky septic systems, and cause fish kills and acrid smells that can be harmful to humans and pets and deadly to wildlife. Nutrient pollution is a cause, whether from Lake Okeechobee, the Caloosahatchee River, or the Gulf of Mexico. Karenina brevis, hydrogen sulfide, enterococcus, bacteria, microalgae, and phosphate and nitrogen are often to blame when algae blooms occur commonly in places like the Alva boat ramp and Davis boat ramp, Matlacha Pass, and Charlotte Harbor. The Water Quality Report is created by WGCU Public Media, NPR & PBS for Southwest Florida and Tom Bayles, senior environmental reporter #EnviroManWGCU
  • 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.
  • The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will add to its boater safety course questions about the rules designed to protect manatees, sea turtles and other marine life at risk of injury from watercraft.
  • Three adult male manatees rescued from waters in the Florida Keys earlier this year were returned to a Keys canal Tuesday after being treated and rehabilitated at SeaWorld Orlando.
  • Ozzie and Harriet were the North Fort Myers site's original bald eagle pair, making the nest their home every year from fall to spring since 2006. Ozzie was fatally injured and died in fall 2015. Harriet & M15 bonded later in the fall of 2015. Cameras have watched the North Fort Myers eagle nest for 12 years.
  • Florida Gulf Coast University’s most prestigious building to open in its 25-year history — The Water School — has had its grand opening and is now helping students learn and experiment in marine science labs with state-of-the-art equipment that rival much larger universities.
  • The free traps are part of a Gainesville company's donation of 100,000 of the devices.
  • Fifteen years ago, there was no noticeable problem with the Carolina willows at Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Slowly, the native plant species grew to the extent of being considered invasive.This particular willow, almost by itself, has expanded the definition of “invasive species” to include particularly aggressive plants that are native to Florida, not just faraway exotics.
  • The power of Google's cloud computing is helping the South Florida Water Management District with collection, analysis and processing of data linked to water quality improvement efforts.
  • A precautionary boil water alert issued Nov. 16 for Sanibel Island from Tarpon Bay Road to Lighthouse Beach has been rescinded after a bacteriological survey showed that the water is safe to drink.