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Environment

  • The largest Burmese python ever discovered in Florida was captured from the Everglades and brought to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida for research. The female python, weighing in at 215 pounds and 18 feet long, had 122 eggs inside of her, which is the largest egg count ever recorded for a python.
  • Florida House Institute and Sarasota Urban ReForesters are creating micro forests in the Sarasota region as an environmental strategy to combat climate change. When 4,000 trees and plants are planted on a small parcel of land, a micro forest is created. The goal of the project is to grow a 100-year forest in just 10 years
  • Most Americans have recently been affected by extreme weather and support efforts to protect against future disasters, a new survey finds. And many people suffer long-term financial problems.
  • Environment
    The area of disturbed tropical weather that would become Tropical Storm Alex, which was approaching Southwest Florida at a pretty good clip, was supposed to come ashore around Fort Myers and dump more than a foot of rain.Once again, a tropical system did not do what forecasters told it to.
  • The Florida Department of Health in Lee County issued a health advisory Friday warning people and their pets to stay away from the area due to “the presence of harmful blue-green algal toxins,” the agency wrote. “The public should exercise caution in and around Franklin Lock.”The tropical system was taking aim at Fort Myers on Friday evening, gaining strength, and was expected to become the first named tropical storm of the Atlantic hurricane season.The Army Corps was closing all its locks and dams on Lake Okeechobee to secure the 142-mile-long dike ringing the lake. The South Florida Water Management District was doing the same with the locks and dams it controls.
  • Doing less for your lawn in the summertime can play a part in preserving Florida waters. June 1 through September 30, three areas of Southwest Florida are asking residents to give their fertilizer routines a summer vacation for the sake of water quality.
  • National Safe Boating Week runs May 21-27. It serves as a chance for marine authorities to spread the safe boating message every year. It is a particularly important mission this year, since for the first time in Florida, recreational boating registrations topped one million vessels, which is more than any other state.
  • Meteorologists at the National Hurricane Center are now issuing daily reports about tropical activity in the Atlantic Ocean, despite it being two weeks prior to the official start of tropical season on June 1. The full mobilization of the NHC staff early is a test of sorts, because in each of the past seven years named storms have formed in May. Last year, it was Anna. In 2020, there were two: Arthur and Bertha. The agency is considering whether it should move the official start date of the Atlantic hurricane season forward by two weeks, which would make staffing in May the norm.
  • A roseate spoonbill Audubon Florida tagged as a chick in the early 2000s was rediscovered alive and feeding chicks of her own earlier this year, and now at more than 18 years old is the oldest known bird of that species. The bird has made Florida Bay at the southern tip of the Florida peninsula its home the whole time. That a spoonbill has grown so old is a milestone of sorts. The bright pink birds with long legs and an unusually-shaped bill were in jeopardy in the early 1900s. Back then they were heavily hunted for their striking plumes, which were highly prized back then when women’s fashion included hats adorned with feathers -- and even entire birds.
  • The National Hurricane Center in Miami is tracking the first tropical wave over the eastern Atlantic Ocean a full three weeks before hurricane season begins June 1. The early tropical wave comes as the hurricane center is already considering whether it should move the start date of the Atlantic hurricane season forward by two weeks. In each of the past seven years named storms have formed in May. Last year, it was Anna. In 2020, there were two: Arthur and Bertha.