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Thursday, April 25, 2024

Environment | Enterprise

More Environment | Enterprise


Gambling revenue may be used for Florida’s environment under new bill

In 2021, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The compact provided the Seminole Tribe exclusive rights in running gambling activities on tribal lands. In exchange, the tribe agreed to give $2.5 billion of its revenue to the state for the first five years the compact is in place.  Under SB 1638, 96% of these annual funds would go to Florida’s environmental resources. 

Local animal artist, Samm Wehman, stands in front of her painting of a manatee at the Crystal River Manatee Festival on Jan. 14, 2024

The manatee may re-enter endangered species list after population decline

Florida’s manatee population has struggled over the past few years, leading many petitioners to call for its re-entry to the endangered species list. In 2017, the manatee was reclassified from “endangered” to “threatened” by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Save the Manatee Club filed a joint petition in 2022 to put the Florida manatee back on the endangered species list. 

John Bitter, 41, a farmer at Frog Song Organics, examines a tangerine rootstock from his orchard at Hawthorne, Fla., on Friday, Jan. 5, 2024.

North central Florida farmers, experts find new ways to combat citrus greening

Huanglongbing, or citrus greening disease, has ravaged the citrus industry in Florida over the past two decades. Since the disease was first detected in 2005, it has reduced citrus production by over 75% and cost the industry billions of dollars in lost revenue.  Researchers have studied the disease for decades but have yet to find a lasting solution to citrus greening. 

Environmental activist groups hold up signs supporting the protection of the springs at Alachua County Library on Monday, Aug. 28, 2023.

Activists clash with FDEP over springs regulations

Florida’s freshwater springs overflow with life, combining rich biodiversity with community recreation. Yet, springs activists argue a once-pristine environment is at risk of being ruined. For nearly a decade, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has been locked in legal battles with springs activists about Florida spring preservation. On Aug. 11, the FDEP proposed revisions to Chapter 62-41.400-403, F.A.C., which the agency claims will limit excessive harm to springs. 

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