In Alachua County, more than 30,000 acres have been protected under similar land agreements. In January, the trust facilitated an agreement with a 550-acre dairy farm in Gilchrist County. The farm has been owned for multiple generations by the Watson family, who will receive $1.54 million through the easement.
Environment | Enterprise
In Alachua County, 11.1% of the population is food insecure, according to the Florida Department of Health. In the last decade, several urban farms have sprouted in an effort to combat local food insecurity. These community gardens also tackle other issues stemming from food insecurity, including educating citizens and addressing systemic inequality.
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.
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.
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.
A UF student filed a lawsuit with Bryon White, Bear Warriors United and The Sweetwater Coalition of Volusia County April 18. The case was filed against the Florida Department of Transportation and the St. Johns River Water Management District, with the primary concern an I-95 interchange will cause excess environmental harm.
Dozens of springs are nestled in or near Alachua County, serving as a valued resource and a recreational draw. However, Florida’s springs have been a battleground for decades. Activists, local and state government officials, corporations and citizens often disagree on the extent to which the springs should be protected.
The Grow Hub garden, teeming with native plants that are pollinator-friendly, is the first Bee City USA green space in Gainesville. The City of Gainesville was certified as a bee city in January and is now working toward installing local pollinator landscapes.
Watershed management workshops are the first step in an initiative to develop a comprehensive watershed management plan with Lake Alice in mind. Sixty percent of all stormwater on UF’s campus drains into the lake, which has suffered a long history of mismanagement and poor infrastructure.
For many, agriculture and animal farming is a way of life. Supporters of animal agriculture claim it provides a wealth of jobs and economic benefits. Yet, a growing number of activists and scientists say the local meat production industry harms the environment and subjects animals to severe abuse.
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.
Tropical Storm Idalia, which started brewing in the Gulf of Mexico, is showing signs it could organize into a hurricane. The storm is projected to hit the Florida Big Bend region by early Wednesday, though its exact path is still uncertain.