Alachua county was chosen to participate in the US Department of Energy’s Communities Local Energy Action Program at the end of March — a huge leap in the direction of equitable sustainability. The county is one of 22 participating communities and the only Florida recipient to participate in the program, which aims to help low-income and energy-burdened communities experiencing environmental justice or economic impacts.
Lucy Lannigan is a third-year journalism student from Key West. She works as the health and environment reporter on the uni desk. When Lucy’s not reporting, she loves to paint and spend time outside.
For more than 20 years, environmental organizations have called attention to the threats pollution and over pumping pose to the Santa Fe River. The river is home to more than 30 springs and provides habitat for a wide range of diverse flora and fauna. The Spring Fling event, hosted by several environmental conservation organizations, including Stand Up 4 Springs and the Public Interest Communications Student Association’s Florida Springs project, hopes to combat some of the damages. It will take place April 22 starting at 8:30 a.m. at Canoe Launch in Canoe Outpost High Springs.
Flyers with COVID-19 statistics are being swapped out for artistic displays. A UF-funded arts and vaccine confidence project on campus aims to spread accurate information about COVID-19 and vaccines as part of a larger campaign.
This bill bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy and has raised alarm among people with reproductive capabilities. The ban would allow for exceptions involving “serious risk” to the pregnant person and fetal abnormality with no exceptions for rape or incest. Now, the closest place for Floridians to access abortion after 15 weeks is North Carolina.
A new analysis suggests UF could transition to renewable, cheaper energy and save $100 million, rather than move forward with its current more expensive plan to construct a gas plant. The Rocky Mountain Institute, an environmentalist think tank, presented its analysis to a group of climate scientists, retired professors and Matt Williams, UF’s sustainability director, on Wednesday. It found UF can save money by using clean energy to achieve its energy needs while protecting the natural environment.
When Julia Rainer had her first daughter, she felt silenced. Her experience pushed Rainer to take action to ensure other mothers didn’t experience what she had. She began researching doulas, professional labor assistants who provide prenatal, birth and postpartum care. Rainer became certified about five years ago. She has assisted 15 births since. This mistreatment of Black women is a small part of a larger healthcare issue, seeping into the foundation of systemic marginalization and discrimination.
On Feb. 12, about 40 volunteers gathered in the woods to plant native shrubs and trees for the first time in the woods’ history. Save McCarty Woods, the organization leading conservation efforts for the area, raised more than $7,000 on Gator Giving Day, Soltis wrote in an email.
COVID-19 cases in Alachua County dropped in the last week — continuing the downward trend that began at the end of January. As the surge settles, UF Health Shands Hospital CEO Ed Jimenez ended his weekly updates to the press, including The Alligator, on Monday.
Adult hospitalizations fell from 314 to 276 on Monday, according to the county dashboard. There were 50 adults in the Intensive Care Unit Monday compared to 96 on Jan. 31. There are 15 patients on ventilators as of Monday. About 90% of patients on ventilators are unvaccinated, according to the county’s Facebook page.