Redfish are big, brawny fighters and key contributors to Florida’s $13.8 billion recreational fishing industry. But redfish have a weak spot: They faithfully return to the same waters each year to spawn. This past fall, Hurricane Ian and red tide hit West Central Florida at a critical spawning time, delivering a one-two punch to a fish that is back in the conservation spotlight.
12 Must-Read Florida Stories from 2022
As an annual tradition, we’ve compiled a list of stories for you, in no particular order, that highlights the most reflective and important reporting from Florida this year. We salute these hard-working journalists who endeavor to tell the critical stories of our beloved state.
Our Dinner with Marjorie
When friends came to visit author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings at her rural wooden farmhouse, they could be sure of several things: good conversation, stiff drinks, and a sumptuous meal.
Hope for a Languishing Lagoon
In the Indian River Lagoon of 20 years ago, Capt. Billy Rotne could hook a spotted seatrout on cast after cast. But today, the lagoon’s seatrout numbers are 90 to 95% below historic levels. After a decade of intense algal blooms, the Lagoon is making fragile gains. “We’re about halfway home,” says one expert.
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Dispatches from a Sinking State
The Core of My Gullah/Geechee Identity is Survival
One generation of land loss and displaced cultural traditions is all it takes to put a Gullah/Geechee community’s culture in jeopardy. Glenda Simmons-Jenkins describes the cultural displacement her community experienced after State Road A1A cut through her neighborhood in 1976.
Fear and Hope in the Fields
Extreme heat. Hurricanes. Unfair working conditions. Lupe Gonzalo describes how worker exploitation and the impacts of climate change are interconnected and how, to support Florida farmworkers, these issues need to be addressed simultaneously and led by those who are experiencing the greatest threats.
The Rebirth of N’Kwanda Jah
N’Kwanda Jah felt called to work toward environmental sustainability before she understood the technical meaning behind the phrase. She knew the goal was to protect the environment — a mission she calls not just her responsibility, but her humble pleasure.
Pitch to Us!
We are now accepting pitches for our Dispatches From a Sinking State contributor series featuring first-person accounts of the environmental changes Florida women are witnessing across the state! Learn more.
The Fruits of Their Labor
This four-part series investigates the complicated and entrenched relationship public universities in the U.S. South have with prisons and jails. We examine the conflicting messaging from officials and experts, the severe lack of data available to assess the benefits universities and prison officials tout, and the ways in which work programs for incarcerated people could be more beneficial to them.
More than six million feral swine are estimated to inhabit the U.S., occupying 38 states and three U.S. territories. This three-part series investigates our relationships with feral pigs — those who hunt them, those who fear them and those whose life’s purpose is to save them.
A Sugarcane Boiling Point
Florida’s long and complicated sugar story is at a crossroads. As pressure to change the industry mounts, some Glades area residents have questioned the safety of using pre-harvest burns as a standard in cane farming.
More From The Marjorie
From the Florida Climate Reporting Network
The Florida Climate Reporting Network is a multi-newsroom initiative founded by the Miami Herald, the South Florida Sun Sentinel, the Palm Beach Post, the Orlando Sentinel, WLRN Public Media and the Tampa Bay Times. The Marjorie is a proud member. See below for some of the latest stories from the Network.
- Manatee releases bring cheer as unprecedented die-off continues (WMFE)
- These volunteers are working to slow down climate change one tiny forest at a time (WUSF)
- Hurricanes Ian and Nicole left devastating flooding in Central Florida. Will it happen again? (WMFE)
- Other states have fixed consumer protection problems with PACE loans. Why not Florida? (Miami Herald)
- Need a new roof or impact windows but don’t have the cash? Explore these options (Miami Herald)
Everglades Restoration Explained
The current status of Everglades restoration is complicated, so we’ll break it down.
Florida’s Climate Crisis: Experts React to Dire United Nations Report
Here, experts react to the UN’s report and tell us what it means for Florida.
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