After 11 years of living in the state, Amanda Hagood finds herself thinking more about the consequences her own presence, and the millions of others living here, have on Florida’s ecosystems. Her fascination has morphed into gratitude and a desire to do right by Florida’s future.
A Jacksonville acquaintance had learned that a huge federal project was approved to build a barge canal across the peninsula. Did Marjorie Harris Carr know? Carr, taking that 1962 call at her home in Micanopy, admitted that she didn’t, but promised the woman that she would investigate. That call became her calling.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
- The silver lining to storm surge: How some baby fish ride out hurricanes to success (Sun Sentinel)
- Baby sea turtles are baking under the South Florida sun, new study suggests (Miami Herald)
- Energy efficiency detectives help Miami-Dade buildings cut power bills and carbon emissions (Miami Herald)
- Major makeover in the works for Key West’s iconic sunset spot. There’s one reason why (Miami Herald)
- Industries push back as Miami-Dade moves forward on outdoor worker heat protections (Miami Herald)
- In Miami, It’s No Coincidence Marginalized Neighborhoods Are Hotter (Inside Climate News)
- Dirty work: How Hurricane Idalia sent 200 miles of storm surge down the west coast of Florida (Sun Sentinel)
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