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.
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.
Since European contact, Egmont Key has played a role in nearly every major U.S. historical period. In the 1800s, the U.S. Army used Egmont Key to imprison Seminole captives, and historians have described conditions on the island as a concentration camp. Over the last decade, the Seminole Tribe of Florida has launched a robust investigation into this period of Seminole removal to piece together and better understand this little-known chapter. But the window to document that history is quickly closing.
Egmont Key has lost more than half of its land mass since its first survey in 1877. Sea levels have risen here by nearly 8 inches, and projections estimate that seas could rise an additional 1 to 4 feet by 2100. While some worry that losing the island would be an incalculable loss to Gulf Coast Florida’s cultural heritage and ecological resources, others believe the best way to manage the island is to let nature run its course.
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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.
- ‘On borrowed time.’ Why coastal Florida keeps rebuilding after storms like Hurricane Ian (Miami Herald)
As changing climate conditions cause hurricanes to get larger and move more slowly, author Leslie K. Poole examines the relationships between Floridians and these massive storms.
Conservation photographer Jenny Adler led the coalition’s new Spring2Shore Expedition, which follows three teenage women across a 50-mile corridor of springs and rivers from Rainbow River to the Gulf.
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