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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.

Part I: Erosion and Erasure on Egmont Key

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.

Part II: Safeguarding a Touchstone

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

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.

Hog-Tied

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

Island Impermanent

For the Seminole Tribe of Florida, the island of Egmont Key at the mouth of Tampa Bay represents a history of oppression, as well as a testament to survival. As the island slips into the sea, those who care about its future have to decide — what can we save and how do we save it?

On Egmont: Words from Tribal Members

On August 16, 2022, The Marjorie joined members of the Seminole Tribe and Tribal staff on a boat trip to Egmont Key. Two young Seminoles, Mahala Billie Osceola and Carmello Shenandoah, joined as well. This was their first visit to Egmont Key. After the trip, Mahala and Carmello wrote a few words on what they learned about Seminole history and their experiences on the island.

A Race Against Erosion for Turtle Mound

Turtle Mound, the tallest shell mound in the mainland United States, is an example of what it looks like when proactive measures are taken to preserve and monitor a coastal mound. But for this mound and hundreds of Indigenous cultural sites in Florida, archeologists are asking how long they can race against erosion.

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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.

Florida Perspectives

A Glimpse into Florida’s Wildlife Corridor

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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