Welcome to the Sunshine State Sampler, the Marjorie’s monthly roundup of Florida’s environmental news in bite-sized bits. Check out the links to learn more about what’s going on in your region!

Panhandle

  • Red mangroves have been spotted as far west as Pensacola and ecologists want to know why the warmer weather species have been able to grow successfully in an area that typically has bouts of freezing weather in the winter. Could a warmer climate be the cause?


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  • Have you ever been annoyed by condo owners blocking off what used to be a larger stretch of beach for the locals? But, who really owns the beach? Along the Panhandle, the public is clashing with private landowners who are restricting beach access.
  • Rob Bradley, chairman of the Senate appropriations committee, wants to cut down on administrative costs for environmental spending to use more money to purchase land.  
  • Predators and parasites have been thriving in Apalachicola Bay and preying on oysters, which is partly why the fishery collapsed in 2012. This news brings little optimism for scientists who have been trying to bring the oysters back for years.
  • An experimental fish hatchery is set to be built in Escambia County, and is funded by restoration monies from penalties paid by BP after the 2010 oil spill. However, there is debate about changing its location. Despite reassurance from Gov. Scott, Sen. Broxton is worried funding might fall through if the site is relocated.  
  • The Gulf of Mexico is testing grounds for military operations. Congressman Gaetz  is asking for $30 million to support these operations and prevent oil exploration in the area.

  • Cuban (Brown) anoles are invading northwest Florida rest areas. They were first spotted in the 1800s, but are still considered relatively “new” when it comes to invasive species. Have you seen one? Report it!
  • Some farmer’s markets are regulated, meaning vendors must obtain permits to operate–an action aimed to protect public health. Until recently, farmer’s markets in Walton county were unregulated. Now, county farmer’s market vendors must now go through an outdoor permitting process to remain operational.
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  • It’s no surprise that after the shock of a major hurricane, Florida agriculture has taken a major it. Florida farmers are suffering, labor shortages and citrus greening are also among the culprits.

North/Central Florida

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Peninsula

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The Sunshine State Sampler: November 2017