Aug 252017
Trump's Assault on the EPA - In Case You Missed It

Trump rolling back safeguards affecting water, air and pesticides EPA’s Scott Pruitt is rolling back a rule that limits how much toxic waste power plants can release into water, threatening drinking water supplies with chromium, lead, and mercury contamination. New documents show that Scott Pruitt’s EPA obeyed industry requests to reverse a proposed ban on a pesticide linked to autism and ADHD. Citing “unnecessary regulatory burdens,” the Trump EPA is delaying action on lead contamination in drinking water like that which threatened Chicago in 2015. The Trump Administration is planning rolling back greenhouse gas [continue reading…]

 August 25, 2017  Posted by at 12:34 am Environment, Issue #233, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Jul 212017
The Wedding Boom: County Sees No Evil

by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. She’s an amazing photographer: photos of endangered birds standing on the flats, manatees drifting over the seagrass beds. I point to an extraordinary shot of the sunset. “Well, the place is called Sunset Cove,” observes Louise with a smile. Along with her husband, Louise Lindsay has lived within that secret corner of Key Largo for the past 30 years. But like many others in the Keys, she now fears that the quiet peaceful days are over. Business, you see, has discovered their [continue reading…]

May 192017
Adding Canopy to Naval Properties

A recent study by the City of Key West with a grant made possible by the U.S. Forest Service and the Florida Division of Forestry identified government facilities within the city of Key West as having only 19 percent tree canopy coverage. The island overall has almost twice as much shady space. Now the City and civilian volunteers are helping the Navy raise the bar by planting trees on Navy property.

 May 19, 2017  Posted by at 12:36 am Environment, Issue #219, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Apr 142017
Refuge Manager: Key Deer Screwworm Threat Appears Over But We Must Remain Vigilant

Efforts to protect Key deer from a recent New World screwworm outbreak reached an important milestone this week, surpassing 90 days without a confirmed screwworm-infested animal. The milestone represents a significant reduction in the risk of additional reinfestation of the screwworm, which threatened not just Key deer, listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), but people, wildlife, domesticated animals and livestock. The administration of oral doses to Key deer of anti-parasitic medicine has been stopped following this week’s milestone.

 April 14, 2017  Posted by at 12:59 am Environment, Issue #214 No Responses »
Apr 142017
FWC Provides Tips for Living with Alligators

The American alligator is a conservation success story. Florida has a healthy and stable alligator population, which is estimated at 1.3 million and consists of alligators of every size. They are an important part of Florida’s ecosystem, but should be regarded with caution and respect. During spring when temperatures rise, alligators become more active. Although alligator incidents are rare, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) recommends taking precautions when having fun in and around the water. Alligators inhabit all 67 counties in Florida [continue reading…]

 April 14, 2017  Posted by at 12:56 am Environment, Issue #214, Water World No Responses »
Mar 242017
Message to the Future: Remember Cudjoe Regional Shallow Wells May Only Be Used for Back-up

by Naja Girard…. Dear Future Florida Keys Residents, In 2015, a small group of caring community members made a big difference. They fought to protect the beautiful Florida Keys offshore environment.  They were able to convince Monroe County to install and use a deep injection well instead of the shallow wells already approved for the disposal of wastewater effluent at the Cudjoe Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant.  This was no easy task, it took strong voices, thick skin, hours upon hours of research, not to mention some of their hard-earned [continue reading…]

 March 24, 2017  Posted by at 1:02 am Environment, Issue #211 1 Response »
Mar 032017
Everglades Foundation Approves of President's Pick for Secretary of the Dept of Interior, Ryan Zinke

A message from Eric Eikenberg, CEO of The Everglades Foundation. “We congratulate Ryan Zinke on his Senate confirmation as Secretary of the Department of Interior. As an outdoorsman with a commitment to protecting America’s treasured public lands and improving park infrastructure, we are confident that his leadership will be critical to protecting the iconic national parks and refuges in the Everglades ecosystem. We are looking forward to working closely to restore America’s Everglades.” For more information on The Foundation, please visit, like and [continue reading…]

 March 3, 2017  Posted by at 12:25 am Environment No Responses »
Dec 162016
Everglades Restoration: Enough Reports / We Need Storage

CISRERP Releases Biennial Review on Progress of Everglades Restoration Palmetto Bay, Fla. – The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committee on Independent Scientific Review of Everglades Restoration Progress (CISRERP), a non-governmental body charged with providing Congress with independent and objective scientific information, this week released its sixth biennial review on the progress of Everglades restoration. The 2016 findings underscored declarations by more than 200 scientists that critical water storage outlined in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) is falling far behind what is [continue reading…]

 December 16, 2016  Posted by at 12:30 am Environment, Issue #197, Water World 1 Response »
Dec 162016
New Eagle Management Rule Leaves Eagles at Risk

Washington, D.C.,: The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) today released the final version of its long-anticipated revised eagle management plan. American Bird Conservancy’s initial assessment finds some positive elements in the rule, including a promise that eagle mortality data will be collected by independent, third-party experts using standardized methods. But we also see significant weaknesses and omissions. “While we are pleased with some aspects of the new rule, including increased transparency and independence of eagle kill data, we still have some serious concerns,” said [continue reading…]

 December 16, 2016  Posted by at 12:29 am Environment, Issue #197, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Dec 022016
Princess Cruise Lines To Pay Largest-Ever Criminal Penalty For Deliberate Vessel Pollution

Company to Pay $40 Million and Implement Remedial Measures on All Carnival Companies Visiting U.S. Ports During the campaign leading to the Key West Channel dredging referendum, the question of the efficiency of cruise ship waste water system came to the forefront of the debate. After years of litigation, the image of wastewater tanks regularly overflowing into the bilge of the Caribbean Princess is reaching the public. The Caribbean Princess is one of the cruise ships that visits Key West during the winter season. Here [continue reading…]

 December 2, 2016  Posted by at 1:02 am * Featured Story *, Environment, Issue #195, Water World 4 Responses »
Nov 112016
1 Bus/12 Days/22 Cities/1,976 Miles/7,700 Signatures/1 Mission: Build the EAA Reservoir & Save America’s Everglades

Palmetto Bay, Fla. — The Everglades Foundation’s (The Foundation) “Road Trip to Restoration” rolled into Islamorada, Florida, last Sunday night, concluding a 12-day, 22-city bus tour to build support for incoming Florida Senate President Joe Negron’s (R-Stuart) plan to stop outbreaks of toxic algae by building a water storage reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA). “Even after 1,976 miles, this is just the beginning,” said Eric Eikenberg, CEO of The Everglades Foundation. “We won’t stop until the legislature adopts incoming [continue reading…]

 November 11, 2016  Posted by at 12:36 am Environment, Issue #192, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Oct 212016

The Everglades Foundation will take to the road on Wednesday, October 26, 2016, for a 12-day, 20-city bus tour to urge the President, Congress, and Florida’s elected leaders to move forward with the 16-year–old plan to restore the Everglades, protect Florida’s water and save Florida tourism. “The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan is now 16 years old — old enough to get a drivers’ license – but we still don’t have a critical project – the EAA Reservoir,” observed Everglades Foundation CEO Eric Eikenberg in announcing [continue reading…]

 October 21, 2016  Posted by at 12:40 am Environment, News, Water World No Responses »
Oct 142016
National Key Deer Refuge Responds to Screw Worm Infestation / Eighty Key Deer Have Died To Date

The National Key Deer Refuge (NKDR) is currently working with international, federal, state and local authorities to eradicate the New World screwworm from the lower Florida Keys.  Eighty Key Deer have died as a result of the infestation thus far. Screwworms are fly larvae (maggots) that can infest warm-blooded animals. They enter an animal’s skin, usually through an open wound and feed on living tissue. Screwworms were eradicated from the U.S. in the 1960’s, but their presence on the refuge was confirmed on September 30th [continue reading…]

 October 14, 2016  Posted by at 4:10 pm * Featured Story *, Environment, Issue #188 No Responses »
Sep 162016
Start the GMO Test

To the Editors, The Mosquito Control Board is “fiddling while Rome burns.”  They should authorize the GMO test immediately. I just returned from Europe where all my friends asked if it was still safe to come to the Keys.  [This week], the Miami Herald documents the economic impact already felt in Miami in just a few weeks. A word about regulators:  In Europe, Naled–used here in Monroe–is banned as too risky.  Monroe’s beekeeper’s would agree.  The impact on humans?  Probably unknowable right now.  Are America’s or Europe’s regulators smarter?  [continue reading…]

 September 16, 2016  Posted by at 12:50 am Environment, Issue #184, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Sep 162016
Monroe County Code Compliance Oversaw Cleanup Along Card Sound Road; 22-Acre Property to Become the 'John Gautier Aquatic Preserve'

NORTH KEY LARGO – The sunken derelict vessels, unpermitted structures and tons of trash and debris that accumulated for decades on a private 22-acre property along Card Sound Road in North Key Largo are now gone. Monroe County Code Compliance oversaw the massive cleanup of the land and waterway that once was part of the “Historic Fishing Village of Card Sound” but had become an environmental mess and safety hazard. “It definitely was not the usual code enforcement case,” said Lisette Cutie, Monroe County’s Code [continue reading…]

 September 16, 2016  Posted by at 12:29 am Environment, Issue #184 No Responses »
Jul 012016
County Mayor Heather Carruthers: Get The Facts About the New Florida Keys Stewardship Act

Dear Editor, I don’t know where to begin. I read with incredulity last week’s opinion piece by Mr. Kevin Diaz regarding the Florida Keys Stewardship Act (FKSA). It’s hard for me to comprehend how someone seeking to represent the citizens of Monroe County could so totally misunderstand what the Keys are about and it worries me that he could so totally misread this significant legislation. He has egregiously mischaracterized the Stewardship bill. Let’s start by explaining that there are some unique realities of land management [continue reading…]

Jun 032016
Trash + Rain = Mosquitoes

by Douglas Hattendorf……. I’m no biologist or expert (as one man told us at a mosquito meeting — we have no right to speak on such things if we aren’t a biologist or an expert.) However, sometimes it’s just a matter of common sense. Our shorelines are loaded with plastic buckets, totes, bottles, cups, etc that hold water before they return to the ocean to cause further damage. So, what happens when those items are pushed to the high tide line and then it rains? Well, a [continue reading…]

 June 3, 2016  Posted by at 12:34 am ~ Opinion ~, Environment, Issue #169 1 Response »
Nov 202015
State:  What the Hell is Going on in the Keys? Must be "Other Forces at Work"

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. The State’s Variance Review Committee blasted the local Health Department, questioning officals’ apathy in letting the Boondocks Grill, Draft House and Miniature Golf on Ramrod Key expand and operate, for years, without requiring a proper sewage disposal system. The landmark restaurant had a septic tank/leach field system permitted for 65 seats, but along the years they expanded the restaurant, increasing to 210 seats and paved over the leach field in the process. The Blue Paper obtained the audio recording of the [continue reading…]

Nov 202015

For the people of Kiribati, climate change isn’t something to be debated, denied or legislated against — it’s an everyday reality. The low-lying Pacific island nation may soon be underwater, thanks to rising sea levels. In a personal conversation with TED Curator Chris Anderson, Kiribati President Anote Tong discusses his country’s present climate catastrophe and its imperiled future. “In order to deal with climate change, there’s got to be sacrifice. There’s got to be commitment,” he says. “We’ve got to tell people that the world [continue reading…]

 November 20, 2015  Posted by at 12:52 am Environment, Issue #141 1 Response »
Jul 102015
WWD (World Water Dilemma): Part 2

by Kim Pederson……. Gizmodo recently posted an article by Annalee Newitz titled “NASA: We Are Going to Europa.” The piece features a short video from the agency called “Alien Ocean: NASA’s Mission to Europa.” Ostensibly, the goal is to gather information on the liquid ocean beneath the moon’s frozen exterior and determine, if possible, if it supports life. (If you have seen Europa Report, you already know the answer to this and it is not pretty. Maybe we should let sleeping…whatevers lie.) I suspect there [continue reading…]

 July 10, 2015  Posted by at 12:25 am Environment, Island Voices, Issue #122 1 Response »
May 162014

by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. [NOTE: You will not be able to view the video of Monroe County meetings if you are using Chrome as your browser.  You should switch to a different browser to gain access to the video content in this article.] There it was, a 100’ long wooden dock, all ready for the sport fishing boats belonging to the owners of the eight new mansions nestled between the palm trees and the tropical flowers. The only problem was, no boats could get to the [continue reading…]