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Go-ahead given for deepening Port Everglades

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been given the green light to move forward with a plan to deepen and widen Port Everglades. Port officials said Thursday that the corps can move ahead with the project now that President Obama signed into the law last week the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act. The project will deepen the port’s navigational channel to 48 feet from 42 feet and widen the entrance so that cargo ships can get past…

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Storm wipes out Florida sand crucial for protection, tourism

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When Christa Savva returned to the Sandy Shoes Beach Resort a day after Hurricane Matthew brushed by Melbourne Beach, Florida, she looked at the beach in front of the pink-flamingo-colored hotel and noticed that half the sand dunes had disappeared. Savva guesses three-quarters of the missing dunes washed into the ocean, and the remaining quarter scattered onto the resort’s beachfront property, which was undamaged by the hurricane. “I was like, ‘Oh, my goodness!’” Savva, a property manager for the Space-Age-era…

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Diane Roberts: Rick Scott’s breathtaking hypocrisy on water pollution

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Rick Scott, our Trumpster-diving governor, has declared a state of emergency. He’s suddenly discovered Florida’s waters are choking in toxic algae, green as arsenic, and malodorous as a pile of rotting mullet. Images of slime-covered sand, and fish gasping their last on closed beaches are appearing in print and on screens around the world. It’s not just another day in paradise. Scott blames “the inaction and negligence of the federal government not making the needed repairs to the Herbert Hoover…

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Army Corps to reduce lake flows fueling Florida algae bloom

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U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is calling on President Barack Obama to declare a state of emergency to help businesses harmed by the massive algae bloom fouling some of Florida’s southern rivers and beaches. Rubio on Friday toured a portion of the St. Lucie River where a smelly muck is fouling an area promoted as Florida’s “Treasure Coast.” During a news conference later, he called the impact on tourism, home values and small businesses “catastrophic,” saying he couldn’t think of a…

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Federal action sought for Florida coastline tainted by algae

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Officials want federal action along a stretch of Florida’s Atlantic coast where the governor has declared a state of emergency over algae blooms. The blue-green algae is the latest contaminant in yearslong arguments over water flowing from Lake Okeechobee, which is critical to South Florida’s water supply and flood control systems. The Martin County Commission is inviting the president to view deteriorating water conditions that local officials blame on freshwater being released from the lake, according to a statement released…

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Gwen Graham prevents forest fires, does Workday at Apalachicola National Forest

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U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham performed one of her signature “Workdays” — a tradition she inherited from her father Bob Graham — participating in a controlled burn at the Apalachicola National Forest on Thursday. Graham, along with representatives from U.S. Forest Service and the Nature Conservancy, protected trees housing the endangered Red-Cockaded Woodpecker, ignited potentially dangerous underbrush, and extinguished a fire threatening to consume a longleaf pine, according to a release. “It was an honor to work alongside the men and women of the U.S. Forest Service…

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Feds halt Lake O discharges after Florida pols sound alarm

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shut off discharges from Lake Okeechobee after claims of an algae bloom in waters coming from the lake. The federal agency discharges water to prevent weakening the Herbert Hoover Dike around the lake. But the nutrient-rich discharges can cause algal blooms that smother aquatic life in Indian River Lagoon and the Caloosahatchee River. “I have personally seen video and photos confirming that water adjacent to Lake Okeechobee is currently experiencing a toxic blue-green algae…

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