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Enviro groups blast proposed seismic testing off Atlantic coast

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Jacksonville is the only Florida city selected by ocean scientists up and down the Eastern Seaboard to raise the alarm about seismic testing. “We’ve tried to pick one coastal city in each state since there is enormous concern about this in coastal communities,” said Michael Jasny, director of Natural Resource Defense Council’s Marine Mammal Protection Project. An upcoming open house on the city’s Southside is part of a larger push by ocean scientists worldwide to pressure President Barack Obama to…

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Gulf oil spill likely to reach Florida Keys, Miami, report says

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Hundreds of skimming boats prepared Friday to return to calmer Gulf waters in the wake of Hurricane Alex and resume cleanup of the massive BP oil spill, which scientists now predict is likely to reach the Florida Keys and Miami in the months ahead. Using computer simulations based on 15 years of wind and ocean current data, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a report Friday showing a 61% to 80% chance of the oil spill reaching within 20 miles…

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Dan Gelber, Keith Fitzgerald and Rick Kriseman urge Charlie Crist to call Summer Special Session

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State Sen. Dan Gelber (D-Miami Beach) and state Reps. Keith Fitzgerald (D-Sarasota) and Rick Kriseman (D-St. Petersburg) today sent a letter to Governor Charlie Crist urging him to convene the legislature in a summer special session to address the complex challenges from the BP oil spill. In their letter, the trio present five areas on which legislative leaders should focus their attention during the special session. “I renew my call for Governor Crist to summon the legislature back into a…

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Florida skips offshore oil binge but still pays

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When rigs first started drilling for oil off Louisiana’s coast in the 1940s, Floridians scanned their shoreline, with its resorts and talcum-white beaches, and said, No thanks. Go ahead and drill, they told other Gulf Coast states; we’ll stick with tourism. Now that invisible wall separating Florida from its neighbors has been breached. The spreading BP oil spill has already reached the Panhandle, and if it rides currents to the renowned reefs and fishing holes on both Florida coasts, the Sunshine State could become a…

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Will the BP oil spill sink Charlie Crist?

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This week, oil from BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico is expected to hit the shores of Florida’s northwest Panhandle, greasing the Sunshine State’s pristine white-sand beaches in time for the summer tourist season. Already, hotels and restaurants are losing bookings for the coming weeks, though the extent of the BP disaster on Florida’s economy—not to mention its coastlines and the water off its shores—is still unclear. Leading the charge to assure Floridians and potential tourists that the state is open for…

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