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$5M fence project to protect panthers on Alligator Alley

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State officials are spending more than $5 million on a fencing project designed to keep panthers and other large animals off Alligator Alley. The Florida Department of Transportation will start construction later this year on a project that includes 18 miles of 10-foot fencing and work on three animal underpasses east of the Naples-area toll booth. The Florida Wildlife Federation has advocated for years to have panther fencing along all of Alligator Alley, which stretches from Miami to Naples. Wildlife…

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Jeff Brandes files bill creating state flood mitigation program

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State Sen. Jeff Brandes is looking to help Florida communities address the effects of coastal flooding. On Tuesday, the St. Petersburg Republican filed SB 584, a bill to create a statewide flood mitigation and assistance program, providing up to $50 million per year in matching grant funds. The money would help reduce the risk and severity of coastal flooding. Part of the program includes a plan for land acquisition and preservation. The proposal will also extend the expiration of de-regulated…

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Think Florida has a ‘grassroots’ environmental movement? Think again

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A casual observer could think there is a groundswell of grassroots organizations throughout South Florida, each fighting to preserve the Sunshine State’s unique environment. Not so. Upon closer examination, Chris Leggatt of the Daily Broward uncovered a “shadowy organization” working to manipulate both citizens and the government through a number of advocacy groups, exerting its own “twisted” agenda under a banner of saving Florida’s environment. It is an example of manufactured grassroots outrage – a strategy known as “astroturfing” – that misdirects…

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New poll: 71% of Florida voters want vote on banning oil drilling

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On the eve of a special legislative session on oil drilling, a new poll shows Floridians overwhelmingly support being given a chance to vote on allowing oil drilling in state waters. A statewide poll of 1,143 registered voters conducted July 15-17 shows that not only do a majority Floridians oppose oil drilling in state waters, but also that 71% support being given a chance to vote on the issue. The new poll also shows that Floridians want their state legislators…

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Florida environmentalists slam New York Times’ Everglades story critical of Charlie Crist

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WUSF’s Scott Finn has a must-read report in response to a recent New York Times investigation questioned the price tag, environmental value and the politics of the deal with U.S. Sugar to restore the Everglades. But several environmental activists say the New York Times allowed itself to be used as a tool of Crist’s enemies. The headline on the New York Times website sums it up: “A Deal to Save the Everglades Could Rescue U.S. Sugar Instead.” The story has…

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Florida environmentalists slam New York Times’ Everglades story critical of Charlie Crist

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WUSF’s Scott Finn has a must-read report in response to a recent New York Times investigation questioned the price tag, environmental value and the politics of the deal with U.S. Sugar to restore the Everglades. But several environmental activists say the New York Times allowed itself to be used as a tool of Crist’s enemies. The headline on the New York Times website sums it up: “A Deal to Save the Everglades Could Rescue U.S. Sugar Instead.” The story has…

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