When it comes to big-footing local governments’ authority, it seems nothing is off-limits for Florida legislators.
Even the tax-break package the Republican majority traditionally touts has been downsized to make money available for environmental work across the state and rebuild the devastated eastern Panhandle.
Hunting Island’s North Beach would receive an additional 1.2 million cubic yards of sand pumped from the ocean floor. Under the settlement reached with the Coastal Conservation League last year, the number of proposed groins — hard structures extending into the water to trap and build up sand on the beach — would be reduced from four to one with an option to build a second.
After denial in March, the port authority is hoping to change the state’s mind on construction of a wider turning basin.
The Southern Shrimp Alliance is pleased to inform the Georgia shrimp industry that $1.062m in financial assistance has been made available to address the 2013 Georgia shrimp fishery disaster. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced the funding in a March 27, 2019 press release.
Supporters say the proposals would keep more homes and businesses out of the dark when future hurricanes inevitably wreak havoc on the state. The legislation may result in higher bills for customers, whether power lines go underground in their neighborhoods or not.
FLORIDA - Construction on the controversial $516,000 Flagler County Coastal Wetlands Restoration Project began on Feb. 13 on 100 acres of decades-old dragline ditches in the area of the Intracoastal Waterway, parallel to Gamble Rogers State Recreation Area and parts of Flagler Beach.
“They start at 6 a.m., if you can believe it,” my friend told me with a hint of frustration. This was his neighborhood, and we were both gawking at a huge pile-driver sitting atop the dune across from the Turtle Shack in Flagler Beach."
FLORIDA - In the April 2 St. Johns County Commission meeting, the Board of County Commissioners decided to move forward with a Request for Proposals (RFP) process for a paid parking program for off-beach parking lots. Based on the community feedback and public comment, however, county staff has a difficult task ahead with balancing the area’s expectations and limited resources.
KEY BISCAYNE FLORIDA - In another step toward burying power lines, Key Biscayne Village Manager Andrea Agha is asking the Village Council to approve a formal resolution of “intent” to borrow up to $50 million for the project through a bond issue.
Crosstowne Christian Church knows how to handle a flood better than most.
North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Ingram Dunes is a 9.4-acre section of maritime forest surrounded by development and one of the last undeveloped areas of the city. Since 2016, a group has been working to preserve Ingram Dunes as a passive park and nature preserve.
NORFOLK, Va. – Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has awarded a five-year services contract to U.S. Facilities Inc. for operations and maintenance of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway’s locks and bridges.
As the county grows and the “T-word” (taxes) continues to be a political poison pill to most state and local elected officials, residents are increasingly caught in the intersection of a coming “decision collision.”
BySt. Augustine Record
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A Republican congressman who for years has touted the potential benefits of expanded oil drilling off the U.S. East Coast is now asking the Trump administration to exclude his home state of Georgia from its offshore energy plans.
Like all cities, Jacksonville faces an expanding list of challenges.
That leaping dolphin, one of the most beloved animals of the South Carolina coast, might be dying off in front of our eyes.
Florida: The St. Johns County Commission made a move toward implementing a paid parking program for off-beach lots, but the final decision is yet to come.
After hurricanes during the past three years knocked out electricity for millions of Floridians, lawmakers are moving forward with regulatory changes that could lead to more underground power lines.
A proposal to help fund beach renourishment by charging a parking fee at Pawleys Island (South Carolina) beach accesses narrowly survived a vote to kill the idea. The town’s ad hoc finance committee this week deadlocked on a motion to drop the proposed fee from its recommendation to Town Council.
CLEARWATER — Hundreds gathered at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort in Clearwater March 28 for a Red Tide Summit to learn more about harmful algal blooms and ask questions.
Miles Conway bought what he thought was a secluded slice of paradise on Hutchinson Island just over the Indian River County line. But the unspoiled barrier island is being ruined by a wave of unregulated vacation rental properties, he said.
Between 1944 and 2017, the state of Florida spent at least $1.34 billion on beach rebuilding projects. Put another way, we could have renourished our beaches with dollar bills instead of sand — and the effect would be pretty much the same.
Lake Okeechobee discharges have stopped to the St. Lucie River and been reduced to the Caloosahatchee River, but the Army Corps of Engineers hasn't ruled out the possibility of restarting and increasing them.
The red tide algae bloom plaguing Southwest Florida hasn’t hit the Florida Keys. And Hurricane Irma happened more than a year ago.
FOLLY BEACH, North Carolina — A proposed beachfront land swap here between the city and two property owners has come into public view at an awkward moment — just as the city argues in a lawsuit that at least some of the land in question can’t be privately owned at all.
Florida bill seeks to add up the cost of climate change
March 28--COMMENTARY | One might assume that a task force charged with studying sea-level rise in Jacksonville would focus intensely on areas that were under water during Hurricane Irma, a storm responsible for the city's worst flood in about a century.
PINECREST, Fla. — The “Underwater Homeowners Association” sounds like a sad joke about the future of real estate in flood-prone Miami.
In an alarming new study that has implications for people living along the Florida coast, scientists have discovered that dolphins here appear to be suffering from a condition similar to Alzheimer's disease caused by toxins from common algae.
State lawmakers are attempting to jumpstart the local bivalve aquaculture industry—but not everybody is celebrating.
EDISTO ISLAND, South Carolina — Everyone here loves oysters. At least, that’s the impression that came across Tuesday during a public hearing, as resident after resident said they were huge fans of one of the Lowcountry’s most iconic products.
Barrier built after last week's nor'easter conditions washed away part of road By Allyson Henning - Reporter, Jennifer Ready - Reporter
RALEIGH, N.C. — Almost two years after lawmakers put a halt to new wind farms in the state, Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown on Wednesday filed a bill to get wind energy blowing again in parts of North Carolina – but not in an area that most needs the development.
Turning the Toxic Tide is a series of editorials published collectively by the six editorial boards of USA TODAY Network-Florida, with the goal of providing an environmental road map for Gov. Ron DeSantis, state legislators and Florida's congressional delegation. This is the fifth in the series.
While Florida continues to be a rapid growth state, some people – mostly over 65 – are fleeing in the face of real and perceived climate change impacts. This is in spite of Florida being the No. 1 state as a retiree destination.
Florida, with its plentiful beaches, warm weather, and lack of a state-income tax, is the most popular destination for older adults in the U.S. But some who have lived in the Sunshine State for years are moving in the opposite direction.
ST. AUGUSTINE — Walking along a wooden path winding through Nease Beachfront Park, Danny Lippi pointed to coastal trees sprouting from the shrubbery around him. The exotic species were brought here by warming temperatures — bringing business opportunities for the local arborist.
A devastating coral disease that started in the Miami area has spread to nearly all of the Florida reef tract and the infection known as stony coral tissue loss disease can now even be found as far away in the Caribbean as Mexico, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, the U.S. Virgin Islands and St. Maarten.
It’s a common assumption that the Florida Supreme Court has the last word about law and justice in this state. But a deeply disturbing decision to allow an exploratory oil well in the Everglades shows that impression is largely false.
COLUMBIA, SC - Not only do most South Carolina residents oppose oil drilling off the coast, but they also are against blasting the ocean with loud noises to locate petroleum deposits, a new Winthrop poll says.
Every journey of a thousand miles, the adage goes, begins with a single step. Last week, a state Senate committee took a small step toward protecting our region against the devastation that can be foreseen as the sea keeps rising. Voting 5-0, Republicans and Democrats on the Environment and Natural Resources Committee together passed Senate Bill 78, which would require that state-funded infrastructure projects near the coast be preceded by a sea-level impact studies.
In lieu of the traditional shovel groundbreaking, Miami City Commission chair Ken Russell, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and Miami city manager Emilio T. Gonzalez (pictured l-r) perform the ceremonial water toss to mark the start of the first Miami Forever Bond project tackling flooding and sea-level rise. (Photo by City of Miami Office of Communications)
Local funds will match state, federal grants for S. Ponte Vedra, Vilano Beach
MANATEE FL - The Manatee County Tax Collector’s Office refuted claims that it might be leaving money on the table when it comes to collecting tourism taxes from short-term rentals.
Every journey of a thousand miles, the adage goes, begins with a single step. Last week, a state Senate committee took a small step toward protecting our region against the devastation that can be foreseen as the sea keeps rising.
ALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – The tourism-marketing agency Visit Florida would only be funded for three months, while Enterprise Florida wouldn’t get any state money as part of a budget proposal released Tuesday by a House panel for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.
In some ways, Miami Beach is lucky. With high real estate prices and millions in tax revenue from a robust tourist trade, the city has been able to cobble together funds to wage its war with the sea in a way that poorer ones must envy. Under Gelber, it recently appropriated another $140 million, bringing the total program budget to $650 million.
The St. Johns County Tourist Development Council (TDC) and County Commission will look at possible changes to the amount and structure of the county’s tourist development tax.
State lawmakers may ease restrictions on the construction of decks and patios next to sand dunes, plus crosswalks over dunes, even as the lead author of NOAA’s Atlantic Ocean hurricane outlooks issued this month a preliminary warning that the upcoming hurricane season will be as dynamic as the one that pummeled Georgia in 2018.
Savannah and other East Coast ports are racing to deepen their harbors to make room for larger cargo ships already arriving through an expanded Panama Canal.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has engaged Eastman Aggregate Enterprises to renourish 7.2 miles of critically eroded shoreline along the City of Hollywood, Florida.
The President’s Fiscal Year 2020 Budget includes $138 million for the 52-foot Charleston Harbor Deepening Project, a milestone that provides an opportunity for the project to receive Congressional funding for construction.
President Donald Trump’s proposed budget slashes spending by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers by 31 percent and fails to include money for an Everglades reservoir aimed at reducing polluted water flushed from Lake Okeechobee to coastal estuaries.
As they have for several years, state lawmakers are again looking to amend The Shore Protection Act, which designates the extent of the state’s influence on private property near the beach.
ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. - Paid parking has become a hot topic in many coastal communities from St Augustine Beach up to Neptune Beach.
North Carolina’s Governor Roy Cooper has set aside USD 1.5 million to boost clean energy and green businesses in the proposed 2019-2021 budget, including a study on North Carolina’s potential to host offshore wind operations and associated jobs.
Floridians urged to monitor species' mating habits
This year's hurricane season is not expected to be any milder than the previous year’s, according to the lead seasonal hurricane forecaster for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Interstate 73 isn’t off the map, Myrtle Beach City Council said as it sped into the final reading of a tax and fee re-allocation ordinance package.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina -(WMBF) - Three coastal cities have taken the initial steps to stop Horry County from collecting a 1.5 percent hospitality fee from inside city limits. The hospitality fee is collected on prepared meals, admission and accommodations.
South Carolina - Surfside Beach is the next municipality looking to bring extra revenue into their community at the expense of Horry County.
Under an $11.7 million contract, Marinex Construction Company of Charleston, South Carolina, began dredging in mid-January for a project on Bald Head Island in North Carolina. The company is moving sand from Jaybird Shoals to shore to both protect a rock groin and to add material to South Beach.
There are growing concerns about both the safety and proliferation of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Rep. Francis Rooney, a former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, cautioned that offshore drilling for oil in Florida’s coastal waters would endanger the state’s tourism-based economy should a major spill occur.
To avoid another summer of slime, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers may drain the lake blamed for polluting Florida coasts even lower than usual as the start of the wet season draws near.
Offshore seismic testing opponents are preparing for the worst. The March 1 deadline arrived Friday that federal regulators told a judge would be the earliest that permits could be issued to allow blast-testing for oil and natural gas reserves in the Atlantic, including off South Carolina.
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Homeowners are ready to front the bill to save their beach front properties on DeBordieu Island in Georgetown County.
Climate change and a potentially vulnerable insurance market could combine in a disaster that starts in South Florida but hits the entire globe.
Wrightsville Beach’s seasonal paid parking kicks in Friday with a new hourly fee of $3, which goes toward several project including beach renourishment.