Southeast
Southeast
Science

Editorial: Banning sunscreens harmful to coral reefs not worthy of big-footing by Florida lawmakers

When it comes to big-footing local governments’ authority, it seems nothing is off-limits for Florida legislators.

Southeast
Science

Florida: First sea turtle season nest spotted

Although the sea turtle nesting season officially starts May 1 and ends Oct. 31, a leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) nest was discovered earlier this week by a beach walker and reported to sea turtle patrol.

Southeast
Property

Florida disasters command huge share of state spending

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.

Southeast
Engineering

South Carolina: Hunting Island visitors could see beach changes by the end of the year

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.

Southeast
Waterways

NC Ports to appeal state’s decision nixing expansion

After denial in March, the port authority is hoping to change the state’s mind on construction of a wider turning basin.

Southeast
Fisheries

Fishery Disaster Assistance Soon to Be Available to Georgia Shrimpers

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.

Southeast
Energy

Florida could soon bury more power lines. Customers might pick up the cost

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.

Southeast
Engineering

10 Acres In, Wetlands Restoration Project Near Flagler Beach Is Still Kicking Up Turbid Opposition

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.

Southeast
Engineering

Seawalls and the Tyranny of Small Decisions

“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."

Southeast
Local

St. Johns County takes steps toward paid off-beach parking plan

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.

Southeast
Local

$50 Million Utility Bond to Bury Coastal Power-lines Up for Preliminary Vote in Key Biscayne

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.

Southeast
Fisheries

National Forage Fish Act to Debut in House

Florida Representative a co-sponsor of forward-thinking legislation to benefit coastal fisheries.

Southeast
Engineering

Crews Restore South Carolina Beaches After Storms

Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, a mix of tools and machinery is hard at work in a part of South Carolina known as a place for fun and relaxation: the coastline in and around Myrtle Beach.

Southeast
Property

As home development looms, activists push to preserve SC town’s last dunes as public park

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.

Mid-Atlantic
Waterways

USACE awards $3.8 million services contract for Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway

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.

Southeast
Advocacy

RECORD EDITORIAL: Is paid parking a taxpayer double-dip?

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.”

Southeast
Energy

GOP congressman asks to exempt Georgia from oil drilling

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.

Southeast
Science

SC’s treasured dolphins tangle with human threats. Their future is uncertain

That leaping dolphin, one of the most beloved animals of the South Carolina coast, might be dying off in front of our eyes.

Southeast
Local

Paid off-beach parking plan for St. Johns County moves forward

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.

Southeast
Engineering

Florida could get more underground power lines, but utility customers would pay the price

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.

Southeast
Local

Parking fee remains an option as South Carolina town shifts focus to beach fund

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.

Southeast
Tourism

Experts gather in Clearwater to talk about red tide

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.

Southeast
Property

Private property rights at center of vacation rental regulation debate

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.

Southeast
Engineering

St. Lucie County may need $17 million for beach fix — but there's a way to cut costs

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.

Southeast
Engineering

Army Corps stops Lake Okeechobee discharges to St. Lucie, reduces to Caloosahatchee River

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.

Southeast
Fisheries

Where did all Florida's lobsters and stone crabs go? How the fishing industry is bouncing back

The red tide algae bloom plaguing Southwest Florida hasn’t hit the Florida Keys. And Hurricane Irma happened more than a year ago.

Southeast
Property

Folly Beach land swap raises concerns about city’s environmental lawsuit

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.

Southeast
Property

Opinion: Jacksonville flood study should include areas that actually … uh, flood

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.

Southeast
Property

Rising seas force ‘underwater homeowners’ to mobilize

PINECREST, Fla. — The “Underwater Homeowners Association” sounds like a sad joke about the future of real estate in flood-prone Miami.

Southeast
Science

Algae toxin may be causing Alzheimer's in dolphins. Illness could signal risks for humans

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.

Southeast
Fisheries

Georgia’s controversial bill to legalize oyster farming nears approval

State lawmakers are attempting to jumpstart the local bivalve aquaculture industry—but not everybody is celebrating.

Southeast
Fisheries

700 floating oyster cages pit growing SC industry against Edisto recreation

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.

Southeast
Engineering

Porpoise Point monitors new barrier as latest nor'easter hits St Johns County, Florida

Barrier built after last week's nor'easter conditions washed away part of road By Allyson Henning - Reporter, Jennifer Ready - Reporter

Southeast
Energy

Bill would prohibit new wind farms in coastal swath

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.

Southeast
Science

Turning the Toxic Tide: Florida must address the problem of human waste

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.

Southeast
Property

Climate change has some Floridians fleeing

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.

Southeast
Property

'We Will Miss the Warm Winters.' Retirees Are Fleeing Florida as Climate Change Threatens Their Financial Future

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.

Southeast
Science

Northward march of mangroves impacts fishing, flooding and carbon

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.

Southeast
Science

Florida’s devastating coral disease has spread to Caribbean: scientist

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.

Southeast
Energy

The arrogance of a three-judge panel imperils the Everglades | Editorial

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.

Southeast
Energy

Poll: Oil drilling near the beach is not popular in South Carolina

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.

Southeast
Tourism

Senate Ties Tourism Funding to Sunscreen

Florida Senate leaders are putting up money to keep the state’s tourism arm alive, despite an effort by the state House to scrap the agency.

Southeast
Property

At last, Tallahassee is talking about sea-level rise | Editorial

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.

Southeast
Local

City breaks ground on first Miami Forever Bond project - $400 M Fairview Project

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)

Southeast
Local

County Commission OKs renourishment of St. Johns beaches

Local funds will match state, federal grants for S. Ponte Vedra, Vilano Beach

Southeast
Property

Airbnb hosts get hunted down for Manatee tourism tax. Does it cost taxpayers too much?

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.

Southeast
Engineering

Opinion I Editorial: Vote in Florida Senate kindles hope for state leadership on sea-level rise

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.

Southeast
Tourism

Florida House Cuts Tourism, Economic Development Money

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.

Southeast
Local

'It's over': Miami Beach tries to outrace climate change's rising seas

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.

Southeast
Local

Changes could be coming to county ‘bed tax’ spending

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.

Southeast
Engineering

Georgia Lawmakers may reduce sand dune protections as hurricane threat unabated

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.

Southeast
Waterways

$130M Proposed to Deepen Savannah Harbor in Fiscal 2020

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.

Southeast
Engineering

Beach Renourishment Project Underway on Hollywood Beach

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.

Southeast
Waterways

President’s Budget Allocates $138 Million For Charleston Harbor Deepening Project

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.

Southeast
Federal

Trump budget falls short on Everglades work and omits planning for a new reservoir

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.

Southeast
Property

Georgia lawmakers look to change rules of beach development

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.

Southeast
Local

City leaders consider paid parking in Atlantic Beach

ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. - Paid parking has become a hot topic in many coastal communities from St Augustine Beach up to Neptune Beach.

Southeast
Energy

North Carolina Governor Proposes Offshore Wind Study

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.

Southeast
Property

Don't expect a calmer hurricane season this year, NOAA expert says

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).

Southeast
Local

Keeping I-73 on the map, Myrtle Beach leaders finalize tax and fee collection

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.

Southeast
Local

Coastal Towns & County Battle over Tourism Tax: Decision by cities to change taxes would cost Horry County millions

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.

Southeast
Tourism

Show me the money: Surfside joins other local cities in wanting to keep tax dollars

South Carolina - Surfside Beach is the next municipality looking to bring extra revenue into their community at the expense of Horry County.

Southeast
Engineering

Bald Head Island Beach Renourishment Begins; Demonstrates Long-Term Terminal Groin Success

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.

Southeast
Local

The City of Miami Just Banned Glyphosate (Roundup)

There are growing concerns about both the safety and proliferation of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller.

Southeast
Energy

Faith community joins Florida congressman in opposing offshore drilling

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.

Southeast
Federal

Corps looking to lower Lake O this rainy season to avoid fouling Florida coasts

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.

Southeast
Energy

Offshore seismic testing for oil and gas deadline triggers SC request for injunction

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.

Southeast
Engineering

Environmental groups oppose beach renourishment plan for Georgetown County’s DeBordieu Island

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Homeowners are ready to front the bill to save their beach front properties on DeBordieu Island in Georgetown County.

Southeast
Property

The $1 Trillion Storm: How a Single Hurricane Could Rupture the World Economy

Climate change and a potentially vulnerable insurance market could combine in a disaster that starts in South Florida but hits the entire globe.

Southeast
Tourism

Wrightsville Beach begins $3-an-hour paid parking ahead of summer

Wrightsville Beach’s seasonal paid parking kicks in Friday with a new hourly fee of $3, which goes toward several project including beach renourishment.

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