Kate Stein

Kate Stein can't quite explain what attracts her to South Florida. It's more than just the warm weather (although this Wisconsin native and Northwestern University graduate definitely appreciates the South Florida sunshine). It has a lot to do with being able to travel from the Everglades to Little Havana to Brickell without turning off 8th Street. It's also related to Stein's fantastic coworkers, whom she first got to know during a winter 2016 internship.

Officially, Stein is WLRN's environment, data and transportation journalist. Privately, she uses her job as an excuse to rove around South Florida searching for stories à la Carl Hiaasen and Edna Buchanan. Regardless, Stein speaks Spanish and is always thrilled to run, explore and read.
 

When it comes to sea-level rise, planners in South Florida typically use the benchmark of two feet in the next 40 years, but there’s a chance it could be less -- or more -- than that.

Former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine may have lost the Democratic nomination for governor, but he energetically endorsed the winner, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum.

Gillum is the first African-American nominee for governor in Florida. In his concession speech, Levine touted that fact to a crowd of about 200 supporters at his campaign headquarters in Miami's Wynwood neighborhood.

Two sea turtles that were rehabilitated from illnesses are scheduled to be released Thursday morning in Juno Beach.

Tiffany is an adult female hawksbill and Seabastian is a juvenile loggerhead. Staff at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center, where the turtles were treated, say they've recovered from infections and anemia.

It's a much-needed piece of good news for some of the oldest creatures on earth. Sea turtles have been around for more than 110 million years, but humans' impact on the environment is making it harder and harder for them to survive.

The group Code for Miami aims to develop data- and technology-based solutions to local quality-of-life challenges. On Saturday, as part of a "National Day of Civic Hacking," they're inviting other local programmers and civic-minded volunteers to help them tackle some of South Florida's pressing issues.

Susan Jacobson, a journalism professor at Florida International University and a longtime Code for Miami participant, says this weekend’s event will include coding projects on transit and ocean pollution as well as sea-level rise.

Everglades advocates are telling Congress to get moving on a major restoration project needed to help prevent future algae blooms like the ones currently choking inland and coastal waterways in Florida. 

Former President Bill Clinton was in Miami Tuesday for a meeting on improving disaster response and resiliency in the Caribbean.

The event, organized by the Clinton Global Initiative and hosted by the University of Miami, aimed in part to introduce people working on hurricane recovery projects to potential funders. Those projects are helping Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Antigua & Barbuda and Dominica build back stronger after last year’s devastating hurricane season.

There's a buzzword among people who work on quality-of-life issues in South Florida: "Resilience."

It’s a concept we often apply to a person, someone who's able to cope with difficult circumstances. But more and more, the word is being used in the context of how communities respond to issues like traffic, hurricanes, affordable housing and rising seas.

Rep. Carlos Curbelo took an election-year risk Monday when he unveiled a plan to tax greenhouse gas emissions.

South Florida could see two feet or more of sea-level rise over the next 40 years. It’s alarming. 

 

And there’s growing concern that the risk of rising seas could sink South Florida’s economy before the water even gets here.

When it comes to the health of the Everglades, scientists often look to the birds. The healthier the ecosystem, the bigger the populations of wading birds like wood storks, spoonbills, egrets and herons.

Scientists say this year is shaping up to be a very good season for wading bird nesting, on the heels of a 2017 nesting season where some bird populations grew by 50 percent or more.

After Hurricane Irma, some people with low-wage jobs took weeks to recover the costs of supplies and days of missed work. In parts of the Florida Keys, people spent months rebuilding homes and businesses.

A man who championed Everglades restoration and inspired decades of Florida conservationists died Wednesday during a fishing trip, according to his family.

A plan to build a water storage reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee was approved by federal budget officials on Tuesday, as part of an effort to reduce blue-green algae blooms on Florida's coasts.

The roughly $1.6 billion dollar reservoir project will now pass from the White House Office of Management and Budget to the U.S. Senate, where it's expected to be funded as part of a water resources bill.

Gov. Rick Scott on Monday declared a state of emergency for seven counties experiencing blue-green algae blooms, including Palm Beach County.

The blooms are in large part due to water discharges from Lake Okeechobee. They can cause fish die-offs and respiratory irritation in humans. And it's not the first time the foul-smelling blooms have prompted an emergency declaration: in the summer of 2016, at the peak of the July tourist season, the blooms closed beaches and fishing businesses.

If current sea-level rise trends continue, the ocean that makes many South Florida cities desirable places to live may become an existential threat.

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