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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

6/27/19: JEA; Reducing Algae Blooms; Bifurcation; ADAPT

JEA's downtown Jacksonville headquarters.
Bill Bortzfield
JEA's Downtown headquarters is pictured in the background with Jacksonville's City Hall in the foreground.

JEA may have to lay off more than 500 workers to avoid a big spike in customer’s electric bills.  The public utility has been in downsizing mode for more than a decade. JEA decreased from 2600 employees in 2006 down to 2,191 in 2018. 

David Bauerlein of The Florida Times-Union has been covering this story, and joined us for a closer look.

Microbe Lift

Credit Sam Carr
Green algal bloom in Palatka.

The City of Jacksonville is launching a new study to help improve the area’s water supply. Jacksonville will be one of the first cities in Florida to use a product known as Microbe Lift, which is a blend of bactreria to reduce nitrogren levels. The goal is to reduce algal  blooms in waterways, especially those found in storm water ponds.

Melissa Long, chief of the Environmental Quality division in Jacksonville, joined us with more information.

Credit ABHISHEK JACOB / Flickr


Bifurcation is a legal strategy now being used in some divorce cases here in Jacksonville. 

Ashley Cox, a Jacksonville attorney and founder of the Family Law Practice, said that bifurcation is “the legal ending of a marriage before you have all of the issues finalized.”  She joined us to explain how the strategy differs from a traditional divorce case.



WJCT News Director Jessica Palombo and reporter Brendan Rivers joined us with information on the new ADAPT website, which features extensive local reporting on how rising seas will potentially impact Jacksonville and Florida, along with steps being taken to adapt to climate change. 

Photo used under Creative Commons.

Avery Latta-Raines can be reached at, 904-358-6317.