Brendan Rivers


Credit Bonnie Zerr / WJCT

Reporter Brendan Rivers joined WJCT News in August of 2018 after several years as a reporter and then News Director at Southern Stone Communications, which owns and operates several radio stations in the Daytona Beach area.

Originally from Clifton Park, New York, Brendan moved to Florida in high school. He has a bachelor's degree in music from New College of Florida and an associate's degree in music production and technology from Daytona State College.

Brendan originally planned to pursue a career as a composer, arranger, music producer and recording engineer, but an internship at WGCU, the NPR and PBS member station in Fort Myers, convinced him he belongs in broadcasting and public media.

Brendan is the lead reporter for ADAPT, WJCT’s digital magazine exploring how Northeast Florida is adapting to sea level rise and other effects of climate change. He also hosts the ADAPT podcast.

Brendan's bylines include NPR, The Guardian, InsideClimate News, Living On Earth, The Miami Herald, The Florida Times-Union and Folio Weekly. He is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and a former fellow with InsideClimate News and Climate Matters in the Newsroom.

Brendan Rivers can be reached at, 904-358-6396 or on Twitter at @BrendanRivers.

A syringe is filled with the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
Mary Altaffer / Associated Press

Editor's Note:  Tuesday morning, following this story's Monday publication, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said they are recommending a "pause" in the use of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine out of an "abundance of caution" while an investigation is conducted into reports of apparently rare, potentially dangerous blood clots.

Original Post: Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines will be available at several pop-up sites around Northeast Florida this week, starting Tuesday at Lutheran Social Services in Jacksonville.

Jacksonville City Hall
Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

One item on Tuesday’s Jacksonville City Council agenda would result in millions of dollars being invested in infrastructure improvements on parts of the Westside and Northside.

In this Saturday, April 18, 2020 photo, mortician Cordarial O. Holloway, foreground left, funeral director Robert L. Albritten, foreground right, place a casket into a hearse in Dawson, Ga.
Brynn Anderson / Associated Press

People whose loved ones have died from COVID-19 can get the federal government to help pay for a funeral.

JTA First Coast Flyer bus
John Burr / WJCT contributor

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority is offering free 1-day passes to anyone who wants a ride to a COVID-19 vaccination site in Jacksonville.

A man wades through flood water as he check out damage from Hurricane Matthew Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, in St. Augustine , Fla.
John Bazemore / Associated Press

Tens of millions of dollars a year would go to fight the effects of rising sea levels under bills passed by the Florida House and Senate this week.

A construction worker wears a protective mask during the coronavirus pandemic as he unloads a truck standing in front of a sign reminding people to stay six feet apart.
Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press

The city of Jacksonville is launching a new program called Operation Boost. It’s designed to help low income residents find employment opportunities and get training to help them secure higher paying jobs.

In this July 29, 2020 file photo Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., speaks during a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on antitrust on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Mandel Ngan / Associated Press

The Florida Democratic Party is urging Congressman Matt Gaetz to resign after news broke that the Department of Justice was investigating the Republican to determine if he violated federal sex trafficking laws.

The Jacksonville Regional Transportation Center at LaVilla.

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority is considering building a commuter rail between St. Johns and Duval Counties.

In this April 1, 2020 photo, a "For Sale" sign stands in front of a home that is in the process of being sold.
Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

The city of Jacksonville is making more than $4 million in federal funds available to Duval County residents who haven’t been able to pay their mortgage due to a loss of income related to COVID-19.

The St. Johns River
The University of North Florida

The artist collective IAM Residency will be opening a new contemporary art exhibition focused on Jacksonville’s Lower St. Johns River Basin with work from six artists.

Downtown Jacksonville's newest public artwork "Emergence" makes its debut on Monday, December 7, 2020.
Bob Self / Florida Times-Union

The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville Board of Directors has selected Interim Executive Director Diana Donovan to serve as the arts and culture organization’s leader going forward.

The International Flavors & Fragrances factory at 2051 Lane Ave. North.
Bob Self / The Florida Times-Union

After hiring a consultant to conduct tests, a local chemical company is suggesting that it’s not responsible for the foul odors that have been plaguing Murray Hill and surrounding neighborhoods, but residents who have experienced the smell are far from convinced.


In what was a heated meeting last night, the Jacksonville City Council approved a bill that would require each council member to submit, in writing, notification of whether they are accepting or rejecting any salary increases, much to the dismay of the original bill’s author, Republican Rory Diamond.

A patient is evacuated by boat from the St. Vincent's Medical Center after floodwaters from Hurricane Irma covered the first floor of the hospital in Jacksonville on Monday, Sept. 11, 2017.
John Raoux / Associated Press

If some state lawmakers have their way, local governments like Jacksonville could lose their ability to address climate change and its impacts independent of the Florida Legislature.

The home of the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.
Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

Opening day for the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp is getting pushed back a month due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A man paddles a kayak near a flooded home after storm surge from Hurricane Irma pushed water into the low lying area.
Chris O'Meara / Associated Press

The Jacksonville City Council’s Special Committee on Resiliency has unanimously approved its final report. The recommendations in that report will serve as the foundation for the work that will be undertaken by the city’s future Chief Resiliency Officer.

Camden County Georgia has launched a new tool to help residents understand the risks posed by flooding and sea level rise.

Outside of the Duval County Public Schools building
Sky Lebron / WJCT News

New research from the Jacksonville Public Education Fund shows that Duval County is doing well to retain teachers overall, but turnover is disproportionately affecting low-income students and students of color.

Flooding on Ken Knight Drive during Hurricane Irma in 2017.
Cherisse Lamb

During a meeting hosted by the North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, Jacksonville City Councilwoman Randy DeFoor gave a preview of some of the recommendations the Special Committee on Resiliency, which she chairs, is scheduled to vote on this week and said the city will need to spend billions of dollars to defend against the impacts of climate change.

Jacksonville City Hall
Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

The city of Jacksonville is considering hiring an Australian-based company to conduct a study that would help pinpoint the source of the foul odors that have been plaguing Murray Hill and neighboring communities.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry is working with a small group of business and community leaders to come up with quick ways to spur economic development Downtown.

Matt York / AP Photo

When Pete Wilking founded A1A Solar in Jacksonville in 2010, the rooftop solar industry was still in its infancy. Just three years later, the company was "very financially viable."

Photo of JEA's Downtown Jacksonville headquarters
Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

JEA is restructuring its leadership team and has named four of the people who will help lead the city-owned utility starting next month.

Flooding in Jacksonville during Hurricane Irma.
Robert Torbert

The city of Jacksonville plans to put on a series of public engagement workshops on sea level rise and coastal flooding.

Jacksonville Beach flooding is pictured on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016 after Hurricane Matthew passed through.
Charlie Riedel / Associated Press

Several prominent local organizations are praising the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s decision to support a market-based approach to accelerate fossil fuel emissions reduction to address climate change, which may give more momentum to calls for the oil and gas industry to pay a carbon tax.

A worker is silhouetted against the setting sun as he works on a power line in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in Florida on Sept. 12, 2017.
David Goldman / Associated Press

Richard Gentry, a lobbyist and former longtime general counsel of the Florida Home Builders Association, was unanimously approved with no debate Tuesday to represent the public in utility regulatory cases. 

This 2017 file photo shows a flooded San Marco street during Hurricane Irma.
Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

The city of Jacksonville has begun its search for a Chief Resiliency Officer, posting the position on its list of current job openings.

Hogans Creek
Groundwork Jacksonville

Groundwork Jacksonville has been awarded a $294,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for the preliminary design of the Hogans Creek restoration project, which is designed to reduce flooding, improve water quality, restore habitat and improve recreational opportunities in the area.

Bogey Creek Preserve
North Florida Land Trust

The North Florida Land Trust is expanding Bogey Creek Preserve by 12 acres.

JEA's downtown Jacksonville headquarters.
Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

A new report finds that Florida is one of the nation’s lowest-performing states when it comes to utility energy efficiency, echoing the findings of the previous year’s report.