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 six 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 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.

In this March 16, 2020, file photo, Neal Browning receives a shot in the first-stage safety study of a potential vaccine for COVID-19 at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

A healthcare company with its state headquarters in Jacksonville Beach is hoping to start helping administer COVID-19 vaccines by the end of March.

Cars lined up for COVID-19 testing.
Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press

The seven-day average of new coronavirus cases is currently the highest it has ever been in both the state of Florida and Duval County.

University of North Florida sign
UNF Admissions Facebook page

The University of North Florida is planning to offer an Africana Studies program as part of its effort to meet the rising demand for courses and majors that focus on race.

Registered nurse Cynthia Banada holds a vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Miami Jewish Health, a senior healthcare facility, Monday, Dec. 28, 2020, in Miami.
Lynne Sladky / Associated Press

The city of Jacksonville is asking for patience as the hotline to set an appointment for COVID-19 vaccinations in Duval County has been frustrating callers since it went live at 8 a.m. on Wednesday.

In this Jan. 8, 2019 file photo, former felon Desmond Meade and president of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, left, fills out a voter registration form as his wife Sheena looks on at the Supervisor of Elections office in Orlando, Fla.
John Raoux / Associated Press

Ahead of the holidays, a Florida nonprofit has paid $327,000 to clear the fines and fees of 181 ex-felons in 17 counties throughout the state.

Blue Jay Listening Room
Blue Jay Listening Room

After months of struggling to make ends meet, the owner of the Blue Jay Listening Room in Jacksonville Beach is starting to feel hopeful as a GoFundMe page launched to keep the business alive nears its $30,000 goal and Congress agrees on a stimulus package that includes $15 billion to support independent music venues like hers. 

Regency Mall coronavirus testing site
Nomi Health

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Jacksonville and across the state of Florida, residents are being encouraged to take advantage of free testing, especially before exposing themselves to family or friends outside their household. 

Wetland Preserve
North Florida Land Trust

The Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday it is handing over at least some of its oversight of Florida’s wetlands to the state.

Downtown Jacksonville
Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

People who live or work in Downtown Jacksonville are being asked to take a survey on what the experience is like.

COVID-19 vaccine arrives at Naval Hospital Jacksonville on Dec. 15.
Yan Kennon / Naval Hospital Jacksonville

Naval Hospital Jacksonville has received an initial supply of COVID-19 vaccines.

Mayor Lenny Curry adjusting his mask, someone to his left staring at him, signs in the background, courthouse also in the background.
Sky Lebron / WJCT News

In a letter sent Thursday, Resilient Jax simultaneously thanked Mayor Lenny Curry for supporting the hiring of a chief resilience officer and criticized him for opposing the establishment of a resiliency division within the city’s Planning and Development Department.

Welaka Forest
North Florida Land Trust

A 716 acre conservation easement in Putnam County has been donated to the North Florida Land Trust, the largest conservation easement donation the nonprofit has received within the Ocala to Osceola Wildlife Corridor.

This rendering illustrates a portion of the proposed Lot J Live! entertainment complex.
Jacksonville Jaguars / Via Jacksonville Daily Record

Jacksonville City Council President Tommy Hazouri has decided to temporarily stall Jaguars owner Shad Khan’s proposed $457 million Lot J development, despite pressure from the developer and Mayor Lenny Curry’s administration.

That comes after the city’s Downtown Investment Authority voted unanimously on Wednesday night to recommend that the City Council approve the deal — which includes more than $230 million in city investments — with some changes.

Lot J rendering
The Cordish Companies / Via Jacksonville Jaguars

The DIA board voted Wednesday night to recommend that the City Council approve Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan’s proposed Lot J development with some recommended changes to the deal. The developer also agreed to some concessions." class="wysiwyg-break drupal-content" src="/sites/all/modules/contrib/wysiwyg/plugins/break/images/spacer.gif" title="<--break-->">

This rendering illustrates a portion of the proposed Lot J Live! entertainment complex.
Jacksonville Jaguars / Via Jacksonville Daily Record

Jacksonville’s Downtown Investment Authority has released its final staff report on Jaguars owner Shad Khan’s proposed $450 Lot J development project, which recommends approval with certain conditions.

Flooding in San Marco.
Sherry Krol

During Monday’s meeting, members of Resilient Jax discussed how to grow the organization in the coming year to better help Jacksonville prepare for the effects of climate change.

City Council President Tommy Hazouri
Bob Self / Florida Times-Union file photo

After a tense meeting Thursday night, Jacksonville City Council President Tommy Hazouri is coming under fire from some of his fellow councilmembers.

Jacksonville City Council President Tommy Hazouri
City Council President Tommy Hazouri's Facebook Page

Jacksonville City Council President Tommy Hazouri is blaming the administration of Mayor Lenny Curry for the setbacks and confusion that have surrounded Jaguars owner Shad Khan’s proposed $450 million Lot J project.

A closed sign hangs in the door as a maintenance worker passes by.
Matt York / Associated Press

The Northeast Florida Regional Council (NEFRC) recently established the Northeast Florida Economic Resilience Taskforce, which aims to help the region recover from the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

Bogey Creek Preserve
North Florida Land Trust

The North Florida Land Trust (NFLT) has expanded the Bogey Creek Preserve in North Jacksonville by 12 acres thanks to an anonymous donor.

James Brown performing in the Musikhalle of Hamburg, in February 1973.
Heinrich Klaffs / Wikimedia Commons

Editor's Note: The lecture referenced in this story has been rescheduled for Saturday, Dec. 19 at 8 p.m. Reairings are scheduled at midnight and 6 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 20.

A Flagler College Professor will deliver a lecture called “From Civil Rights to Black Power In Rock” from his Rock and Roll History class on C-SPAN this month.

Jacksonville City Council President Scott Wilson

Jacksonville City Council committee meetings have been canceled through next week due to Councilman Scott Wilson’s COVID-19 diagnosis, and that means the timeline considering Jaguars owner Shad Khan’s proposed Lot J project has been pushed back.

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

With more than a month-and-a-half left in 2020, Jacksonville has already seen more rainfall than the yearly average and new research suggests that all of Florida will likely see even more rain, particularly during the late summer, as the climate continues to change.

A Phlebotomist draws blood from a patient for COVID-19 antibody testing.
David J. Phillip / Associated Press

A medical company near Orlando is offering up to 5,000 COVID-19 antibody test kits to nonprofits in the Jacksonville area.


A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Clay and Putnam counties  due to Tropical Storm Eta. The storm is expected to affect the First Coast as a depression beginning overnight on Thursday, with the worst effects expected in Jacksonville around sunrise on Thursday.

Conditions are expected to rapidly improve by Thursday afternoon across most areas of the state.

Egans Creek Greenway
Fernandina Beach

 The city of Fernandina Beach has bought three acres of land for conservation on Amelia Island.

Murray Hill mural
Murray Hill Preservation Society

The Jacksonville Environmental Quality Division (EQD) is investigating a chemical smell in Murray Hill, which in some cases is manifesting in a visible plume that makes it difficult to breathe and stings the skin. Some residents have said this issue has persisted for years.

Rendering of the proposed redevelopment of Lot J and the nearby area.
City of Jacksonville / Via Jacksonville Daily Record

Jacksonville City Councilman Matt Carlucci is calling for an independent external review of the $450 million Lot J project proposed by Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan.

The Jacksonville Community Action Committee protesting outside of City Hall.
Jacksonville Community Action Committee

Organizers of a protest planned for outside of Jacksonville City Hall Wednesday evening are calling for more police oversight.

Andrew Harnik
Associated Press

Joe Biden is the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Duval County since Jimmy Carter in 1976, but the former vice president’s success didn’t translate down the ballot.