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 fully lit Hanukkah menorah.
B.R. Guest Hospitality /

For the first time ever a giant six-foot menorah will be lit on the University of North Florida campus to celebrate Hanukkah and to “spread light” amidst an increase in anti-semitic acts like the recent mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

Lulu, who's up for adoption at this weekend's Mega Pet Adoption event at the Jacksonville Fairground.
Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

Hundreds of cats and dogs are up for adoption at the Jacksonville Fairground through 6 p.m. Saturday.

Village on Wiley,  a multifamily permanent supportive housing development owned by Ability Housing and financed by the Florida Housing Finance Corporation.
Ability Housing

The findings of a study in Jacksonville released Thursday show that affordable housing benefits not only those struggling with chronic homelessness and housing insecurity, but also the communities those people live in.

Museum of Contemporary Art in Downtown Jacksonville during Art Walk.
Michel Curi / Museum of Contemporary Art

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) is set to host two panel discussions highlighting the ways a changing environment may impact Jacksonville and Northeast Florida.


The JEA Board voted unanimously Tuesday afternoon to offer the CEO position to interim CEO Aaron Zahn.

Florida Senator Rob Bradley.
Rob Bradley

Several amendments placed on November’s midterm ballot by the Florida Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) tackled multiple unrelated issues. A Republican state Senator is trying to make sure that never happens again.

Monarch butterfly on swamp milkweed.
Jim Hudgins / USFWS Midwest Region

The recently published results of a 37-year study of monarch butterflies in north-central Florida shows the number of adult butterflies migrating to the Sunshine State and the number of eggs they’ve produced have declined by about 80 percent since 2005, but researchers say there’s a lot being done to help save the iconic orange and black insect.

Heather Hausenblas (left) and Timothy Burrows (right) from the Mayor's Council on Fitness and Wellbeing speaking at Humana's third annual Clinical Town Hall.
Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

The Mayor’s Council on Fitness and Wellbeing is partnering with organizations that promote exercise to try and improve the mental and physical health of Jacksonville residents.

Duval County vote-by-mail ballot.
Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

Florida’s military and overseas citizens vote-by-mail ballots are being accepted at Supervisors of Elections Offices across the state through Friday, but it’s unlikely they’ll change the outcome of any contested races currently under recount.

Duval County Supervisor of Elections staff man a high speed tabulator on Monday during the machine recount.
Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

Despite a couple of issues with tabulators at the Supervisor of Elections Office in Duval County this week, Elections Supervisor Mike Hogan said he expects to wrap up the machine recount well before Thursday’s 3 p.m. deadline.

Duval County vote-by-mail ballot.
Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

Several Florida counties were still counting provisional ballots Friday afternoon as three statewide races were within the margin triggering an automatic retabulation, and voters across the state are concerned their ballots might not get counted before a deadline of noon Saturday for counties to submit their election results to Secretary of State Ken Detzner, after which he will likely order recounts in tight races.

Democratic Senator Bill Nelson.
Shawn P. Eklund / U.S. Navy

Senator Bill Nelson’s campaign and the Democratic Executive Committee of Florida have filed a lawsuit against the state’s Secretary of State, Ken Detzner, challenging the rejection of vote-by-mail and provisional ballots based on voter signatures.

Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

Jacksonville native Wyman Duggan has won the race to become District 15’s next State Representative.

Duggan, the Republican candidate, came out on top with 51 percent of the vote. His Democratic opponent, Tracye Polson, got 49 percent with all precincts reporting.


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

Voters in Jacksonville have sent a clear message to the City Council - they want a say in any potential future sale of more than 10 percent of the public utility company JEA.

Weston Funcheon (left) and Jake Capistran (right) of NextGen Florida tabling at UNF on Monday.
Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

Republicans, Democrats and their allies are making their final pitches to potential voters, with the polls open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Pet therapist Susan Smalling (left), Mandy Rhoden (center) and Rosie Rhoden (right) play with Molly Mae, a therapy dog.
Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

Several local foster children found their forever homes during a special Halloween event at the Duval County Courthouse Wednesday, just in time to go trick-or-treating with their new adoptive families.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry.
Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry says he’s ready to invest in a new approach to addressing violence.

Future Farmers of America picking tomatoes in Palmetto, Florida.
State Library and Archives of Florida / Wikimedia Commons

A new report shows that people who work outdoors in all 67 Florida counties frequently work in dangerously hot conditions as climate change leads to hotter days and more of them.

Ballot tabulator at the Duval County Supervisor of Elections Office.
Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

Early voting has been underway in Duval County for more than a week now, and the numbers show that voters are more interested this year than in past midterm elections, but many are unfamiliar with the process.

Val Vigoda performing.

The musical Striking 12 will be performed for the first time ever in Florida at Episcopal School of Jacksonville and one of the writers/composers has flown down from Seattle to work with theater students ahead of their November performances.

Officials break ground at Village at Hyde Park in Jacksonville's Westside.
Ability Housing

A new multifamily housing development in the works will make 80 affordable apartment homes available to the homeless, disabled and low income people in Jacksonville’s Westside.

Joe Peppers
Jennifer Blalock / Kids Hope Alliance

The City of Jacksonville’s Kids Hope Alliance is hoping to stem the tide of youth violence in Duval County with its new $364,000 Stop the Violence Neighborhood Intervention and Prevention Mini Grants Program.

A new Quinnipiac Poll shows Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum with a six point lead over his Republican counterpart, former U.S. Representative Ron DeSantis, in the increasingly tight race to become Florida’s next governor.

Democratic Senator Bill Nelson (left) and Republican Florida Governor Rick Scott (right).

A new poll from Quinnipiac University shows Democratic incumbent Senator Bill Nelson with a six point lead over his Republican challenger, Florida Governor Rick Scott, but a prominent University of North Florida pollster says that result is skewed because the poll’s sample of likely voters has too many self identified independents and non-party affiliated voters.

BestBet Jacksonville.

When Florida voters head to the polls next month they’ll be faced with a slew of amendments, and two of them, three and 13, could determine the fate of gambling and greyhound racing in the state.

BestBet Jacksonville has come out in opposition to both of those amendments, but the League of Women Voters of Florida is urging voters to say yes.

9th grader Dionte Hill, 14, driving Wolfson High School's new Apex Virtual Vehicle.
Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

October 21 - 27 is National Teen Driver Safety Week and in recognition Coker Law has partnered with Samuel W. Wolfson High School and Apex Resource Center to provide the school with a driving simulator, known as the Apex Virtual Vehicle.

Cummer Museum of Arts & Gardens.

Adam M. Levine, Ph.D. will become the next leader of the Cummer Museum of Arts & Gardens.

Shahid Khan.
Jacksonville Jaguars

Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan is withdrawing his offer to buy Wembley Stadium in London.

Jamie Shelton (left), Chairman of this year's TaxSlayer Gator Bowl, greets Country music star Cole Swindell at TIAA Bank Field.
Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

Platinum-selling country artist Cole Swindell will perform a free postgame concert following the 2018 Gator Bowl, which is scheduled to kickoff at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 31.

Brenda Priestly Jackson and Terrance Freeman.
Brenda Priestly Jackson's Facebook page and the Florida Times-Union

Brenda Priestly Jackson has filed to run for City Council District 10, shortly after asking a judge to reconsider the dismissal of her lawsuit challenging current District 10 Councilman Terrance Freeman’s appointment by Governor Rick Scott.