Jessica Meszaros

Jessica Meszaros is a reporter and host of Morning Edition at WUSF Public Media.

She’s been a voice on public radio stations across Florida since 2012 - in Miami, Fort Myers, and now Tampa.

Jessica’s writing, reporting, and hosting has been recognized by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA), the Florida Associated Press Broadcasters, the national Public Radio News Directors Inc. and the Society of Professional Journalists.

In June 2018, she was named the recipient of RTDNA’s N.S. Bienstock Fellowship for promising minority journalists in radio. Jessica graduated from Florida International University in Miami, earning a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from FIU's Honors College.

Contact Jessica at 813-974-8635, on Twitter @JMMeszaros or by email at jmmeszaros@wusf.org.

David “Kip” Ritchey, 31, and Angelique Taylor, 27, are standing in their one-acre farm off of a busy highway just outside of Tallahassee. Their muddied rubber boots are surrounded by rows of budding mustard greens, collard greens and kale.

“There's a lot going on in our space, Ritchey said. "There's an open field of cover crops, a mixture of hairy veg, of rye grass, also oats.”

Scientists recently went on their annual excursion to the "dead zone" in the northern Gulf of Mexico, only to find that tropical weather disrupted the data.

Environment Florida Research and Policy Center compiled data from the state and found that last year, 187 of 261 beaches tested had enough pollution to put swimmers at risk of getting sick on at least one day during the year.

The rate of manatee deaths is above average in Florida so far this year, although there is a gap in state data between April and May due to coronavirus restrictions.

Activists are suing Gov. Ron DeSantis for signing a measure into law that prevents local governments from protecting the environment.

Federal scientists are predicting that this summer’s “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico will be larger than average.

A group of young people from Florida had their lawsuit against the state over climate change dismissed by a circuit judge in Leon County on Monday, and the kids plan to appeal.

For the first time in four years, “ultra-rare” metallic blue bees have been spotted in Central Florida.

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa will reopen on Thursday, after being closed for about two months due to the coronavirus.

Social distancing restrictions from coronavirus have actually led to a rare community effort: the tracking of an endangered species after a north Atlantic right whale mother and calf journeyed into the Gulf of Mexico.

The coronavirus pandemic is affecting Florida farmers differently, depending on which market to whom local growers are selling.

The University of Florida Health Shands Hospital and the state are running a new COVID-19 testing site that could determine how prevalent the disease is among asymptomatic people.

North Atlantic right whales – already the most endangered large whale species in the world – are becoming even more at risk as rising sea temperatures make it harder to find food or safe waters.

Florida's red tide task force has finalized its recommendations for solutions to the toxic algae blooms and plans to deliver them to lawmakers later this week. 

A fungus has taken over some strawberry fields in Florida. One grower lost as many as 80 acres in Manatee County.

The red tide blooms, which began to surface off Florida's west coast around October 2019, seem to have cleared out for now. They caused respiratory irritations for people, and fishkills along the Gulf of Mexico. Health News Florida's Jessica Meszaros spoke with Kate Hubbard, a researcher with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute

Florida's task force to combat red tide plans to finalize some ideas for the state legislature soon. 

Researchers with the Nature Conservancy, Risk Management Solutions and UC Santa Cruz looked at how mangroves helped protect some Florida counties from damage during Hurricane Irma in 2017. The recent study found that mangroves reduce flood damages to properties by 25 percent.

The holidays provide extra time for fishing along the Gulf coast, but some popular species are not for keeps due to red tide.

Toxic red tide algae is starting to bloom along Florida’s west coast again. State wildlife officials say elevated levels have been detected recently from Pinellas to Collier counties, and people in Sarasota County have also been experiencing respiratory irritations.

Now, new research is looking into longterm health effects of the toxins, including neurological issues.

A recent study by the University of Florida may help prevent the spread of a disease that's damaging tomatoes globally.

A state task force to help determine strategies for researching and mitigating harmful algae blooms met Thursday in St. Petersburg. It’s the first time the group has met since Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the initiative in November.

Two pilot whales that beached themselves on Redington Beach Monday were released back into the Gulf of Mexico Thursday.

Congress recently approved $6.25 million to study how red tide algae blooms affect people's health. Multiple facilities in Sarasota will work together on the research.

Manatee County commissioners are tasked again with deciding what to do with a Confederate monument that used to stand in front of the county courthouse.

Some Florida citrus growers are finally starting to see an increase of orange production. Those who managed to stick around as the greening disease ravaged their groves have been experimenting with different variations of trees, expensive chemicals and fertilizers. 

Researchers say invasive Burmese pythons are threatening wading bird nests in the Florida Everglades. 

Members of Congress want the Gulf of Mexico Bryde’s whale to be federally protected under the Endangered Species Act.

State wildlife officials are drafting a rule to protect Florida’s native songbirds from illegal trapping. Officers are seeing an increase in bird trafficking for the pet industry.

After 31 years with the Southwest Florida Water Management District, Brandt Henningsen has retired as Chief Advisory Environmental Scientist.
 
 

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