Climate change could soon be a factor state agencies use when determining whether plants and animals are considered endangered or threatened. It also would ban agencies from considering economic factors when making those decisions.
Jeff Chanton sits inside his office at Florida State University's Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science building. He leans over his desk and clicks through a PowerPoint he made of Saint Vincent Island. It has pictures his wife Susan Cerulean took of the beach. One of the photographs is of a sea turtle nest. Chanton estimates it was taken around 2014. Erosion created a slope too steep for the mama turtle to climb. So she had to lay her eggs a couple feet from the water.
The eggs probably won't survive. However, it's not just erosion that's causing problems for sea turtles.
Another aspect of SB 1360 would ban the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission from considering the economic cost of protecting a species. It's a move that's won the support of Jenna Stevens with Environment Florida.