Climate Change

Jacksonville City Councilman Matt Carlucci
Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

Jacksonville City Councilman Matt Carlucci announced Thursday that he will be running for mayor in 2023 and he tells WJCT News that addressing climate change and sea level rise would be a priority for his administration.

Florida Senate May Consider Permanent Post To Address Climate Change

Jan 12, 2021

An effort is back in the Senate to permanently set up a statewide office to consider climate change impacts, as environmentalists wait for a new chief resiliency officer to be appointed.

Sen. Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, filed a proposal Friday to establish an Office of Resiliency, a priority of Gov. Ron DeSantis. The Office of Resiliency would be part of DeSantis’ office.

Rodrigues’ proposal (SB 514) would also set up a nine-member Sea-Level Rise Task Force to establish baseline projections on anticipated sea-level rise and flooding impacts along Florida’s coastlines.

After 1st One Left, Will DeSantis Hire Another Florida Climate Change Leader?

Dec 18, 2020
The view looking northwest along Redington Beach.
Dirk Shadd / Tampa Bay Times

For almost seven months, Florida had a dedicated leader on climate change. Then she left for another job.

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.

Red tide, that scourge of beachgoers and waterfront residents, is back.

Low levels of the toxin karenia brevis have been found off the coasts of Sarasota and Pinellas counties, primarly near Venice and South Venice. It's not known at this time whether the low amounts will eventually result in fish kills and foul-smelling breezes.

Robert Weisberg is an oceanographer at the University of South Florida's College of Marine Science in St. Petersburg. He says 2020 has been a "strange year" for the phenomenon.

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.

Gold LEED plaque at the Hillsboro Civic Center.
M.O. Stevens / Wikimedia Commons

A new report shows energy efficiency jobs were growing locally and nationwide when the coronavirus pandemic hit, before declining during the ensuing economic crisis, but the industry is struggling to recover as quickly as the rest of the economy.

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.

Voters line up on Oct. 19 to cast their ballots at the San Marco Branch of the Jacksonville Public Library.

A new poll finds that a majority of Floridians believe climate action should be a priority for the president, and most trust Joe Biden to better handle climate change than Donald Trump.

Environmental law likely won't get the same attention as abortion or health care at next week's Senate hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. But her confirmation, tilting the already-conservative court even further to the right, could have a major impact on the government's ability to address climate change.

Downtown Jacksonville
Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy released its 2020 Clean Energy Scorecard for 100 U.S. cities Thursday, ranking Jacksonville toward the bottom, at No. 74.

Jacksonville's Downtown skyline
Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News file photo

While a haze of pollution can be seen every once and a while in Jacksonville, a new study finds that the city has made significant progress in cleaning up its air.

Senate President Bill Galvano defended controversial toll-road plans he’s pushed for nearly two years, after task forces released draft reports Tuesday indicating they were unable to determine if there is a need for the projects.

Critics hope the draft reports are a sign the brakes will be put on the three projects, which would stretch from Collier County in Southwest Florida to Jefferson County near the Georgia border.

The "Advancing the Quality and Understanding of American Aquaculture", or AQUAA Act, would clear the way for the Department of Commerce to regulate newly created aquaculture opportunity areas.

Florida International University researchers say nutrient-laden water caused by human activity is making it harder for corals to fight off infections and climate change.

A recent study by FIU says corals living in high concentrations of these nutrients are having a harder time dealing with the normal wear and tear of reef life because their immune systems are weakened. The findings were published in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science.

Climate Change Inspires Roseate Spoonbills to Relocate

Sep 28, 2020

The Roseate Spoonbill is a beautiful pink bird that, at a distance, can sometimes be mistaken for a flamingo. While spoonbills traditionally call Southwest Florida home, they’ve never been known to leave the tropical and subtropical climate zone north and south of the Equator. So why are they nesting as far north as Arkansas and Georgia—and wandering even further north in Minnesota and Maine—and Québec?

Wetland Preserve
North Florida Land Trust

The Jacksonville City Council’s Special Committee on Resiliency is weighing the costs and benefits of pursuing nature-based solutions as members explore how best to defend the city against flooding, sea level rise, and other effects of climate change.

Miami Dade County Chief Resiliency Officer James Murley.
The University of Miami

Miami Dade County’s Chief Resilience Officer says the best thing Jacksonville can do as it starts trying to deal with climate change is to appoint someone who will spearhead the city’s efforts.

Blue green algae in the St. Johns River.
Edie Widder / St. Johns Riverkeeper

A new study finds that Florida has spent close to $20 million trying to deal with algae blooms over the past 10 years.

Florida National Guard soldiers going door to door in the Jacksonville area around Ortega Island following Hurricane Irma, Sept. 11, 2017.
The National Guard

The Democratic candidate for Florida House District 16, a seat currently held by Republican Jason Fischer, says Jacksonville needs to invest more in its infrastructure to prepare for future sea level rise, and it needs funding from the state to do so.

A Facebook logo
Thibault Camus / Associated Press

Facebook is apologizing for mistakenly taking down the page of a local climate advocacy organization.

An iPhone displays a Facebook page.
Jenny Kane / Associated Press

Update on August 21, 2020: Facebook has since apologized for taking down the Jacksonville chapter's page.  Original story below:

The Facebook pages of several local chapters of a national climate change advocacy nonprofit, including Jacksonville’s, have been suspended with no warning or explanation.

Flooding in downtown Jacksonville from Hurricane Irma.
Bob Self / The Florida Times-Union

This month is Jacksonville Climate Month, which state and local advocacy organizations are using to raise awareness around issues related to climate change and sea level rise in Northeast Florida.

Aerial shot of cargo ship approaching JAXPORT

The Jacksonville City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved $75 million in funding for the ongoing St. Johns River dredging project.

A Florida black bear
Kelly O'Connor / North Florida Land Trust

The North Florida Land Trust (NFLT) is getting a $450,000 grant from the Houston-based EJK Foundation to support efforts in the Ocala to Osceola Wildlife Corridor.

Electric power transmission lines
Penn State

A nonprofit advocacy organization is calling on state utility regulators to solicit public input before rewriting Florida’s energy efficiency rules.

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

A Florida House candidate from Northwest Jacksonville is calling on local environmental activists to highlight issues in her community.

Warming Brings Muggier Weather to Jacksonville, Threatening Most Vulnerable

Jul 8, 2020
An airman assigned to the 557th Expeditionary RED HORSE drinks water while working on a construction site.
Senior Airman Damon Kasberg / U.S. Air Force

Diallo-Sekou Seabrooks was working a job as a concrete finisher last summer when he started feeling dizzy and lay down in the bed of a truck before heading home. The next day, the same thing happened.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
Gov. Ron DeSantis Transition Team

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed a bill that would require state-financed coastal developments to account for sea level rise and storm surge.

Rep. John Rutherford, R-Fla., speaks during a House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 28, 2020.
Anna Moneymaker / The New York Times via AP, Pool

Local advocates recently met with Jacksonville Representative John Rutherford to talk about climate change and a national carbon pricing bill.