June 20, 1998 |
Wildfires that burned more than 8,000 acres of timberland west of Waldo in four days were weakened by rain and were contained beyond plowed firebreaks. President Clinton declared a major disaster and ordered aid to eight northern counties. Florida later received approval to include the rest of the state in the disaster declaration. Fires have burned 80 homes. There was one death, 14 injuries and about $13 million in losses.
August 3, 2001 |
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to prohibit boating in four counties and create seasonal manatee sanctuaries to protect the large, blubbery sea creatures. Under a proposal released Thursday, water activities would be suspended from April through September in two areas in Hillsborough County and one each in Pinellas and Citrus counties. Twelve other areas would be designated manatee refuges where boating could be banned or restricted. A hearing is scheduled for Sept. 13.
August 26, 2001
In the ninth shark attack off New Smyrna Beach in the last week, surfer Ben Gibbs was bitten on his left thigh and right foot. Gibbs, 18, was not seriously hurt. There have been at least 19 shark attacks off New Smyrna Beach this year, almost half those reported worldwide. The area, about 15 miles south of Daytona Beach on the Atlantic, is one of Florida's best surfing spots, and the water contains numerous small fish, drawing the sharks.
June 8, 1997 |
House Speaker Newt Gingrich visited southern Florida on Saturday, offering encouragement for anxious Nicaraguan immigrants as well as the struggling Everglades. During a stop in the steamy Everglades, Gingrich trumpeted the $210 million he helped push through Congress last year for Everglades land purchases. Calling it a good start, he said more funds may be needed to restore the "River of Grass." In the afternoon, Gingrich told Miami political leaders that he has asked Atty. Gen.
July 20, 2001 |
In the driveway outside his fish market, Dewey Destin hefted a 20-pound plastic tub of brown hopper shrimp pulled live that morning from the Gulf of Mexico and uttered a plain truth of this state's politics. "Floridians throw a tantrum if you dirty the beaches or muck up the water, and that's the end of that," said the 48-year-old fishmonger. "Touch those, and you're dead."
October 25, 1995 |
Alligators roaming the streets of suburbia, thousands of deer drowned in the Everglades, acres of flooded neighborhoods and miles of beachfront homes destroyed by hurricanes--and that is just a partial list of the problems Florida faces after being battered over the past three months by two hurricanes and rainfall of near-Biblical measure. Now, as skies begin to clear, there's a new concern: what to do with all the water that has turned the saturated Sunshine State into a balloon about to burst.
January 30, 1997 |
After six years of wrangling, Florida officials agreed to protect the fragile coral reefs in the Keys by limiting fishing and diving and keeping big ships miles away. Florida Gov. Lawton Chiles and his cabinet approved a plan barring fishing in 19 critical areas. The plan would also mandate the use of mooring buoys to let boats tie up for diving without causing anchor damage, and the use of channel markers to keep boats away from the coral and fragile sea grass.
July 13, 2001 |
The Senate embraced President Bush's scaled-down plan for oil and gas drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico by rejecting an amendment Thursday that would have blocked energy production off Florida's shores. Eighteen Democrats, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, joined all Republican senators to kill the proposed ban. Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer hailed the 67-33 vote as "a victory for all Americans who want to see environmentally responsible energy production." Sen.
July 3, 2001 |
The Bush administration announced plans Monday to move ahead with a scaled-down plan for oil and gas drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, heading off a political showdown between the president and his brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, but failing to end the political storm. The administration's Solomon-like plan to permit drilling within a 1.
October 20, 2000 |
The House on Tuesday approved the first phase of a $7.8-billion plan to restore the Florida Everglades, one of the nation's largest such environmental projects. More than half of the 300-mile-long Everglades ecosystem has been destroyed through decades of flood-control efforts that, while benefiting farms and new housing communities, disrupted the natural flow of water. The legislation, part of a larger water resources bill, authorizes the U.S.