Story Ideas

Florida is Still a Leader in Air Quality

May is Clean Air Month — a designation especially important to Floridians, since we live in a state that is among the cleanest in the nation according to the 2012 State of the Air report conducted by the American Lung Association. The report was compiled from data taken to determine ground-level ozone and particulate matter concentration levels for a three-year testing period – 2008 through 2010. The national ambient air quality standard for ozone is 0.075 parts per million over an eight-hour period…more

 It’s Time to Hit the Beaches

Although summer may not officially have started, summertime weather is definitely here. Floridians will be flocking to area beaches to swim, surf, fish and soak up the warmth. But they’re not the only ones.

According to Visit Florida, more than 75 million visitors come to Florida annually. And with more than 800 miles of sandy beaches – more than any other state in the contiguous U.S. – it’s pretty safe to agree that many out-of-state guests come here just for that reason…more

 Expanding Florida’s Vertical Network

DunellonSince the early 1970s, DEP’s Division of State Lands’ Bureau of Survey and Mapping has worked under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Commerce, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Ocean Survey and the National Geodetic Survey to establish vertical control benchmarks. These benchmarks are physical monuments used for comparing water or ground levels at different locations and preventing distorted data that could result in erroneous water management decisions…more

Easy Actions for Beach Lovers

Tuesday marked the first day of spring. While in some states, that might have residents anticipating the end of a snowy winter, in Florida it often represents the beginning of beach weather.

Florida’s 825 miles of sandy beaches attract millions of beach lovers each year. Some folks love to be a part of the crowds at the most popular beaches, while others prefer a more secluded seaside for yoga stretches or romantic strolls, or one where the mullet run and the red drum roll…more

Hillsborough River State Park

More than 3,300 acres of beautiful uplands, multiple biking and hiking trails; a full-facility, primitive and youth campgrounds; ample canoeing and kayaking opportunities and a newly renovated half-acre swimming pool. That, and much, much, more is what await visitors who wish to spend some quality time outdoors in central Florida…more

More Than a River … Wekiva River-Middle St. Johns Aquatic Preserve

Wekiva RiverDid you know that when you step into the cool waters at Wekiwa Springs State Park, or when you paddle your canoe across the water’s surface along the Wekiva River, you’re moving through an aquatic preserve?

Nearly half a century ago, when it became apparent that the beautiful and natural ecosystems that attracted so many people to Florida could not support rapid growth without science-based resource protection, the Florida Legislature designated 41 aquatic preserves, encompassing nearly 2 million acres of submerged lands….more

Rolling in the Sunshine State

trafficEver wonder how many vehicles you pass on the way to work? Or how many tires are rolling across Florida right now? And what becomes of those gazillion tires when they go bald or flat?

As it turns out, DEP keeps track of that sort of thing. An estimated 15,250,000 automobile, light truck and smaller tires, plus 850,000 medium truck and larger tires were removed from vehicles…more

Florida’s Mangroves

Native plants are native for a reason. Not just because they can adapt to the various elements that they are exposed to, but because the role they play in the environment enables other plants and animals to survive and thrive.

Florida’s mangroves are one of these important native species. Without them, who knows how Florida would be defined. Mangroves are a key stabilization force for our shorelines. They serve as storm buffers, protect water quality by filtering the water, and provide roosting and nest sites for birds and nursery grounds for a variety of vertebrates and invertebrates…more


What happens when a dry cleaner, pesticide plant or industrial waste site abandons its location? Is the property deemed unusable and barricaded from the public forever? Thanks to the Florida brownfields program, which was created to encourage cleanup and redevelopment of these properties, that answer can be “no.”

Brownfields are sites that are abandoned or underutilized because of known or perceived contamination. Reusing brownfield sites makes a lot of economic sense because the properties typically already have access to important infrastructure like utilities and transportation…more

The Lure of Lighthouses Lives On

Lighthouse at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State ParkWhat do the Cape Florida Lighthouse, the Chicago Harbor Lighthouse, Maine’s Marshall Point Lighthouse and Massachusetts’ Gay Head Lighthouse all have in common? They were each prominent features in a popular Hollywood movie: Cape Florida – “Heartbreakers,” Chicago Harbor – “Meet the Parents,” Marshall Point – “Forest Gump,” and, who could forget the Gay Head Lighthouse featured in “Jaws?”

There is a certain mystique about lighthouses and to celebrate their important role in history, August 7 is recognized as National Lighthouse Day. In Florida, 32 lighthouses remain along the state’s coastline and four of these historic lighthouses can be found in a Florida State Park…more

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