Many thanks to Losing Florida contributors, who are students at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida.
McKenna Moonan – She did a series of interviews with members of the Florida Public Archaeology Network. They told her that unrestrained development threatens hundreds and perhaps thousands of important cultural and historic sites in Florida. McKenna also wrote about The Villages, the fastest growing metropolitan area in the U.S. from 2010 to 2020, and the influx of new residents from such states as New York.
Olivia Garvey – She traveled to Putnam County to listen to a debate over a proposed sewage sludge site. Leading the fight against the site is the Environmental Coalition of Putnam County, also known as Don’t Poop on Putnam.
Jake Van Clief – He ventured into unincorporated Flagler Estates, where he interviewed Phil Groh, who lives on three acres of forest land in an effort to get away from traditional suburban development. Jake also reported on waste water treatment, the feral cat population and a Florida cook who lives on his boat. See his site.
Maiya Mahoney and Brooke Rhonemus – Maiya and Brooke wrote about The Local Refillery, a St. Augustine shop aimed at promoting waste-free shopping. Maiya also profiled T.H. Culhane, a university professor who turned a 40-foot recreational vehicle into a model for sustainable living.
Julia Corrie and Matthew Dutton – They interviewed Wayne E. Flowers, vice chair of the Land Acquisition and Management Program Conservation Board. He described efforts to preserve some natural open spaces while allowing “smart” development. They also spoke to Jim McCarthy, president of the North Florida Land Trust. He explained that rapid growth threatens to make Florida a less attractive destination: “There are people moving here who are going to need houses, schools and office buildings. At the same time, we need to provide for them. The reason they’re coming endangers why they love living here.”
Madison Sloan – She wrote about controversy surrounding South Florida officials’ decision to allow hundreds of boats to cruise through sensitive manatee habitat in Biscayne Bay.
Elysse DaVega – She reported on the environmental impact of such big-box stores as Costco.
Mattison Hansen – She interviewed experts about the impact of tourism in Florida and produced podcasts about the issue. See her portfolio.
Kendall Broglio – She examined legislative proposals aimed at protecting Florida’s environment and discovered that some – like the Safe Waterways Act – were watered down before being passed. Her reporting found that state law favors developers and makes it difficult for local government to challenge housing and commercial developments. Kendall also wrote about a mobility plan in St. Augustine that envisions an aerial tram, micro transporters and low-speed bicycle boulevards.
Elisabeth Shirley – She wrote about an event called CleanSweep STA, a beach clean-up event in St. Johns County. Elisabeth also reported on rising rents in Florida.