A long history of damage to Florida's 360-mile-long Florida Reef Tract has weakened it as a barrier to storms.
Water & Oceans
"U.S. regulators on Wednesday postponed until 2020 new limits on toxic metals and other pollutants in the wastewater of coal-fired power plants, a delay welcomed by industry groups that had sought it but decried by environmental groups."
"Hurricane Harvey's floodwaters triggered a spill of almost a half-million gallons of gasoline from two storage tanks along the Houston Ship Channel, marking the largest spill reported to date from a storm that slammed into the heart of Texas' huge petrochemical industry."
"JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Hurricane Irma's devastating storm surge came with weird twists that scientists attribute to the storm's girth, path and some geographic quirks."
"Floodwaters in two Houston neighborhoods have been contaminated with bacteria and toxins that can make people sick, testing organized by The New York Times has found. Residents will need to take precautions to return safely to their homes, public health experts said."
"MIAMI -- Dozens of personnel from the Environmental Protection Agency worked to secure some of the nation's most contaminated toxic waste sites as Hurricane Irma bore down on Florida. The agency said its employees evacuated personnel, secured equipment and safeguarded hazardous materials in anticipation of storm surges and heavy rains."
"Houston’s sprawling network of petrochemical plants and refineries released millions of pounds of pollutants in the days after Hurricane Harvey began barreling toward Texas."
"Hurricane Irma dropped to a Category 1 storm early Monday after it tore through southwest Florida and left more than 4 million customers without power."
"Officials in Florida’s Palm Beach County announced a mandatory evacuation for communities south of Lake Okeechobee in an 'overabundance of caution' ahead of Hurricane Irma."
"Between 1773 and 1775, George Gauld, a surveyor with the British Admiralty, immortalized the coast of the Florida Keys in ink. ... Gauld also took note of the corals he saw. And in doing so he created the oldest known records of Florida reefs. A stark picture of shrinking coral emerged: Half of the reefs recorded in the 1770s are missing from the satellite data."