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Going green

  1. Creepy! Spiders could theoretically eat every human on Earth in one year


    Spiders are quite literally all around us. A recent entomological survey of North Carolina homes turned up spiders in 100 percent of them, including 68 percent of bathrooms and more than three-quarters of bedrooms. There's a good chance at least one spider is staring at you right now, sizing you up from a darkened …

    The total biomass of all adult humans on Earth is estimated to be 287 million tons. Even if you tack on another 70 million-ish tons to account for the weight of kids, it's still not equal to the total amount of food eaten by spiders in a given year, exceeding the total weight of humanity. In other words, spiders could eat all of us and still be hungry. [Times]
  2. Florida surfer okay after shark bites foot


    NEW SMYRNA BEACH — Beach patrol officials say a shark bit the foot of a surfer along Florida's Atlantic coastline.

  3. Florida panther kittens found north of Caloosahatchee River for first time in decades


    Last year, state wildlife biologists said that they had spotted what they believed to be a female panther north of the Caloosahatchee River for the first time since 1973, a promising sign for the future of an endangered species that has been cooped up in the state's southwestern region for decades.

    Trail cameras show a kitten following its mother, who had passed by seconds earlier on March 18.  
  4. Slow progress frustrates those looking to protect Weeki Wachee River



    Nearly a year ago, lovers of the Weeki Wachee River — concerned that it was overcrowded with kayaks, muddied by public use, sanded over by drifting sediment and clouded by nutrient-fed algae — mobilized like never before.

    A steady stream of kayaks passes by the shoreline at Rogers Park on the Weeki Wachee River on March 4.
  5. Watch as a trapper struggles to pull an alligator from a storm drain in Oldsmar


    OLDSMAR — A Tampa Bay gator found itself down in the gutters or, well, the storm drain, in a residential neighborhood, according to a video posted to Facebook on Monday.

    A trapper tugs a 9-foot alligator out of a storm drain Monday in Oldsmar. [Courtesy of John Ruel]
  6. You deserve a break. Take a minute and watch these dolphins frolic in a boat wake off Captiva


    Watch this playful pod of dolphins leap and swim along in the wake of a boat off Captiva.

    In this image from Sun-Sentinel video, a dolphin leaps from the water in the wake of a boat off Captiva.
  7. Florida anticipates end to screwworm infestation in Keys


    MIAMI BEACH — Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said Thursday that the state anticipates winning its fight against flesh-eating maggots threatening endangered deer in the Florida Keys.

    In this February 2013 file photo, a Key deer forages for food in the National Key Deer Refuge in the Florida Keys.  New World screwworm can eat livestock and pets alive, and once cost the U.S. livestock industry millions every year. There hadn't been a U.S. infestation in over 30 years, until agriculture officials confirmed in September that screwworm was killing the dog-sized Key deer whose range is limited to a  wildlife refuge.   [Associated Press
  8. Panther cub found dead in Immokalee of apparent vehicle strike


    IMMOKALEE — Authorities say a Florida panther has been found dead from an apparent vehicle strike in southwest Florida.

  9. Environmental groups sue federal agencies over effects of phosphate mining


    Four environmental groups filed suit Wednesday against the Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for authorizing 50,000 acres of phosphate mining in central Florida that the groups said violates the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.

    An aerial of a massive sinkhole that earlier this month opened up underneath a gypsum stack at a Mosaic phosphate fertilizer plant in Mulberry dumped at least 215 million gallons of contaminated water into the Floridan aquifer in August. Concerns about that sinkhole, in part, promoted environmental groups to sue federal agencies in federal court over the effects of phosphate mining. [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]
  10. Public can learn more at 6 tonight about state order forcing St. Petersburg to fix its sewage problem


    ST. PETERSBURG — The city is repairing its sewer system after last year's hurricanes overwhelmed the antiquated system and caused tens of millions of gallons of sewage to flow into streets, waterways and especially the Tampa Bay.

    Signs posted at St. Petersburg's North Shore Park in September warned people to stay out of the water due to contamination from sewage released by the city's sewer system after it was overwhelmed by Hurricane Hermine.
The public can learn more about a state consent order directing the city to address the problem at a meeting set to be held Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at the Azalea Recreation Center, 1600 72nd St. N. City Council members are scheduled to attend. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]