A roundup of news items related to climate change and other environmental issues in Florida:
Plan to ‘cripple’ environmental- and social-related investing could cost taxpayers | Miami Herald
Florida taxpayers could pay more for municipal bonds and see lower returns on government pension funds under a bill getting approval by lawmakers that attempts to penalize U.S. companies that consider social and environmental issues when making investment decisions.
The proposal, HB 3, passed the full House and a companion measure, SB 302, got its first hearing Wednesday in the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee, which approved it 8-3 along party lines. Similar laws have been passed in other states, and reports by both state and environmental groups have found the laws led to an increased cost to taxpayers.
The Florida bill bans state and local governments from investing in funds or purchasing bonds based on social, political or ideological interests. It expands on the decision made by Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet in August to prohibit the State Board of Administration from making so-called ESG investments, the acronym that Wall Street investment firms have used to reflect environment, social and governance factors.
Florida sees fewer manatee starvation deaths as feeding ends | Associated Press
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The effort to feed thousands of pounds of lettuce to starving manatees in Florida officially ended for the winter season Wednesday, as deaths of the marine mammals appear to be slowing despite the long-term threat of pollution to their main food source, seagrass.
State and federal wildlife officials said during an online news conference that just under 400,000 pounds (181,000 kilograms) of lettuce was provided to hundreds of manatees at a warmwater power plant site along the east coast where they typically gather for the winter.
It was the second year of the experimental feeding program that was launched because of the deaths of at least 1,100 manatees in 2021, which was by far the most ever recorded. All told, more than 2,000 manatees have died mostly of starvation from January 2021 through March 10 of this year, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Why sea creatures are washing up dead around the world | Washington Post
Dead fish in Florida. Beached whales in New Jersey. Sea urchins, starfish and crayfish washing ashore in New Zealand. Millions of rotting fish clogging up a river in the Australian outback. A mass fish die-off in Poland. Around the world, freshwater and marine creatures are dying in large numbers, leaving experts to puzzle over the cause.
In some cases, scientists say climate change may be leading to more algal blooms and other events that starve fish of oxygen. Warming oceans and marine heat waves are driving sea creatures from their normal habitats. Human activities including coastal shipping are suspected in a spate of recent marine mammal deaths in the United States.
If you have any news items of note that you think we should include in our next roundup, please email The Invading Sea Editor Nathan Crabbe at email@example.com.