A roundup of news items related to climate change and other environmental issues in Florida:
Bills would add flood-protection projects to Florida’s home-hardening grant program | Sun Sentinel
Improvements to protect homes from flood damage would be eligible for up to $10,000 in state matching grants if bills filed last week are enacted during the upcoming session of the Florida Legislature.
The bills would expand the number of home improvement projects that currently qualify for matching grants under the My Safe Florida Home program.
The Senate version of the bill, sponsored by Jonathan Martin, a Lee County Republican, would extend grant eligibility to costs of elevating homes and installing backflow valves, flood vents and utility flood barriers.
Another record blob of sargassum measured in Central Atlantic Ocean. Will it reach Florida? | Palm Beach Post
In the far off Central Atlantic, near where the Caribbean Sea meets the ocean, scientists are warning of a record amassing of unruly sargassum on a path guided by the whimsy of winds and currents and storms.
University of South Florida scientists said this week that the nearly 5 million metric tons of prickly pelagic fauna measured in December is far above the roughly 1 million metric tons recorded at the same time the previous year.
“Although we predicted an increase in the November bulletin, the magnitude of this growth is notable, with the December 2023 abundance representing a historical record,” USF researchers wrote in a Jan. 4 sargassum bloom forecast.
New bill to require NOAA to study hurricane preparedness, focusing on vulnerable groups | WLRN
A bipartisan bill introduced this week by two Central Florida congressmen calls for research into hurricane warnings and preparedness, especially for seniors, people with disabilities, non-English speakers, and rural and urban populations.
In a prepared statement, Orlando Democrat Maxwell Frost says they deserve to have “the knowledge and tools necessary to protect yourself from a hurricane.”
Seniors make up a high percentage of hurricane deaths, according to a bill summary from his office. “The Fixing Gaps in Hurricane Preparedness Act’s analysis will pave the way for new steps that protect all of us during hurricanes.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up for The Invading Sea newsletter by visiting here.