Thursday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida DEP seeks $50 million to replenish Florida Forever
The state's Department of Environmental Protection is seeking $50 million to replenish Florida Forever. The request is part of a broader "wish list" submitted to the governor last week. “It's a bigger number, it's a different focus than what we've had from DEP for six or seven years,” said Eric Draper, executive director of Audubon Florida and a prominent environmental lobbyist. Florida DEP spokeswoman Lauren Engel said the Florida Forever funding is expected to help the state “acquire rare and sensitive lands that will benefit our communities and environment.” See the DEP's 5-year plan for Florida Forever, here. Also read more at the Orlando Sentinel.
Why is the internet still out for some in Florida?
When Irma made land Sept. 10, 6.7 million customers lost electricity, or nearly two-thirds of the state. Nine days later, all but 1 percent of the state — 100,000 — had the power back on. With internet service, it’s less clear where things stand. More from the AP.
Tropical wave, heading toward Florida, has 40 percent chance of development
Forecasters continue to monitor an area of disturbed weather, situated over Cuba, that will soon begin to migrate north toward the Florida Keys and south Florida. As of Thursday morning, the wave has a 40 percent chance of developing into a tropical system over the next five days. More from the Tampa Bay Times and CBS Miami.
Rowing participants, spectators filling Southwest Florida coffers
The 2017 World Rowing Championships have brought thousands of travelers to Southwest Florida. They’re here to compete for or support their countries at Nathan Benderson Park, but they’re also looking for that United States experience. More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Tampa Electric agrees to generate enough solar power for 100,000 homes
Tampa Electric Co. is making a substantial commitment to solar energy, the company announced Thursday. The utility plans to build 600 megawatts of solar energy capability — enough to power 100,000 homes — by 2021. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Out of the Box
Aquarius Underwater Lab
In the end, Irma was no match for the Aquarius, Florida International University’s beloved underwater lab off Key Largo. The storm ripped bent the underwater living quarters sitting on the ocean floor in water 60 feet deep and damaged the outside “wet porch.” But the lab remained “horizontal” and intact, said director and biology professor Jim Fourqurean.
» More from the Miami Herald.
Around the State
A Sporting Chance
With a population of fewer than 350,000 people, Lake County doesn’t have the resources to compete against Disney World or even neighboring Seminole County when it comes to sports offerings. To build its own sports tourism business, the county has tried to find niche sports in which it can stand out.
» Read more from Florida Trend.
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