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To reflect on the news of the day, Jacksonville Today seeks to include a diverse set of perspectives. These opinion columnists are independent contractors who are paid for their contributions and are not involved in news decisions.
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Featured image for “AUG. 23 VOTER GUIDE: Duval School Board District 2”
Local Features

AUG. 23 VOTER GUIDE: Duval School Board District 2

Two candidates are running in Duval County School Board District 2, a non-partisan race. The August race, which would normally…

Featured image for “AUG. 23 VOTER GUIDE: Florida House District 14”
Local Features

AUG. 23 VOTER GUIDE: Florida House District 14

Four Democrats are on the August ballot for the newly drawn state House District 14. The previous District 14 was…

Featured image for “AUG. 23 VOTER GUIDE: Property tax increase for Duval Schools”
Local Features

AUG. 23 VOTER GUIDE: Property tax increase for Duval Schools

The Duval County School Board is asking property owners to pitch in more for public schools. All Duval voters are…

Featured image for “Child sex-abuse allegation surfaces for Clay Commission candidate”
Local Features

Child sex-abuse allegation surfaces for Clay Commission candidate

Local dirt hauler Dale Carter’s decision to run this year for the Clay Board of County Commissioners was met with…

Featured image for “Jacksonville named at risk for ‘climate gentrification.’ How can we lessen the threat?”
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Jacksonville named at risk for ‘climate gentrification.’ How can we lessen the threat?

A researcher at FSU says climate change fueled displacement of residents is a looming “existential crisis” for Jacksonville and other…

Featured image for “Black-owned startup Laundr gets a boost in Jacksonville”
Local Features

Black-owned startup Laundr gets a boost in Jacksonville

Kyle Lampkin and Michael Behfar are monetizing one of the most mundane parts of adulting: doing laundry. The two childhood…

Featured image for “AUG. 23 VOTER GUIDE: Jacksonville Sheriff”
Voter Guides

AUG. 23 VOTER GUIDE: Jacksonville Sheriff

Five candidates – four Democrats and one Republican – are vying to fill the Jacksonville sheriff’s seat, following Mike Williams’…

Featured image for “AUG. 23 VOTER GUIDE: Jacksonville City Council District 7, District 9”
Voter Guides

AUG. 23 VOTER GUIDE: Jacksonville City Council District 7, District 9

Nine candidates are vying for Jacksonville City Council in the August 23rd election, as sitting council members Reggie Gaffney and…

Featured image for “1-in-3 Duval mail-ballot voters are ineligible to vote unless they update their IDs. See where they live”
Local Features

1-in-3 Duval mail-ballot voters are ineligible to vote unless they update their IDs. See where they live

With less than five weeks remaining until the August primaries, a third of the 97,999 Duval voters who requested vote-by-mail…

Featured image for “Citizen scientists help map the heat in Jacksonville”
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Citizen scientists help map the heat in Jacksonville

Extreme heat is the deadliest form of hazardous weather and Jacksonville will soon have data showing how the city is…

Featured image for “City, nonprofits offer help for homebuyers in Northwest Jacksonville ”
Local Features

City, nonprofits offer help for homebuyers in Northwest Jacksonville 

Cheri Randolph is a homebody. She prefers cooking a meal for her boys and the other mundane activities that turn…

Featured image for “Another LGBTQ resource disappears in Duval Schools”
Local Features

Another LGBTQ resource disappears in Duval Schools

Duval County Public Schools has taken down a 12-minute anti-bullying video that taught middle and high school students how to…

Featured image for “Florida’s most controversial new laws take effect Friday. Here’s what they mean for Northeast Fla.”
Local Features

Florida’s most controversial new laws take effect Friday. Here’s what they mean for Northeast Fla.

Almost 150 new laws will take effect in Florida on Friday, including some that opponents are still trying to stop:…

Featured image for “Black labor fuels Jacksonville’s maritime industry”
Local Features

Black labor fuels Jacksonville’s maritime industry

JAXPORT is on pace for another record-setting year in container volume, a volume that would not be possible without its…

Featured image for “Florida Power & Light sets ambitious goal to eliminate carbon emissions by 2045”
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Florida Power & Light sets ambitious goal to eliminate carbon emissions by 2045

The parent company of Florida’s largest utility has announced plans to expand its use of solar energy and other renewable…

Featured image for “From Green Cove Springs to D.C.: Congressional Black Caucus executive director has local roots ”
Local Features

From Green Cove Springs to D.C.: Congressional Black Caucus executive director has local roots 

A Jax Today Q&A with Vince Evans Vince Evans stood against a wall, listening and nodding as Rep. Sheila Jackson…

Featured image for “More than a third of Jacksonville Sheriff’s officers don’t live in Duval County”
Local Features

More than a third of Jacksonville Sheriff’s officers don’t live in Duval County

Jacksonville’s recently resigned sheriff, Mike Williams, isn’t the only one who was policing the county while living somewhere else. Data…

Featured image for “To fight violent crime, Jacksonville offering Rise Up grants for nonprofits”
Local Features

To fight violent crime, Jacksonville offering Rise Up grants for nonprofits

Shontae Jackson does not need to be told how devastating it can be when a family member’s life is shockingly…

Featured image for “Jacksonville’s Small Business Equity Fund is stimulus for overlooked companies”
Local Features

Jacksonville’s Small Business Equity Fund is stimulus for overlooked companies

Dara Davis started All Construction Group, a company she operates out of her home on Jacksonville’s Northside, in March of…

Featured image for “Local leaders respond to Sheriff Mike Williams’ move out of Jacksonville”
Local Features

Local leaders respond to Sheriff Mike Williams’ move out of Jacksonville

Jacksonville’s office of general counsel is set to weigh in by 2 p.m. Thursday on whether Sheriff Mike Williams should…

Featured image for “Jacksonville isn’t letting ‘a single grant opportunity slip by’ for resilience”
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Jacksonville isn’t letting ‘a single grant opportunity slip by’ for resilience

Jacksonville has secured millions in funding for resilience projects and the city expects to get a lot more by the…

Featured image for “Former Jax area Wells Fargo SVP says he was fired for objecting to fake interviews for non-white candidates”
Local Features

Former Jax area Wells Fargo SVP says he was fired for objecting to fake interviews for non-white candidates

A Jax Today Q&A with Joe Bruno Joe Bruno, a former executive at Wells Fargo, claimed this month in The…

Featured image for “#AskJAXTDY: Why doesn’t Florida have rent control?”
#AskJAXTDY

#AskJAXTDY: Why doesn’t Florida have rent control?

The Jacksonville Today team is answering your housing questions, as rents in the region have climbed by more than twice…

Featured image for “What Duval Schools is cutting from its LGBTQ+ Support Guide”
Local Features

What Duval Schools is cutting from its LGBTQ+ Support Guide

In response to Florida’s new, critic-dubbed “Don’t Say Gay” law, Duval County Public Schools plans to slash the district’s decade-old…

Featured image for “Some Black groups say they were left out of Jacksonville’s bicentennial, so they’re holding their own events instead”
Local Features

Some Black groups say they were left out of Jacksonville’s bicentennial, so they’re holding their own events instead

Celebrating the city’s two centuries of history – warts and all – was the challenge the Jacksonville Historical Society was…

Featured image for “‘It all boils down to one paragraph.’ Duval Schools could change its LGBTQ support guide Tuesday”
Local Features

‘It all boils down to one paragraph.’ Duval Schools could change its LGBTQ support guide Tuesday

The Duval County School Board is set to meet Tuesday morning to discuss an update to its LGBTQ support guide,…

Featured image for “Calling for stricter pollution control, advocates urge JEA to phase out Northside Generating Station”
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Calling for stricter pollution control, advocates urge JEA to phase out Northside Generating Station

More than 90% of all greenhouse gas emissions from large facilities in Jacksonville can be traced back to JEA and…

Featured image for “EXPLORE: How much did rent go up in your neighborhood?”
Local Features

EXPLORE: How much did rent go up in your neighborhood?

Rent prices  in the Jacksonville metro area have increased by more than 30% since the start of the pandemic —…

Featured image for “Hello, I’m Jacksonville Today Reporter Will Brown”
Local Features

Hello, I’m Jacksonville Today Reporter Will Brown

The first time I truly understood the power, the potential and grace of journalism was when I screwed up. I…

Featured image for “Photo Essay | Hauling It”
Photo Essays

Photo Essay | Hauling It

A driver shortage in Jacksonville triggered missed garbage pickups by the thousands. Through it all, the men and women who…

Featured image for “Independent Florida water providers are shutting down. American Beach’s doesn’t want to be next.  ”
Local Features

Independent Florida water providers are shutting down. American Beach’s doesn’t want to be next.  

Construction will begin soon on a new water and sewer system in American Beach, the historically African American community in…

Featured image for “UNF program pairs tomorrow’s environmental leaders with today’s challenges”
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UNF program pairs tomorrow’s environmental leaders with today’s challenges

The Environmental Leadership Program at the University of North Florida is preparing students to be future environmental leaders through training…

Featured image for “Climbing costs leave Jacksonville families struggling for food”
Local Features

Climbing costs leave Jacksonville families struggling for food

Jacksonville mom Krista Jones is buying beans instead of meat for protein. It’s one of the creative steps she’s had…

Featured image for “A surprising climate change contributor: retention ponds that reduce flooding”
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A surprising climate change contributor: retention ponds that reduce flooding

While stormwater ponds do offer benefits, new research from UF indicates that they may be delivering a net disservice by…

Featured image for “Public art in bloom — yes, even at the Duval Courthouse”
Arts & Culture

Public art in bloom — yes, even at the Duval Courthouse

The Duval County Courthouse is certainly a sight to behold. With its precast concrete and steel facade, the 800,000-square-foot, seven-story…

Featured image for “Florida rooftop solar change seems likely to pass, over pushback from solar industry”
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Florida rooftop solar change seems likely to pass, over pushback from solar industry

Fleming Island state Sen. Jennifer Bradley says her bill would get rid of a subsidy that utility customers without rooftop…

Featured image for “EXPLORE: Is your voting precinct one of Jax’s highest-turnout? Or the lowest?”
Local Features

EXPLORE: Is your voting precinct one of Jax’s highest-turnout? Or the lowest?

Plus, 5 takeaways from the City Council election Republican Nick Howland will be sworn in on Jacksonville’s City Council Wednesday,…

Featured image for “Where do Jacksonville City Council candidates stand on climate change?”
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Where do Jacksonville City Council candidates stand on climate change?

With election day fast approaching, the race to fill the at-large Jacksonville City Council seat left vacant by the late…

Featured image for “Photo Essay | The Skyway in Transit”
Photo Essays

Photo Essay | The Skyway in Transit

As the pace of development in the city’s urban core continues to ramp up, Jacksonville’s Downtown is beginning to look…

Featured image for “QUIZ: How well do you know Jacksonville’s  at-large group 3 candidates?”
Local Features

QUIZ: How well do you know Jacksonville’s at-large group 3 candidates?

Early voting is underway in the race to fill the Jacksonville at-large city council seat vacated by the late Tommy…

Featured image for “Painter Richard Heipp forces us to see the world, and his art, anew”
Arts & Culture

Painter Richard Heipp forces us to see the world, and his art, anew

In Wes Anderson’s new film, The French Dispatch, Julian Cadazio (a huckster of substantial means played by Adrien Brody) is…

Featured image for “Controversial author Steven Koonin to speak about climate change in Jacksonville”
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Controversial author Steven Koonin to speak about climate change in Jacksonville

When it comes to climate change, many of Koonin’s views — as expressed in his book and in prior speaking…

Featured image for “Could bacteria help reduce shoreline erosion? UNF researchers aim to find out”
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Could bacteria help reduce shoreline erosion? UNF researchers aim to find out

Researchers at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville are studying how a naturally occurring bacteria could be used to…

Featured image for “Doug Eng: Environmental activism through art”
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Doug Eng: Environmental activism through art

Through his art, Jacksonville photographer Doug Eng is trying to help people gain more of an appreciation for the natural…

Featured image for “Under JEA’s SolarMax program, companies can get 100% electricity from solar”
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Under JEA’s SolarMax program, companies can get 100% electricity from solar

Companies including Florida Blue and Johnson and Johnson are signing onto a new program from JEA that allows corporations to…

Featured image for “How 4 Jacksonville artists made it to Miami Art Week”
Arts & Culture

How 4 Jacksonville artists made it to Miami Art Week

It’s just after 5 p.m. on the Monday before Thanksgiving. Artist and Professor Dustin Harewood dons a paint-splattered denim apron…

Featured image for “Rising seas swamp Black, Spanish and Indigenous history in St. Johns County”
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Rising seas swamp Black, Spanish and Indigenous history in St. Johns County

A city reliant on heritage tourism struggles to protect its most valuable assets.…

Featured image for “3 local photojournalists frame up the First Coast in ‘Last Coast’”
Arts & Culture

3 local photojournalists frame up the First Coast in ‘Last Coast’

The term First Coast is synonymous with Jacksonville and its four surrounding counties: Clay, Nassau, Baker and St. Johns. A…

Featured image for “In ‘Age of Cognizance’ 3 Jacksonville artists explore their individual identities through collective consciousness”
Arts & Culture

In ‘Age of Cognizance’ 3 Jacksonville artists explore their individual identities through collective consciousness

The Age of Cognizance, which opened this month, is the Yellow House’s first in-person exhibit in nearly two years. A…

Featured image for “A Florida climate scientist sees 5 ways the infrastructure bill will help protect us”
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A Florida climate scientist sees 5 ways the infrastructure bill will help protect us

One of Florida’s top climate scientists says the Biden administration’s new infrastructure bill isn’t a climate panacea but, he says,…

Featured image for “Duval students are growing more diverse, so DCPS wants teachers to be, too”
Local Features

Duval students are growing more diverse, so DCPS wants teachers to be, too

When Ingrid Carias began working in the Duval County Public School system around 2014, there were about 5,500 students the…

Featured image for “Photo Essay | Downtown Jacksonville dresses up for Toni Smailagic”
Photo Essays

Photo Essay | Downtown Jacksonville dresses up for Toni Smailagic

Introduction by Matthew Shaw | Photographs and captions by Toni Smailagic When Toni Smailagic brings out his camera, it seems,…

Featured image for “Photo Essay | Jacksonville through the lens of Michael Rakim”
Photo Essays

Photo Essay | Jacksonville through the lens of Michael Rakim

Introduction by Matthew Shaw | Photographs and captions by Michael Rakim The first time I saw the work of Wesley…

Featured image for “Fewer fumes: What the switch to electric vehicles means for Jacksonville”
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Fewer fumes: What the switch to electric vehicles means for Jacksonville

Experts say electrification of trucks and cars would be an essential step toward canceling out America’s yearly greenhouse gas emissions…

Featured image for “Photo Essay | Leighton Hoey’s view from inside Jacksonville’s music scene”
Photo Essays

Photo Essay | Leighton Hoey’s view from inside Jacksonville’s music scene

Introduction by Matthew Shaw | Photographs and captions by Leighton Hoey As someone who has spent the last half-decade or…

Featured image for “Photo Essay | Tom Schifanella’s hidden Jacksonville”
Photo Essays

Photo Essay | Tom Schifanella’s hidden Jacksonville

Atlantic Beach-based landscape photographer Tom Schifanella trains his lens on Jacksonville’s natural beauty.…

Featured image for “A Q&A with Jacksonville’s first-ever Chief Resilience Officer”
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A Q&A with Jacksonville’s first-ever Chief Resilience Officer

Anne Coglianese, Jacksonville’s first Chief Resilience Officer, has been on the job since July, 2021. She has been tasked with…

Featured image for “Your flood insurance premium will probably rise; Climate change and coastal development are to blame”
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Your flood insurance premium will probably rise; Climate change and coastal development are to blame

The vast majority of the more than 1.7 million households in Florida that have flood insurance policies through the National…

Featured image for “A Florida city wanted to move away from fossil fuels. The state made sure it couldn’t.”
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A Florida city wanted to move away from fossil fuels. The state made sure it couldn’t.

The story behind Florida’s new laws that strip cities of their ability to fight climate change.…

Featured image for “A century of altering the St. Johns River has left Jacksonville more vulnerable to flooding”
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A century of altering the St. Johns River has left Jacksonville more vulnerable to flooding

In 1898 the St. Johns River went about 18 feet down at its deepest point. Now it’s about 40 feet…

Featured image for “What Jacksonville can learn from Nashville about fighting climate change”
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What Jacksonville can learn from Nashville about fighting climate change

Compared with Nashville, Jacksonville is doing relatively little to reduce its carbon footprint and does not have a climate action…

Featured image for “Green infrastructure turns old concepts into new reality”
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Green infrastructure turns old concepts into new reality

Many cities around the country now have proven examples of green infrastructure — Atlanta, Philadelphia, New York, Portland and St.…

Featured image for “Making a more resilient River City: Top 10 findings from new City Council report”
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Making a more resilient River City: Top 10 findings from new City Council report

The city of Jacksonville is playing catch-up when it comes to addressing climate change, but it’s now poised to take…

Featured image for “Is rooftop solar under threat in Florida? If so, Jacksonville could offer a glimpse into the future”
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Is rooftop solar under threat in Florida? If so, Jacksonville could offer a glimpse into the future

Many are worried that Florida’s powerful investor-owned utilities are pushing regulators to scale back the state’s rooftop solar policy, as…

Featured image for “Environmental justice in Jax:  bringing Black communities to the climate table”
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Environmental justice in Jax: bringing Black communities to the climate table

Environmental advocacy has long been dominated by white voices, even as people of color are more affected by climate change…

Featured image for “Climate action on the rise within local communities of faith”
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Climate action on the rise within local communities of faith

Faith-based efforts like Green Spirits are increasingly popping up around the country as Christians — many of them young —…

Featured image for “As neighbors take buyouts, some Jacksonville residents question city’s plan for flood-prone areas”
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As neighbors take buyouts, some Jacksonville residents question city’s plan for flood-prone areas

Sea level rise isn’t a hypothetical future issue in low-lying areas of Jacksonville. It’s forcing people to make life-changing decisions…

Featured image for “St. Augustine struggles to fight a global threat on a small-town budget”
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St. Augustine struggles to fight a global threat on a small-town budget

As the holiday season approaches and residents look ahead to the annual Nights of Lights festival an old enemy is…

Featured image for “TV weathercasters could be key to climate action”
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TV weathercasters could be key to climate action

Local weathercasters are well positioned to help educate the public on climate change, which researchers say is necessary before people…

Featured image for “Beach nourishment: not just throwing good sand after bad”
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Beach nourishment: not just throwing good sand after bad

A riled-up Atlantic Ocean has been biting off and swallowing huge chunks of Northeast Florida beaches during fierce storms in…

Featured image for “The officer: Julia Nesheiwat”
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The officer: Julia Nesheiwat

Julia Nesheiwat is Florida’s Chief Resilience Officer  Update: Julia Nesheiwat assumed the position of Florida’s first-ever Chief Resilience Officer in July…

Featured image for “The coordinator: Sean Lahav”
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The coordinator: Sean Lahav

Sean Lahav is the Resiliency Coordinator for the Northeast Florida Regional Council What does a resiliency coordinator do?   A…

Featured image for “The planner: Shane Corbin”
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The planner: Shane Corbin

Shane Corbin is the City Manager of Atlantic Beach  What in your background prepared you to work in Atlantic Beach?  …

Featured image for “The city’s tree guy: Richard Leon”
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The city’s tree guy: Richard Leon

Richard Leon is Jacksonville’s Urban Forestry Manager   What is an urban forestry manager? What do you do?  Half the city…

Featured image for “The conversation starter: Lauren Watkins”
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The conversation starter: Lauren Watkins

Lauren Watkins teaches people how to talk about climate change as the Director of Behavior Change Strategies for Impact By…

Featured image for “The scientist: Adam Rosenblatt”
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The scientist: Adam Rosenblatt

Adam Rosenblatt is an assistant professor of biology at the University of North Florida  Tell me about the letter you…

Featured image for “How to make Jacksonville more ‘resilient’: 2 committees’ suggestions”
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How to make Jacksonville more ‘resilient’: 2 committees’ suggestions

After pulling out of a national resiliency initiative in 2016, the city is working on its own adaptation plans.…

Featured image for “‘Resilience hubs’ could help Northeast Floridians — including animals —  weather floods”
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‘Resilience hubs’ could help Northeast Floridians — including animals — weather floods

City planners can use new data to maximize conservation projects’ impact.…

Featured image for “With weather extremes projected for Jacksonville, elected officials cool to aggressive climate action”
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With weather extremes projected for Jacksonville, elected officials cool to aggressive climate action

Letting the market dictate solutions is the prevailing mantra.…

Featured image for “The new vanguard protecting historic sites from sea level rise: Volunteers”
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The new vanguard protecting historic sites from sea level rise: Volunteers

The Heritage Monitoring Scouts are helping the state decide which pieces of history to save and which to abandon.…

Featured image for “The Navy is on the front lines of adapting to climate change”
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The Navy is on the front lines of adapting to climate change

“Climate change will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the Nation and poses immediate risks to U.S. national…

Featured image for “Why US carbon dioxide emissions are back on the rise”
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Why US carbon dioxide emissions are back on the rise

What’s good for today’s economy isn’t so great for tomorrow’s earth.…

Featured image for “‘Retreat’ not an option for a California beach town, but it’s already happening in Duval County”
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‘Retreat’ not an option for a California beach town, but it’s already happening in Duval County

The city of Jacksonville is offering to buy out homes in a flood-prone riverfront neighborhood.…

Featured image for “Sandy soil and rising seas spell septic tank disaster in Florida”
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Sandy soil and rising seas spell septic tank disaster in Florida

The race is on to deal with Florida’s 2.6 million ticking stink bombs.…

Featured image for “As seas rise, Florida will likely lose more coastal property value than any other state”
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As seas rise, Florida will likely lose more coastal property value than any other state

As coastal property values drop, the economic effects could ripple inland.…

Featured image for “Real estate and sea level rise: A buyer’s guide”
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Real estate and sea level rise: A buyer’s guide

In Florida, sellers don’t have to disclose flood damage. So how can buyers assess the risk?…

Featured image for “‘Lift that nest up’: Florida’s endangered birds threatened by floods”
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‘Lift that nest up’: Florida’s endangered birds threatened by floods

The Florida grasshopper sparrow is the continent’s most endangered bird. Climate change isn’t helping.…

Featured image for “These eco-friendly homes are built to weather the storm”
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These eco-friendly homes are built to weather the storm

A South Florida builder is trying to make prefabricated chic.…