Environmental

Water Hogs

*Update from JEA: In some cases in the list of top 10 water customers, JEA corrected the customer’s balance due to a leak or plumbing issue. There also are a few properties that reflect high usage due to reclaimed water usage. Reclaimed water is highly treated wastewater. Customers who use reclaimed water for their irrigation help conserve water drawn from the Floridan aquifer, the source of our local drinking water.* The blue marble we know as Earth has an abundant amount of water, 71% of its surface is covered in the wet stuff. Unfortunately for our very delicate species, 91% …

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Burying Historical Norms

Words by Rain Henderson & Joseph Guiffre Winding through the live oak lined backroads a dozen miles southeast of Gainesville, the bright Florida summer sun beats down. The light illuminates the old houses and chicken coops we pass, miles from the hustle and bustle. Finally we take a turn down a dirt road across from an idyllic cow pasture framed by tall symmetrical palms. The shade of the woodlands is welcoming and so is the tall, smiling, plainly dressed man waiting at the gate. Over the past two or three years people have been confronting their own mortality more than …

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Sea Turtle Season

According to the Florida Wildlife Commission, only one in 1,000 sea turtle hatchlings mature to adults. We’re in the heart of sea turtle nesting season in Northeast Florida, and turtle nests and hatchlings have been spotted all over the beaches. According to the Jacksonville Beaches Sea Turtle Patrol, around 100 nests have already been counted along our coastline, including over 90 loggerheads and a few leatherbacks, the largest sea turtle in the world that can measure as long as six feet and weigh up to half a ton. With summer in full swing, people are flocking to the beaches in …

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Vol. 36, Issue 14

In 1987, Folio Weekly made its debut—and Northeast Florida hasn’t been the same since. The “alternative newsweekly” brought a fresh, no holds barred approach to local journalism and served it up with a generous side of sarcasm and sass. No subject was off limits, and the staff were eager to explore them all, the good, the bad and the WTF. Fast forward to 2020 (speaking of WTF!), and Folio Weekly became its own story. More than 30 years after the paper’s publisher Sam Taylor announced Folio was ceasing publication due to economic issues related to the pandemic. But that wasn’t …

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In This Climate?! Small Islands, Big Fight

The beginning of the quarantine back in 2020 was a perfect storm for people starting to pay attention to the things, big and small, that they found to be important: from how to grow corn properly to protest movements across the nation. On a local level that storm threw down a lightning bolt right in the heart of Jacksonville Beach. During our collective containment inside of our homes, a big fight began about a few small islands that any Jacksonville resident has probably passed dozens of times. Blink at the right moment and you could easily miss these tiny islands …

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The Timucua Aren’t Extinct

Shell rock crushed underfoot as we stepped out of my car into the Big Talbot jungle. The backroad we just followed for miles ended in seemingly nowhere with the thicket too dense to even see a few feet off the road. The sun was at its peak yet was barely peeking through the canopy above us, no-see-ums buzzed at our faces, and sweat was already running down my neck. A wiry middle-aged man appeared in a narrow clearing and motioned for us to follow him. The man in question was Keith Ashley, professor of archaeology at the University of North …

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Hurricane Haven: No Road, No Problem?

An Ecological and Sociological Nightmare for Residents of Summer Haven Joseph Guiffre & Molly Britt The unincorporated town of Summer Haven is along A1A between St. Augustine Beach and Marineland. Summer Haven is perched on a razor thin bit of barrier island sandwiched against the saltwater waves of the Atlantic Ocean and a tributary of the Matanzas River called the Summer Haven river. The houses here are on the beach, not along the beach, the houses here are quite literally on the water. The high tide mark on a normal day reaches within 30 feet of the stilted homes. Over …

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Saltwater Intrusion

Joseph Guiffre How often do you think about the depth of the St. Johns River? Probably not on a regular basis but the question has been on the minds of many of the people in charge of the City of Jacksonville for a very long time. JaxPort is one of the most important economic centers in Northeast Florida, bringing vast amounts of cargo through the mouth of the St. Johns River and on to the highways leading out of the city, making Jacksonville a logistical center of the entire country. As it turns out, the logistics business is competitive, and …

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