Tuesday, October 23, 2018


Craig Pittman

Craig Pittman

Tampa Bay Times reporter Craig Pittman is a native Floridian. He graduated from Troy State University in Alabama, where his muckraking work for the student paper prompted an agitated dean to label him "the most destructive force on campus." Since then he has covered a variety of newspaper beats and quite a few natural disasters, including hurricanes, wildfires and the Florida Legislature. Since 1998 he has reported on environmental issues for the Times. He is a four-time winner of the Waldo Proffitt Award for Distinguished Environmental Journalism in Florida and a series of stories on Florida's vanishing wetlands that he wrote with Matthew Waite won the top investigative reporting award in both 2006 and 2007 from the Society of Environmental Journalists. He is the author of four books: "The Scent of Scandal: Greed, Betrayal, and the World's Most Beautiful Orchid" (2012); "Manatee Insanity: Inside the War Over Florida's Most Famous Endangered Species," (2010); and, co-written with Waite, "Paving Paradise: Florida's Vanishing Wetlands and the Failure of No Net Loss," (2009). His new book, < a href="http://www.amazon.com/Oh-Florida-Americas-Weirdest-Influences-ebook/dp/B019CB3UNQ"> "Oh, Florida! How America's Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country,"hits stores in July 2016. He lives in St. Petersburg with his wife and two children.

An Eastern diamondback rattlesnake makes its way across the green near the 14th hole at Mangrove Bay Golf Course on Oct. 8.

Video of Florida snake on a golf course goes viral

ST. PETERSBURG ó The ancient Roman poet Virgil is credited with coining the term "snake in the grass" (latet anguis in herba), but he probably didnít mean one like this.Logan Ungerer was playing a couple of rounds at the Mangrove Bay...
Published: 10/19/18
Hurricane Michael: What if it had hit Tampa Bay?

Hurricane Michael: What if it had hit Tampa Bay?

Hurricane Michael barely grazed the edge of the Tampa Bay area on its way to flattening the small towns of the Florida Panhandle.But what if Tampa Bay had been its target? What if the strong Category 4 storm had slammed into Belleair Shore...
Published: 10/18/18
Updated: 10/19/18
The beach on Indian Rocks Beach suffered some erosion from the waves of passing hurricane Michael washing away some of the sand from the recent renourishment project but leaving the dunes intact. (JIM DAMASKE   |   Times)

Pinellas' beaches apparently escape beach erosion from Hurricane Michael

Pinellas County’s 35 miles of beaches appear to have emerged largely unscathed by Hurricane Michael, according to a preliminary assessment by county officials and University of South Florida experts.
Published: 10/15/18
Updated: 10/16/18
Dead mullet in groups. Up and down beach with seaweed. Treasure Island. Stings your eyes just standing here. (Scott Keeler | Times)

Red Tide is back on Pinellas beaches. Hurricane Michaelís winds bring dead fish, odors back to shore

Itís back.The Red Tide algae bloom that was floating offshore in recent weeks, giving Pinellas Countyís beaches a bit of relief from the waves of dead fish and irritating odors in the air, has returned. Gusts of wind spun off from Hurricane...
Published: 10/11/18
Updated: 10/12/18
The 11 p.m. Tuesday forecast for Hurricane Michael. [National Hurricane Center]

Hurricane Michael could strike Panhandle as a Category 4 storm

APALACHICOLA — Hurricane Michael rapidly bore down on Florida’s Panhandle coast, sending more than 100,000 people scrambling to get out of the way of the powerful storm forecast to reach Category 4 strength when it makes landfall Wednesday...
Published: 10/09/18
Updated: 10/10/18
A slurry fo dead fish, the result of Red Tide, moves out of Clearwater Harbor on the north side of Sand Key Park on Sept. 20. (DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times)

Hurricane Michael could end our Red Tide problem ó or it could make it worse

As it charges north through the Gulf of Mexico this week, Hurricane Michael could finally dissipate the Red Tide algae bloom thatís been the bane of Florida beach communities.Or it could make it worse."In the past, itís gone either way,"...
Published: 10/09/18
Studies have shown that the Tampa Bay region is among the most vulnerable in the country to the effects of climate change. [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times (2016)].

Tampa Bay local governments join to combat climate change effects

After nearly 10 months of negotiations, local government officials from Citrus County down to Manatee County will gather in St. Petersburg Monday to sign a pact to help each other find ways to cope with sea level rise and climate change.The...
Updated one month ago
Zach McGowen of Jupiter checks out the water for possible surfing conditions south of the Jupiter inlet on Monday.  McGowen said he had just come from the Juno Beach Pier area, where he noticed much stronger respiratory irritants in the air.  [Palm Beach Post]

Red Tide bloom now touching all three of Florida’s coasts

Reports over the weekend of beachgoers on Florida’s Atlantic coast complaining of coughing and wheezing means Red Tide toxic algae has reached a rare peak.
Updated one month ago
A slurry fo dead fish, the result of Red Tide, moves out of Clearwater Harbor on the north side of Sand Key Park on last month. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times]

Coming soon: Red Tide forecasts for where the beach air is good ó or bad

The Red Tide algae bloom now afflicting Pinellas Countyís beaches doesnít just kill fish and other marine life. It also can cause respiratory problems for people. When the bloomís toxins get picked up by breezes blowing toward land, anyone who...
Updated one month ago
SCOTT KEELER   |   Times
Tampa Bay Times staff writer Craig Pittman.

Oh, Florida! Can any reality show capture life in Florida?

For a state that has so much invested in promoting fantasy — with our theme parks as well as our real estate promises of ever-growing sales — Florida is the setting for a lot of reality shows.
Updated one month ago