An editorial from The Marjorie

By Anna Hamilton

Published September 30, 2019

On a recent Wednesday in August, in the middle of a school day, in a packed community center in Gainesville, Florida, Isaac Augspurg took the stage.

The 14-year-old gazed out at a crowd of well over 150 and leaned into a message that has reached a global crescendo: the youth are rising.

“I would rather be having a carefree childhood,” Augspurg said. “But the climate crisis is here, and it won’t wait for us to grow up.”

Augspurg is one of eight youth plaintiffs who, on April 18…


Take a look outside. What do you see? For residents of the Florida Panhandle after Hurricane Michael, it was complete and utter devastation. Photos of leveled homes, smashed businesses, flooded streets and forests laid to waste made their way through news outlets, across social media, and in texts and emails to loved ones. But what was less obvious was how the destruction set the stage for a new landscape: a landscape defined by invasive species.

“I’ve realized when most people look at the natural world, they see a blur of green,” says Richard Hilsenbeck. …


Fisheries scientists are giving us another reason to love our mothers

By Anna Hamilton

In the early 2000s, Felicia Coleman was performing a run-of-the-mill population analysis on grouper in the Gulf of Mexico when she noticed something — ahem — fishy: there were virtually no males in her sample.

“We started looking at it much more closely, because it was crazy,” says Coleman, director of the Florida State Coastal & Marine Laboratory in St. Teresa, Florida.

Historically in fisheries, male grouper comprise nearly 30 percent of the population. …


How an exotic animal attraction became an endemic species rescue center — and the home to Florida’s only native hippo

BY ANNA HAMILTON

Photos courtesy of the State Archives of Florida

Lucifer the hippopotamus knows how to work the camera.

As a child actor, he was affable, just the right amount of show off, and cute at all the right times. This was in the 1960s, when audiences across the country were head over heels for anthropomorphized animal actors like Gentle Ben and Clarence the Cross-Eyed Lion. …


Photos courtesy of Erika Henderson, unless noted otherwise.

I. Shades of Orange

Erika Henderson knows her citrus.

For the past 15 years, she and her father Warren have spent most Saturdays at booth #4 at the Alachua County Farmers’ Market. Erika is Daughter of Henderson & Daughter Plants and Produce, a small-scale purveyor of specialty citrus.

But Henderson’s life is about to change in a big way.

“We were out there fertilizing in September, and I noticed everything was different from my last visit in August,” she says. “There was less fruit.”

Their trees were succumbing to citrus greening, a disease that has raked…


Thanks to the vision and stewardship of one woman and her family, a portal into wild Florida is preserved — and open to the public.

Kim Davis was 10 years old when she saw Blue Spring for the first time.

“I remember hopping on I-75 in the old Chevy station wagon,” Davis says of the trip her family made from their home in Tampa. “And we got off in a town I didn’t even know how to pronounce: ‘Alachua.’”

A few miles off the interstate, outside the small town of High Springs, the family wound their way down a dirt…

Anna Hamilton

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