This week's episode begins with a look at why Florida's manatees are dying this winter at a rate which threatens the survival of the species. Craig Pittman's latest column for the Florida Phoenix digs in deep on the reasons, which are preventable. Craig's 2010 book "Manatee Insanity" goes even further in detailing the decades-long conservation effort in Florida to protect manatees, as well as calling out the people working against manatee protection. Our guest is Stephen Leatherman who you probably know as Dr. Beach. Each year he compiles a list of the 10 Best Beaches in the U.S., which leads to a tremendous amount of pride for those named, jealousy for those not named, and arguments among everyone.
Award-winning author of Oh, Florida!: How America’s Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country, The Scent of Scandal, Cat Tale and Manatee Insanity, and co-author of Paving Paradise. Born in Pensacola, 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. His next book will be titled The State You’re In.