FAU New Home to Award-winning Website ‘The Invading Sea’
Southeast Florida is a world leader in responding to the challenges presented by climate change. (Photo by Alex Dolce)
The Invading Sea, an award-winning website featuring content on climate change in Florida, now has a new home at Florida Atlantic University.
The Invading Sea was founded in 2018 as a collaboration among the editorial boards of the Miami Herald, Palm Beach Post and Sun Sentinel, with Miami-based public radio station WLRN serving as a news partner. The site will continue to be a nonpartisan source for news and opinion pieces about climate change and other environmental issues in Florida at FAU, while expanding its focus to include more educational content.
“Being invited to be the new home for The Invading Sea is a great honor and testament to the outstanding work on climate change and related environmental challenges being conducted at Florida Atlantic University,” said Valery E. Forbes, Ph.D., dean, FAU Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. “We look forward to growing the site’s visibility and impact even further.”
FAU’s Center for Environmental Studies (CES) now manages the website (www.theinvadingsea.com), and Colin Polsky, Ph.D., the center’s director and a professor of geosciences at FAU, oversees the site.
“Southeast Florida is a world leader in responding to the challenges presented by climate change. A big reason is broad awareness of the issue,” said Polsky. “The Invading Sea has helped create that awareness. FAU is proud to carry on the tradition of providing a platform for climate content that is even-handed and easy to understand.”
Nathan Crabbe, former opinion and engagement editor for the Gainesville Sun, has been hired as the new editor of the site.
“Our goal is for The Invading Sea to be a place for civil discourse and thoughtful debate about how to best address the causes and consequences of climate change,” said Crabbe. “Being part of a public university will allow us to expand the educational content on the site, helping explain sometimes complex scientific concepts to the public.”
Rosemary O’Hara, former Sun Sentinel opinion page editor, proposed the idea of The Invading Sea and coaxed her husband, Tom O’Hara, a veteran newspaper editor, to edit the site. The Invading Sea was unique at the time because news organizations that normally competed not only agreed to share opinion content, but to coordinate the publication of editorials. Its media partners eventually expanded to include 26 daily newspapers across Florida.
“Much has changed since my colleagues and I started this collaborative,” said Rosemary O’Hara. “Awareness is far higher, attitudes are changing, and Tallahassee and Washington are spending money to make Florida more resilient. But given the enormity of what lies ahead, we can’t let up now. That’s why we’re all so pleased that FAU not only wants to keep the Invading Sea going, but to grow its potential.”
After O’Hara retired from the Sun Sentinel in 2021, she joined her husband in editing the site. The couple later relinquished their duties to FAU to use its resources to grow the mission of the collaborative, especially around education.
“The warming climate will cause Floridians a slew of problems in the decades ahead. The more credible information residents have, the more they will be able to protect themselves and their property from rising seas and powerful storms," said Tom O’Hara. “I trust that The Invading Sea will be providing that information for many, many years.”
The Invading Sea has won the Burl Osborne Award for Editorial Leadership, a national honor awarded annually by the News Leaders Association, along with other state and national awards. The site was supported by grants from the Energy Foundation, the Environmental Defense Fund and private donors.
Over the years, the site has posted nearly 1,000 pieces of news and commentary about climate change and other environmental issues in Florida. The site will continue to feature pieces published by its media partners, while expanding the amount of original content that it publishes.
CES plans to develop additional partnerships to broaden the range of content offered on the site, which includes working with journalism faculty and students at FAU and other universities.
The center is also developing educational content for the site, including short videos about climate change and other environmental concepts written in layman’s terms for a general audience. An advisory board is planned for the site to provide guidance on journalistic standards and additional collaborations.
For more information, contact Nathan Crabbe at firstname.lastname@example.org.