Times writers win award for series about wetlands
By Times Staff Writer
Published September 7, 2007
For the second year straight, a St. Petersburg Times series on Florida's vanishing wetlands took top honors for investigative reporting in a national contest sponsored by the Society of Environmental Journalists.
Times reporters Craig Pittman and Matthew Waite were awarded the Kevin Carmody Award for Outstanding Investigative Reporting in Print for stories published in December that raised questions about Florida's wetland mitigation banking industry. The series was called "When Dry is Wet."
"The series' deep and meticulous reporting uncovered the hijacking of a wetlands mitigation program that often failed to perform, instead lining the pockets of politically well-connected businessmen," the contest judges said. "The reporters turned a spotlight on government failures at the local, state and federal level, showing how a politically popular environmental policy is easily corruptible."
Winners were chosen from almost 200 entries from outlets including the Los Angeles Times and National Public Radio.
Pittman and Waite's wetlands coverage won the same investigative award last year, and has also been honored twice with a state award, the Waldo Proffitt Award for Excellence in Environmental Journalism in Florida.