Television show addresses water quality threats and Florida panther conservation

Photo of mangrove island in Florida Keys. When it comes to good water quality, there’s more than meets the eye. Researchers are concerned about the effects chemical compounds from pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and plastics might be having on the marine environment.

Television viewers across Florida will be educated and entertained by the latest episode of the long-running, documentary television series “Waterways” that highlights threats of pharmaceuticals and plastics in our oceans and streams, as well as recovery efforts of the endangered Florida panther.

The “Waterways” series is a joint project between Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Everglades National Park and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, informing viewers of the diverse wonders of the south Florida ecosystem, and the research and conservation programs that protect them.

In the “Pharmaceuticals in Our Waters” segment, scientists from Florida International University and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency discuss how pharmaceuticals and plastics in our waterways may be disrupting the reproductive systems of fish and other marine life.

Photo of endangered Florida panther. NPS photo by Mark Parry. The Florida panther's historical habitat range included most of the southeastern United States, but it was hunted to the brink of extinction. Today scientists and conservationists are making strides in rebuilding the populations in parts of Florida. NPS photo by Mark Parry.

In the new episode’s segment “Panther Populations Rebound,” follow Everglades National Park biologists as they monitor populations of the endangered Florida panther. Viewers will learn about conservation efforts that are helping rebuild their severely depleted numbers, and the major threats to their survival.

“Waterways” airs on public and government channels throughout the state of Florida — check local listings for scheduling. Episodes can be viewed on the WaterwaysTvShow YouTube channel.

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary protects 2,900 square nautical miles of critical marine habitat, including coral reef, hard bottom, sea grass meadows, mangrove communities and sand flats. NOAA and the state of Florida manage the sanctuary.

More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency supports the Waterways program through the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Water Quality Protection Program established in 1993 and dedicated to the restoration and protection of corals, shellfish, wildlife and recreational activities on the water.