Wednesday, February 22, 2017

There is now an app to monitor wildfire conditions in Florida

 If you want to keep up with drought, wildfire danger and wildfire activity in Florida, there's now an app for that.

The Florida Forest Service announced the release of “FLBurnTools,” a new mobile app to keep the public informed tabout wildfire wildfire danger and activity statewide.

Wildfire activity is on the rise and wildfire danger is expected to increase greatly in the coming months.

Floridians equipped with the ‘FLBurnTools' app can view the locations of nearby wildfires and see up-to-date drought and wildfire danger information.

The “FLBurnTools” app provides Drought information and Interactive fire maps, Wildfire information and Smoke dispersion models and even Spot weather forecasts.

Prescribed burn practitioners can even use the app to plan and submit burn authorization requests.


The “FLBurnTools” app is now available for free in both Apple's App Store and on Google Play.


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Florida DEP permit activity for Gulf County

DEP Logo
Florida Department of
Environmental Protection

Bob Martinez Center
2600 Blair Stone Road
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2400
Rick Scott
Governor

Carlos Lopez-Cantera
Lt. Governor

Ryan E. Matthews
Interim Secretary


Permitting Application Subscription Service


Subscriber email address: manager@oysterradio.com

  Profile Name: Oyster Radio

Permit: Stormwater - Small Construction (1-5 AC)
Project Name: WETAPPO FLATS SUBDVISION
Location Id: FLR10QU73
Location Name: Wetappo Flats Subdvision
County: Gulf
Application Number: FLR10QU73-001

For further information, please contact the Tallahassee Npdes Stormwater permitting office in Tallahassee at (850) 245-7522



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Job Opening: Marine Community Ecologist Faculty Position


Job Opening: Marine Community Ecologist Faculty Position 
The Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory (FSUCML) invites applications for a Marine Community Ecologist research faculty position (12 month renewable appointment). We seek a highly motivated coastal ecologist with notable research achievements. The successful applicant will be expected to make a commitment to excellence in scholarship, student mentoring and outreach and have the ability to develop a well-funded, independent research program. Salary will be provided at 100% for the first two years and 75% from the 3rd year forward, with the expectation that the remaining 25% of salary will be met through external funding. A competitive start-up package will be offered. Applicants must have a Ph. D. degree with significant postdoctoral experience.

The FSUCML is committed to research focused on coastal and marine issues of ecological importance that provides the scientific basis for policy decisions. The primary area of interest is in experimental community ecology with a focus on local habitats. The FSUCML is embedded in an area of rich terrestrial and marine biodiversity with an abundance of complex and interconnected estuarine and marine habitats including tidal salt marshes and flats, seagrass meadows, oyster reefs, and hard-bottom reefs dominated by soft coral and sponge communities. It is expected that successful candidates would focus on ecological processes related to these local habitats and environments.
To Apply:    
Applicants are asked to submit a single document in PDF format containing a letter of application, a curriculum vita, a two-page narrative describing their research interests and plans, and a brief graduate student mentoring statement. Applicants are encouraged to present their research in a way that is complementary to, and can form a basis for integrative collaboration with faculty at the FSUCML and on the FSU main campus.

Applications must be sent electronically to lhedwards@fsu.edu. Please include a list of names and contact information for three possible references.

Deadline: This position will remain open until filled.


FSU is an AA/EO employer
Female and minority candidates are especially encouraged to apply.
 
STAY CONNECTED:


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FWC Division of Law Enforcement Weekly Report February 10, 2017 through February 16, 2017

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
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FWC
Division of Law Enforcement

 FWC logo and law enforcement badge 
Weekly Report
February 10, 2017 through February 16, 2017

This report represents some events the FWC handled over the past week; however, it does not include all actions taken by the Division of Law Enforcement.

Patrol, Protect, Preserve

NORTHWEST REGION

CASES

ESCAMBIA COUNTY

Officers Long and Allgood inspected a local seafood dealer in Pensacola. They found several violations including undersized flounder, no paperwork documenting where the fish came from, and two different quality control violations. The owner of the business was given notice to appear citations for the violations.

SANTA ROSA COUNTY

Officer Ramos was on patrol in the Robert’s Pond Unit of Eglin Wildlife Management Area (WMA), when he found a vehicle parked in a suspicious location. He followed fresh foot prints and other sign towards a stalk hunting area and after reaching the legal boundary of the area, followed the tracks more than ½ mile into a permanently closed area of Eglin. Additional signs of hunting activity were present and it was determined the subject was currently hunting well inside the closed area. Officer Jones arrived to assist and the two officers positioned themselves on a trail waiting for the hunter to return from the closed area. Nearly an hour after sunset, Officer Jones intercepted the subject trying to sneak back onto the main trail in an area open for hunting. When Officer Ramos questioned the subject, he said that he was just barely inside the closed area. After presenting additional evidence, he admitted that he had been deep inside the closed area and that he “should have known better.” Eglin Range Patrol arrived and issued the man a notice of violation, suspending his ability to enter Eglin WMA for one year. Officer Ramos charged the man with a criminal citation for hunting in a closed area and warned him for other violations.

Officers Roberson and Mullins were on patrol when they were dispatched to the Escambia River WMA. A complaint had been received about subjects hunting with dogs in the still hunt area and using an ATV. After arriving on scene moments later, two subjects walked out of the woods with two hunting dogs on leashes and carrying fixed-blade knives on their waistband. After interviewing the first two subjects, two more exited the woods with an ATV and more hunting dogs and two more knives. After gathering all information, they were found to be hunting hogs. Officer Roberson issued misdemeanor citations to three of the subjects for dog hunting in a still-hunt area. Officer Mullins issued one of the subjects an infraction for the use of an ATV on the Escambia River WMA.

OKALOOSA COUNTY

Lieutenant Hollinhead checked two hunters in the Eglin WMA Archery Unit when they returned to their vehicle. The subjects appeared nervous and the lieutenant had previously noticed they attempted to conceal their foot sign around the wooded area they had entered to hunt. When the subjects exited the area, the back track led to where they had hunted, revealing their tree stands that had bait (corn) deposited around them. Both subjects were later interviewed at their residence and admitted to hunting from the tree stands over the bait. Both were charged for hunting over bait on a WMA.

While Officers Pifer and Corbin were on vessel patrol conducting boating safety and state fisheries inspections in the Destin Pass area, they saw a fishing vessel returning from the Gulf of Mexico. The officers stopped the vessel in the Destin Harbor. The fisheries inspection revealed the subject was in possession of an undersized scamp and was cited accordingly.

WALTON COUNTY

Officer Brooks saw six subjects hog hunting with dogs on the Choctawhatchee River WMA, which was closed to hunting hogs with dogs during the primitive hunting season. An adjoining landowner reported one of the dogs had been observed on his property. The subjects were cited for hunting hogs with dogs during the closed season.

DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROLS

ESCAMBIA COUNTY

Escambia County officers concentrated their efforts on fisheries enforcement this week. Most fishermen were found to be in compliance, but officers documented eight state and federal fisheries violations. These violations included possession of red snapper during closed season and several other size-limit violations.



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Fish fry for David Brown this Saturday in Eastpoint





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St. James Bay Health and Rehab holding a food drive to benefit Second Harvest of the Big Bend




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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Take a shorebird walk on St. George Island this Saturday

If you would like to learn more about local shorebirds, there will be a guided shorebird walk at the St. George Island State Park this Saturday.

Ezra Thompson from the Audubon Society will lead the 2 hour walk from 1 till 3 PM.

The focus will be on beach nesting birds incuding snowy plovers, american oystercatchers, willets, terns and herons.

There will also be information on Audubon Florida's volunteer bird stewardship program, which teaches people how to protect shorebirds during nesting season and how to educate the public about the birds.

To sign up for this Saturday's bird walk, send an e-mail to ethompson@audubon.org.

Space is limited so sign up today.




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Over 6600 manatees found in Florida waters in recent count



Biologists found over 6600 manatees during their annual manatee count – making this the third straight year where more than 6000 manatees have been found in Florida waters.

A total of 6620 manatees were found in waters around the state – that’s about 300 more than last year.

A team of 15 observers from 10 organizations counted 3488 manatees on Florida’s East Coast and 3132 on the West Coast of the state.

The annual synoptic survey is used to count as many manatees as possible – it’s been done since 1991.

This year’s results do not mean that the manatee population grew by 300 animals in a single year; they do tell researchers there are at least 6,600 manatees in Florida waters.

You can support manatee research and conservation by purchasing a manatee license plate at BuyaPlate.com or get a manatee decal at MyFWC.com/ManateeSeaTurtleDecals.

report a dead or distressed manatee, call the FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922).


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Congressman Dunn announces legislation to protect the Apalachicola River and Bay


Congressman Dr. Neal Dunn was in Apalachicola on Tuesday to announce legislation he is introducing to protect the Apalachicola River and Bay.

Dr. Dunn announced a plan to halt the Army Corps of Engineers from implementing their revised Water Control Manual.

The manual is the guide used by Corps of Engineers to operate the five reservoirs on the Chattahoochee River and it directly impacts how much fresh water flows through the river system into the Apalachicola Bay.

Under the manual, Georgia is allowed withdraw 242 million gallons per day from Lake Lanier immediately and up to 379 million gallons a day by 2050.

Florida officials say that spells disaster for the Apalachicola River and Bay and the seafood industry it supports.

The issue is currently before the supreme court, but is not going well for Florida.

Florida has argued that Georgia’s unchecked water consumption has brought historically-low water flows into the Apalachicola Bay and has caused oysters to die because of higher salinity, increased disease and predator intrusion.

Until recently, Apalachicola Bay accounted for approximately 10 percent of the nation’s Eastern oyster supply. 

The oyster industry in Apalachicola collapsed in 2012 leading to a Commercial Fisheries Disaster Declaration from the U.S. Department of Commerce in 2013. 

Last week, the Special Master appointed by the Supreme Court ruled that while he did find evidence that Florida is suffering harm from decreased freshwater flows in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin, he said Georgia is not the real problem.

He said the issue is the way that water is allocated by the Army corps of Engineers.

Congressman Dunn is now introducing resolution under the Congressional Review Act to permanently block the Army Corps’ updated Water Control Manual to allow the Florida and Georgia to continue to work on a water sharing agreeement.

Congressional Review Act resolutions permit Congress to overturn Administration rulemakings by a majority vote of both houses of Congress and the signature by the president.

At the announcement Tuesday in front of the Miss Martha Shrimp boat in Apalachicola, Dr. Dunn said Florida has suffered real damage and the fault is the corps adding that the damage to the area is “heart-breaking.”

He said his legislation will stop this governmental overreach and make the corps rework the water control manual to be more fair to all parties.

All of Florida's 27 representatives in congress have also signed a letter urging the corps to hslt the implementation of its updated Water Control Manual and meet with stakeholders immediately to discuss the Corps’ water control practices in the ACF River Basin.


The Franklin County Commission on Tuesday issued a resolution of support for the move – The Apalachicola Riverkeeper is also throwing its support behind the effort. 





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10th Annual Stone Age and Primitive Arts Festival at the Ochlockonee River State Park February 24th – 26th 2017

10th Annual Stone Age and Primitive Arts Festival
-Ochlockonee River State Park February 24th – 26th 2017-


SOPCHOPPY, Fla.- Ever wonder how pre-historic man put food on the table for the family? How people survived among mammoths and saber-toothed cats? Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Ochlockonee River State Park invites you to attend the 10th annual Stone Age and Primitive Arts Festival! The festival features artists and demonstrators from all over the country.

  • Learn from experts how to make your own arrowheads, spear points and stone tools with the ancient art of flintknapping.
  • Participate in an atlatl throwing or primitive archery contest.
  • Watch as instructors reveal the secrets behind primitive fire making techniques like the bow drill, hand drill, and the fire saw.
  • Tour through our vendor village and find everything from pottery, hand woven baskets and jewelry to bows, arrows, spears and the materials to make your own.


Stone Age and Primitive Arts Festival
Ochlockonee River State Park
429 State Park Rd
Sopchoppy Florida 32358

February 24-26, 2017
9:00am – 4:00pm

Admission: $4.00 per vehicle

(Up to 8 occupants, additional occupants are $2.00 per person)




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Monday, February 20, 2017

Bicyclist from Houston killed after being hit by SUV in Gulf County

A woman from Houston, Texas died Sunday morning after she was hit by an SUV while riding her bicycle near Port St. Joe.

The Highway patrol said 51 year old Katherine Macon Bryant was riding her bike on County Road 386 at about 10 o'clock Sunday morning when she was hit by a 2013 Ford Explorer driven by 39 year old Amy Brock of Bainbridge, Georgia.

Bryant was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Highway patrol said the incident was not alcohol related.


Charges against Brock are pending the results of the crash investigation.


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FWC encouraged by 2017 manatee survey

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
FWC encouraged by 2017 manatee survey


The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) reported a preliminary count of 6,620 manatees in Florida waters. A team of 15 observers from 10 organizations counted 3,488 manatees on Florida’s east coast and 3,132 on the west coast of the state. The FWC is encouraged by a third straight year of a minimum count higher than 6,000 manatees in Florida waters.
Researchers conduct synoptic surveys annually, weather permitting, to count manatees that are visible in Florida waters at the time of the survey. These surveys are conducted after a cold front and cover all of the known winter habitats of manatees in Florida. This year’s counts were aided by warm, sunny weather with low winds and good visibility.
“Successful conservation of manatees is a product of the commitment made by many different organizations over multiple decades. The relatively high counts we have seen for the past three years underscore the importance of warm water habitat to manatees in Florida. The FWC will continue to work diligently with our many partners to ensure the long-term viability of these habitats and the well-being of the manatee population,” said Gil McRae, FWC biologist and head of FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute.
Aerial surveys provide information about manatee distribution throughout the state. Manatees use warm water sites, like springs and power plant discharges, during the winter. Sustaining adequate winter habitat for manatees remains a statewide conservation goal and a key factor in the long-term recovery of manatees.
FWC biologists, managers and law enforcement staff work closely with partners to evaluate current data and identify necessary actions to protect this iconic animal. Florida has invested more than $2 million annually for manatee conservation, and the FWC will work toward continued success for manatees in our state.
You can support manatee research and conservation by purchasing a manatee license plate at BuyaPlate.com and a manatee decal at MyFWC.com/ManateeSeaTurtleDecals.
For more information about manatees and synoptic surveys, visit MyFWC.com/Research and click on “Florida Manatee.” To report a dead or distressed manatee, call the FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922). 


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Dr. Neal Dunn to Unveil Legislation to Protect Apalachicola River and Bay

Dr. Neal Dunn to Unveil Legislation to Protect Apalachicola River and Bay

APALACHICOLA, FL – Dr. Neal Dunn (FL-02) will be unveiling crucial legislation to halt the Army Corps of Engineers from implementing their revised Water Manual on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 in Apalachicola, Florida. This week, the Special Master appointed by the Supreme Court found the evidence in the case demonstrates Florida has suffered harm from decreased freshwater flows in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin.

Dr. Dunn will be introducing resolution under the Congressional Review Act to permanently block the Army Corps’ harmful rule and allow the states to come to an equitable agreement on the management of the ACF River Basin.

Congressional Review Act resolutions permit Congress to overturn Administration rulemakings by a majority vote of both houses of Congress and the signature by the president. Congress has been passing CRAs in the last few weeks, and the first one was recently signed into law.

This event is open to credentialed members of the media. Members of the media are encouraged to RSVP to Shelby Hodgkins atShelby.Hodgkins@mail.house.gov or 202-225-5235.

Event Details
Date: Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Time:
 12:00 PM EST
Location: 13 Mile Seafood Market, 227 Water Street, Apalachicola, Florida, 32320

Speakers:
·         Dr. Neal Dunn, Second Congressional District Congressman
·         Smokey Parrish, Chairman Franklin County Commission
·         Mark Friedman, Local resident/business owner and Treasurer of the Apalachicola Riverkeepers, Inc.


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Gulf County Commission to hold public hearing on February the 21st




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GULF COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE LAW ENFORCEMENT SUMMARY FEBRUARY 13, 2017 – FEBRUARY 19, 2017







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Franklin County Seahawks lose regional semi-final game to Chipley

The Franklin County Seahawks varsity boys basketball team are out of post-season play.
The Seahawks lost their regional semifinal game to Chipley last Thursday night.
The final score was 63 to 47.
Chipley will now face West Gadsden in the regional final game on Tuesday.

Franklin County had a great season with a record of 21 wins and only 8 losses.


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Draft agenda for February the 21st Wakulla County Commission meeting






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Spring Garden Preparation Program at Carrabelle Library





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St. James Bay Health and Rehab holding a blood drive on February 22nd




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Sports and events at the Franklin County School this week







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Agenda and information for February 21st Gulf County Commission meeting







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Agenda for February 21st Franklin County commission meeting




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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Gulf World Marine Institute will release 15 sea turtles from St. George Island on Monday

Gulf World Marine Institute will release 15 sea turtles from St. George Island on Monday.

Gulf World is releasing the 14 Kemp’s ridley sea turtles and 1 loggerhead turtle into the Gulf of Mexico on Monday, February the 21st at 11:30 am at the St. George Island State Park.

The cold stunned sea turtles are from a group of about 50 which were rescued from a cold stun event in New England.

The turtles have been in rehabilitation at Gulf World since December 9th.

Most of the turtles have already been released, but these needed some additional treatment and care.

The animals are now eating and diving normally and have been medically cleared for release.

The sea turtle release is open to the public so feel free to come out and watch and take pictures or video.


Again, the release will happen on Monday morning at 11:30 at the St. George Island State Park so try to get out there early for the best view.


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Touch a Truck Night coming up Tuesday, February the 21st




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2017 2nd Annual Blood Drive and Vendor Fair at St. James Health and Rehab Center





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Agenda for February 20th Franklin County School Board workshop and special meeting








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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Bring your pets for the 6th annual Mardis Grad Barkus Parade on February the 25th




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Franklin County Humane Society Pet of the Week

RASCAL is an 18 month old Feist/Jack Russell mix.  She is super sweet and social.  She loves kids and other dogs and she is housebroken. This little girl is fully vetted and ready for her forever home. Come and meet this little girl.  She is just adorable!

Volunteers are desperately needed to socialize all of our dogs and cats. We are always looking for people willing to bring one of our animals into their home to be fostered for various needs. Anytime you can spare would be greatly appreciated.

Call Karen at 670-8417 for more details or visit the Franklin County Humane Society at 244 State Road 65 in Eastpoint.  You may logon to the website at www.forgottenpets.org to see more of our adoptable pets.



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Friday, February 17, 2017

Dr. Neal Dunn to Unveil Legislation to Protect Apalachicola River and Bay



APALACHICOLA, FL – Dr. Neal Dunn (FL-02) will be unveiling crucial legislation to halt the Army Corps of Engineers from implementingtheir revised Water Manual on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 in Apalachicola, Florida. This week, the Special Master appointed by the Supreme Court found the evidence in the case demonstrates Florida has suffered harm from decreased freshwater flows in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin.

Dr. Dunn will be introducing resolution under the Congressional Review Act to permanently block the Army Corps’ harmful rule and allow the states to come to an equitable agreement on the management of the ACF River Basin.

Congressional Review Act resolutions permit Congress to overturn Administration rulemakings by a majority vote of both houses of Congress and the signature by the president. Congress has been passing CRAs in the last few weeks, and the first one was recently signed into law.

This event is open to credentialed members of the media. Members of the media are encouraged to RSVP to Shelby Hodgkins atShelby.Hodgkins@mail.house.gov or 202-225-5235.

Event Details
Time: 12:00 PM EST
Location: 13 Mile Seafood Market, 227 Water Street, Apalachicola, Florida, 32320

Speakers:
·         Dr. Neal Dunn, Second Congressional District Congressman
·         Smokey Parrish, Chairman Franklin County Commission
·         Mark Friedman, Local resident/business owner and Treasurer of the Apalachicola Riverkeepers, Inc.



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