Monday, October 25, 2021

Virtual Auction Nov. 5 & 6, Legal Update, RiverTrek Rescheduled and More!

Oct-Nov 2021
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Virtual Auction November 5-6

Each year, our Silent Auction raises funds that are crucial to sustaining the mission of Apalachicola Riverkeeper. It is a fantastic opportunity for friends and supporters to bid on outdoor experiences, recreational items, artwork, collectibles, jewelry, and one-week beach escapes and/or overnight stays at vacation properties along the Forgotten Coast. Bidding starts at 9 AM on Friday, November 5th. Learn more here.
Appeal Filed in Corps Lawsuit

Together with conservation partners Florida Wildlife Federation and National Wildlife Federation, Apalachicola Riverkeeper will continue the legal challenge to the USACE's water control manual update. Earthjustice represents us. The water control manual dictates how water of the ACF Rivers Basin is managed for decades to come. Separately, the State of Alabama is also continuing their legal challenge to the the USACE's updated manual. The USACE must fully consider their water management impacts on the Apalachicola River and Bay system and comply with federal laws. Learn more.
Floridians Rights to Clean Water
Waterkeepers Florida supports the Florida 5 Initiative to get constitutional amendments added to the ballot for the 2022 election, especially the Right to Clean Water and Wetlands Protection. This is a legal concept recognizing the inherent right of humans to clean, safe water in healthy ecosystems. Submit your petition by Nov 30. Learn more.
Exploring the Apalachicola Basin
Eco-educational outings offer a fun, memorable experience for all involved. Upcoming outings include a field trip with the Florida Native Plant Society and hikes on the Garden of Eden Trail and in Torreya State Park. Read about a recent joint outing with Outdoor Afro Tallahassee on Merritt's Mill Pond in Jackson County.
RiverTrek Rescheduled
Due to foul weather and a rapidly rising river, our annual Apalachicola RiverTrek was rescheduled to November 10-14. Undaunted, many of the rivertrekkers and Apalachicola Riverkeeper volunteers recently camped together at Hickory Landing for some paddling, boating and music. Read a blog by RiverTrekker Whitney Sanford.
Slough Restoration Project
This month at various points around Lake Seminole where the Flint and Chattahoochee converge above the Woodruff Dam, we took a series of soil and water samples. This will help to identify unique properties flowing into the Apalachicola River main channel riverbed. More on the Slough Restoration Project.
Apalachicola Bay System Initiative
The ABSI mission is to gain insight into the root causes of decline of the Apalachicola Bay ecosystem with a focus on oyster reefs, and ultimately, with guidance from the Community Advisory Board and input from stakeholders and the public, to develop science-informed restoration and ecosystem-based management plans focused on the recovery of oyster reefs and the health of Apalachicola Bay. Read recent ABSI newsletter.
Read more blogs here
Apalachicola Riverkeeper is located at 301 Market Street, at Scipio Creek Marina
The office is open by appointment.


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Franklin County Commissioners have agreed to allow Weems Memorial Hospital to create a schedule to purchase new ambulances.

Franklin County Commissioners have agreed to allow Weems Memorial Hospital to create a schedule to purchase new ambulances.


The county agreed to allow the hospital to schedule the purchase of an ambulance with base equipment once per year.


Weems Hospital CEO David Walker said the schedule will streamline financial planning and ambulance operations.


The schedule will begin with the purchase of a Ford F350 Diesel with additional medical equipment included for a total price of just over three hundred thousand dollars.


The new vehicle should be ready to use in 6 to 9 months.


Once it is in place, the ambulance service will retire its 2016 Chevrolet which currently has 216,000 miles.


David Walker said there are three primary trucks on the road averaging 60,000 miles per year.  



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There will be no fall season for red snapper this year.

There will be no fall season for red snapper this year.


The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced Friday that Florida’s recreational red snapper quota in Gulf state and federal waters was met during the June 4 through July 28 open season. 


Anglers had the opportunity to enjoy a 55-day summer Gulf red snapper season this year, which is the longest summer season for Florida since FWC was delegated the ability to set the season for private recreational anglers in Gulf federal waters off Florida by the federal government.


This season was chosen to maximize harvest opportunities during summer, which is when red snapper fishing is most popular, and to allow as much of Florida’s 2021 quota to be harvested as possible. 


Because the FWC cannot allow recreational harvest of Gulf red snapper once Florida’s quota has been reached, Gulf red snapper harvest will not reopen this fall for Florida anglers fishing from private recreational vessels in Gulf state and federal waters, or for for-hire operations that are licensed to fish in state waters but are not federally-permitted. 





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There was a big drop in local unemployment numbers in September

 There was a big drop in local unemployment numbers in September.


Franklin County unemployment fell in September to 3.6 percent – it was 4.3 percent in August.


That means 179 people were out of work in September down from 220 the month before.


11 counties had lower unemployment rates than ours.


Wakulla County had the third lowest unemployment rate in the state at 3.1 percent – that was down from 3.8 percent the month before.


Gulf County unemployment fell from 4 percent to 3.4 percent with 184 people out of work there.


Liberty County unemployment fell from 5 to 4.6 percent.


Florida's unemployment as a whole was 4.3 percent.



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St. Joseph Bay Humane Society Pet of the Week




Hi, I'm Ms. Puff! I am a stocky little 54 pound bulldog mix. I am dog friendly with most other dogs and cat friendly. I'm super gentle so I would do great in a home with children! It is ridiculous how sweet and adorable I am! I walk pretty well on a leash and love treats. I would make a fabulous addition to almost any family! Come by the shelter to meet me and all of my friends!

You'll find the Humane Society at 1007 10th street in Port St. Joe
Call: 850-227-1103
info@sjbhumanesociety.org


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Red Tide Present in Gulf County Health Alert for St. Joseph Bay


Port St. Joe, Fla. -The Florida Department of Health in Gulf County (DOH-Gulf) is notifying the public of red tide blooms near: George Core Park (located at the end of Jetty Park Drive), Crescent Palms Drive (near Salina’s Park Bay side), and Pig Island (St. Joseph Bay).


The previous health alerts for red tide blooms at the following locations remain in place.

· Salina’s Park (Gulf side)

· Stump Hole

· Cape Palms Park, public access beach

· Dunes Drive, public access beach

· St. Joseph Peninsula State Park (Gulf side)

· Eagle Harbor Boat Ramp (Bay side of St. Joseph Peninsula State Park)


These alerts will remain in effect until further notice. Surrounding counties are experiencing similar advisories, so please be aware of beach water conditions near you.


Some people may have mild and short-lived respiratory symptoms such as eye, nose and throat irritation similar to cold symptoms. Some individuals with breathing problems such as asthma might experience more severe symptoms. Usually symptoms go away when a person leaves the area or goes indoors. Health officials recommend that people experiencing these symptoms stay away from beach areas or go into an air-conditioned space. If symptoms do not subside, please contact your health care provider for evaluation.


The Department recommends that you:

· Do not swim around dead fish at this location.

· If you have chronic respiratory problems, be careful and consider staying away from this location as red tide can affect your breathing.

Do not harvest or eat molluscan shellfish and distressed or dead fish from this location. If fish are healthy, rinse fillets with tap or bottled water and throw out the guts.
Keep pets and livestock away from water, sea foam and dead sea life.
Residents living in beach areas are advised to close windows and run the air conditioner (making sure that the A/C filter is maintained according to manufacturer's specifications).
If outdoors, residents may choose to wear paper filter masks, especially if onshore winds are blowing.
Florida Poison Control Centers have a toll-free 24/7 Hotline for reporting of illnesses, including health effects from exposure to red tide at 1-800-222-1222.


Please visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research website for additional information on the locations where red tide has been found: myfwc.com/research/redtide/statewide/.


Frequently asked questions about red tide can be found at this link: https://myfwc.com/research/redtide/faq/



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FRANKLIN COUNTY HUMANE SOCIETY PET OF THE WEEK




Edina is a 1 yr old Retriever.  She is a sweet and loving girl with a pert expression and happy demeanor.  She weighs in at only 40 lbs so is a really nice size for many people.  Edina loves people and other dogs and is a joy to be around.  


We are always looking for people willing to bring one of our animals into their home to be fostered for various needs.


Any time 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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Red Tide Present in Franklin County Health Alert for St. George Sound


Apalachicola, Fl. -The Florida Department of Health in Franklin County (DOH-Franklin) is notifying the public of a red tide blooms near: Old St. George Island Causeway (south of St. George Sound) and Marsh Island (1.5 mi NW of St. George Sound).

 

The previous health alerts for red tide blooms at the following locations remain in place.

·       Cedar Point (located on the bay side of St. George Island)

·       St. George Island Lighthouse Beach

·       Tally Ho Road and Veronica’s Way (Bob Sikes Cut)

·       Dog Island

 

 

These alerts will remain in effect until further notice. Surrounding counties are experiencing similar advisories, so please be aware of beach water conditions near you.

 

Some people may have mild and short-lived respiratory symptoms such as eye, nose and throat irritation similar to cold symptoms. Some individuals with breathing problems such as asthma might experience more severe symptoms. Usually symptoms go away when a person leaves the area or goes indoors. Health officials recommend that people experiencing these symptoms stay away from beach areas or go into an air-conditioned space. If symptoms do not subside, please contact your health care provider for evaluation.

The Department recommends that you:

·       Do not swim around dead fish at this location.

·       If you have chronic respiratory problems, be careful and consider staying away from this location as red tide can affect your breathing.

  • Do not harvest or eat molluscan shellfish and distressed or dead fish from this location. If fish are healthy, rinse fillets with tap or bottled water and throw out the guts.
  • Keep pets and livestock away from water, sea foam and dead sea life.
  • Residents living in beach areas are advised to close windows and run the air conditioner (making sure that the A/C filter is maintained according to manufacturer's specifications).
  • If outdoors, residents may choose to wear paper filter masks, especially if onshore winds are blowing.

Florida Poison Control Centers have a toll-free 24/7 Hotline for reporting of illnesses, including health effects from exposure to red tide at 1-800-222-1222.

 

Please visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research website for additional information on the locations where red tide has been found: myfwc.com/research/redtide/statewide/.

 

Frequently asked questions about red tide can be found at this link: https://myfwc.com/research/redtide/faq/




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