Thursday, January 16, 2020

Franklin County Sheriff AJ Smith has been elected president of the Florida Deputy Sheriff's Association

 Franklin County Sheriff AJ Smith has been elected president of the Florida Deputy Sheriff's Association.

The Florida Deputy Sheriffs Association is a not-for-profit association that was established in 2008 to provide comprehensive benefits and a professional network for Sheriffs’ Office staff.

It serves 13 thousand members across the state.

Sheriff Smith succeeds Sheriff Gordon Smith of Bradford County who held the position for the past 7 years.

AJ Smith was elected sheriff of Franklin County is 2016.

Before that he was chief deputy of the Walton County sheriff's office and was instrumental in the creation of the Florida Deputy Sheriff's Association where he has also served as executive director.

Flagler County sheriff Rick Staly will serve as vice-president of the group.

County commissioners are moving forward on a plan to do some much needed repairs to Timber Island Road

 County commissioners are moving forward on a plan to do some much needed repairs to Timber Island Road.

Commissioners this month began negotiations with Dewberry Engineers to design the 800 thousand dollar project.

The money is coming from the Florida Department of Transportation Small County Outreach Program .

The project will include repaving the road from Highway 98 to the Carrabelle River.

It will also pay to build guardrails on the Timber Island Bridge.  

The work will have to be completed by June, 2021.

The funding for the project is coming from the Florida Department of Transportation Small County Outreach Program.

Franklin County is now looking for a new library director

 Franklin County is now looking for a new library director.

Earlier this month the Franklin County Commission voted to dismiss Corey Bard from the position after only 2 months on the job.

Bard has a masters degree in library science, and worked in New Mexico before coming to Franklin County.

Commissioners decided to dismiss Bard after complaints were made about his treatment of library staff members, library program volunteers, and patrons.

County coordinator Michael Moron said he met with Mister Bard on two occasions to discuss the issues but the conversations did not go well.

Moron said he made an offer to Mr. Bard, allowing him to resign with a severance pay option if he thought this job was no longer a fit for him.

Mr. Bard refused that offer and has threatened to sue the county over the issue.

The commission voted to dismiss Mr. Bard with no discussion.

If you would like to help our local humane Society as they continue to try to solve Franklin County's pet overpopulation problem then keep your eyes open for their donation collection jars

 If you would like to help our local humane Society as they continue to try to solve Franklin County's pet overpopulation problem then keep your eyes open for their donation collection jars at local businesses.

The money collected in the jars are earmarked for the spay and neuter voucher program.

The local spay and neuter program is designed to assist Franklin County citizens who can’t otherwise afford to have their pets spayed or neutered in getting their pets fixed.

The cost is $20.00 and the service includes a Rabies Vaccine.

You can come by the Humane Society on Highway 65 to fill out an application and if you qualify, you’ll receive a voucher to have your pets altered.

For more information, call 670-8417.

The donation jars are located at 16 businesses around the county but more are welcome.

if you own a business and would like to display a jar of your own, just call the humane society at 850-670-8417.

NOAA Fisheries FishNews - January 16, 2020

Fish News - NOAA Fisheries
JANUARY 16, 2020


Little Relief in the Deep for Heat-Stressed Corals

A team of NOAA scientists recently examined more than 1,000 hot water events on coral reefs across the Pacific Ocean. Combining onsite monitoring with satellite records, they found that corals in deeper waters are just as exposed to marine heatwaves as those in shallower waters.


Preliminary Survey Findings for the Arctic for 2019

Through long-term, consistent data collection during dedicated research surveys, we monitor trends in marine population abundance and changes in their distribution. This information helps Alaska Native and coastal communities and resource managers better prepare and respond to changes in Alaska marine ecosystems.

West Coast

Reward Posted for Information in Shooting of Elephant Seal

seal pup
NOAA Fisheries’ Office of Law Enforcement is offering a reward of up to $20,000 for information that leads to a civil penalty or criminal conviction in the September shooting death of a protected northern elephant seal near San Simeon, California.

NOAA Fisheries Veterans Corps Turned My Life Around

veteran corps
Army veteran Ryan Shorrow was going nowhere fast—until he found his future in the salmon streams of Northern California. He joined the California Conservation Corps in July of 2016 and spent his first year in the traditional Corps program. The work opened his eyes to a whole new world of conservation and natural resource protection, but he felt the need to learn and do more. That’s when he requested a transfer to northern California and found the NOAA Veterans Corps Fisheries Program.

Pacific Islands

New Online Course Provides Guidance on How the On-Water Community Can Help Free Entangled Whales in Hawai'i Waters

The U.S. Whale Entanglement Response course helps fishermen, tour boat operators, and whale researchers to better assist trained responders in disentangling large whales. Entanglement in ropes, nets, and other marine debris is a major threat to the humpbacks and other large whales of Hawai‘i.


North Atlantic Right Whale Calf Injured by Vessel Strike

right whale
A North Atlantic right whale calf was spotted off Georgia on January 8 with injuries that experts say are consistent with the propeller of a vessel.

Greater Atlantic

NOAA Fisheries Announces Expansion to the Great South Channel and Southern New England Scallop Dredge Exemption Areas

NOAA Fisheries filed a final rule to expand the Great South Channel and Southern New England Scallop Dredge Exemption Area as requested by the New England Fishery Management Council.

Upcoming Deadlines

January 15  Proposals due for ASMFC Regional Pilot Projects in Support of Sustainable Aquaculture.
January 16 Proposals due for Pacific Islands Region’s Marine Education and Training Mini Grant Program.
January 21 Nominations due for Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee Recreational Electronic Reporting Task Force.
January 21 Deadline for Pre-Proposals for Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program Fiscal Year 2020 Funding Opportunity.

Upcoming Events

January 13-15 Milford Aquaculture Seminar.
January 17 Maine Aquaculture Research, Development, and Education Forum in Belfast, Maine.
February 12–13 West Coast National Electronic Monitoring Workshop in Renton, Washington.

Federal Register Actions

Visit NOAA Fisheries' Rules & Regulations web page to learn more about recently proposed and finalized regulations in your region. 
Corrections or technical questions should be sent to the FishNews Editor at

Chase away the fog with music, food, & more this month! The E-Newsletter from The Carrabelle Chamber of Commerce

WILD Times Newsletter: Winter 2020 Issue

WILD Times color

Winter 2020

Inside This Issue


A Message from the Coordinator

Dear WILD Ones,
Communication and education are essential for progress, especially in conservation. Whenever I get stuck working on a program, a friend reminds me, "listen to learn and learn to listen". When we follow this simple guideline, when to make adjustments or to move forward with what is working becomes much clearer. Last year over 1200 educators received Project WILD materials with the estimated youth outreach over 200,000 kids. This effort is led by nearly all volunteers. Something is working! The educators and the workshop facilitators, the face to face contact, the vital interest in living on planet Earth with wildlife all contribute to success in conserving habitat and wildlife. Never underestimate your contribution to wildlife environmental education. As the spring and summer WILD workshop proposals roll in, you need to know that I'm here to support in whatever way possible. Let me know how to improve your experience with Project WILD to make it even better. Let's keep getting WILD and staying WILD in 2020. Thank you!    
Anita Forester
Project WILD Coordinator

Tracy Calla: Project WILD's 2019 Facilitator of the Year!

When Tracy was asked how she came in to contact with Project WILD she said, “WILD and I met quite by chance. Sifting through a shelf full of files, books, and papers left behind by a predecessor, I cracked open an old, partially filled 3-ring binder to find photocopied pages of some truly cool outdoor activities. I took to the internet, clicking and scrolling away, determined to learn more about this Project called WILD. Within an hour, I had found an educator training near me and had gotten my boss's OK to take a day off to attend. It was love at first sight…. WILD has been by my side through multiple summer camps, countless field trips, classes and professional development. WILD has inspired me time and again and has introduced me to some of the most amazing people!” Check out more at:
Selby Educator Named Facilitator of the Year

Welcome New Facilitators! Camp Ocala February 2019

Project WILD facilitators Group Photo Feb. 2019

Everglades Camp September 2019

Project WILD facilitators September 2019

Grant Award Continues for WILD: Yay!

Growing Up WILD Activity Guides and support materials for Growing Up WILD Workshops in 2020 will be provided free to workshop participants! The grant was awarded to Project WILD by the Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida. The funds are generated by the sale of the Conserve Florida car tag (pictured below). Let's keep getting early childhood educators and their students WILD! 
Conserve Florida car tag

Good Buddies Activity Florida Adapted

Good Buddies (found in the project WILD Activity Guide) is a matching card game to teach symbiotic relationships. Here is a Florida adapted version!  (click on the photo for pdf download)

Feather Identification

Have you ever had a student or camper bring you a feather to identify? We discovered a resource that is amazing for feather identification! Click on the feather photo to get there.  

Florida Wildflower Demonstration Garden Grant

The Florida Wildflower Foundation issues $3,000 grants available to Florida parks, nature centers, county extension offices and other public spaces that want to create Florida native wildflower demonstration gardens. Educational components may include classes, signage and educational materials. Applications will be accepted through March 15, 2020. Awardees will be notified by May 15. Click on photo.

A Southern Toad...How to Know

No, it isn't because it croaks "y'all"! This is a Southern Toad (Bufo terrestris, see photo below). They’re one of the most common toad species in the south, and come in quite a wide range of colors and patterns, which can make them tricky to ID.  The high ridges along the parotid glands are a dead ringer field mark for southern toads.  P.S. Discovered when participating in Project WILD's  Learning to Look, Looking to See lesson!

Are You Ready to Take it to the Next Level?

If you are an experienced Project WILD educator and are interested in leading workshops, then we're ready for you! The next Project WILD Facilitator Training (also known as Train the Trainer) is scheduled for February 29, 2020 at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park. See announcement flyer below!
Being a a Project WILD Facilitator means:
  • Recognition as a leader in Florida’s environmental education community;
  • Professional development opportunities, including an invitation to the annual facilitator awards recognition weekend - Call of the WILD;
  • Professional growth and development;
  • Support from and networking with other volunteer facilitators;
  • Access to the latest environmental education curriculum and the most current information about Florida wildlife;
  • Incentive awards;
  • Personal and professional pride and satisfaction in your accomplishments; The ability to reach children through training educators who work directly with students
Project WILD Participants
Facilitator Training Flyer

2019 Call of the WILD Highlights

Jim McGinnity (pictured below), public school educator, WILD One, Master Bird Bander, and to our good fortune the guest presenter at 2019 Call of the WILD! Jim took us through hands-on bird banding process, how he connects bird banding to engaging lesson plans, and more. Thank you Jim! 
Jim and go Fund

Also, at 2019 call of the WILD, Barb Gugliotti took us through navigating CPALMS as she worked with us on the latest standard alignments for the Project WILD and Aquatic WILD lessons! An unbelievable and outstanding professional development. Thank you Barb! (Click on the guide photos below to access the correlations)
Barb GugliottiProject WILD and Aquatic WILD Book Covers

More photos of 2019 Call of the WILD Weekend! 
Call of the WILD photo Collage

Sunrise over Lake Eaton at FWC's Camp Ocala (photo by Jenna Biggs)
sunrise at Camp Ocala

What it Means to Be an FYCCN Partner

Project WILD is a part of the Florida Youth Conservation Centers Strategic Initiative. It takes strong partnerships to make FYCCN’s goals a reality. FYCCN partners come from all types of backgrounds, businesses, and organizations. They include individuals, community leaders, fish and wildlife agencies, private landholders and educators.  If your organization is wanting to develop high quality programs for getting youth outdoors, doing boating, fishing, shooting sports, or wildlife discovery, connect with FYCCN. For more go to
FYCCN logo color

Upcoming Workshops and Important Dates

WILD Workshop Calendar Icon

Attention Facilitators: SAVE the Date for the NEXT Call of the WILD!
December 4-6, 2020 Camp Ocala 

What are Teachers Saying About Project WILD?

Quotes from Workshop Participants:

“Great for application of knowledge!”
“Awesome ideas—very excited to bring back to my school.”
“…informative and interactive—loved the experience!”
“Information was well presented and will be used in my classroom and shared with my colleagues.”
“…really enjoyed it and will definitely sign up for the next training.”
“Amazing! Very well taught and the information is great—so many Ah-Ha moments!”
“Excellent and motivational workshop.  My students will be quite thrilled to do the activities.”
“Love that Project WILD exists. Never knew about it…love the mission!”
“Great materials and very engaging workshop!”
“Excellent. Badly needed. Looking forward to using it!”
“Excellent training session.  Great presenters! Love how many resources are readily available!”
“I have never seen an ant lion and I learned how to find their habitat today!”

WILD logo