Saturday, December 14, 2019

Franklin County Tag Art Competition

The third year for the Franklin County Kids Tag Art (KTA) Competition is underway and we’d like to invite you to be a sponsor.  All the 5th graders in Franklin County (Franklin Public School, Apalachicola Bay Charter School, First Baptist Christian School and home schoolers) are invited to compete for small cash prizes and draw a specialty license tag with a theme this year as Franklin County.  Excess funds are donated to the art programs in Franklin County schools. 

Last year, over $2500 was donated to the art programs in the county and we hope to exceed that contribution this year.  The Franklin County Tax Collector’s office participates with 26 other Tax Collectors Offices in promoting this program.  Over a million dollars statewide has been donated to art programs since the first tag art competition was instituted in Polk County in 2006.


The Franklin County KTA program is incorporated in the 5th grade art curriculum for schools countywide and was created to encourage creativity and problem-solving skills while learning about specialty plates and the worthy causes they support.  This S.T.E.A.M.-fashioned program allows kids to design their own unique vanity tag and compete for prizes and awards.  These tags can be placed on the front of vehicles.  It is not a legal tag.  The top three designs from each class are awarded prizes and three overall winners are selected from the entries.   A traveling exhibit of all the entries are displayed in several venues in Franklin County.  Reproductions of each tag art entry are available for sale to student, families, and the public at large. 


Please contribute at whatever level feels comfortable for you or your organization.  Gold, Silver and Bronze sponsors will be recognized by signage and in the program at the traveling art shows.  All contributions are tax-deductible.  Signage and programs will be printed on February 1st, so please send in your contribution ASAP. 

GOLD                   $500
SILVER                 $250
BRONZE              $100

Please make checks payable to Franklin County Education Foundation, Inc. and indicate in the subject line Franklin County Tag Art and mail them to the Franklin County Tax Collector, PO Box 188, Apalachicola, FL 32329.


SERENA is a 6 month old Siamese and as pretty as a picture. We have many cats and kittens available who would love to be home for Christmas. If you have been thinking of adding to your family, now is the purrfect time to adopt!

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 to see more of our adoptable pets.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

NOAA Fisheries FishNews December 11, 2019 (REVISED)

Fish News - NOAA Fisheries
DECEMBER 11, 2019


A Mission to Recover the Coral Reefs of the Florida Keys

NOAA and partners have launched an unprecedented, decades-long coral reef restoration effort titled, “Mission: Iconic Reefs,” to restore coral at seven iconic sites in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The project will rely on the work and support of numerous partners, investors, and interested stakeholders. It calls for restoring nearly 3 million square feet of coral reefs, making it one of the largest coral restoration strategies ever proposed.

$226 Million in Projects Finalized for Deepwater Horizon Restoration in the Gulf

tutrle deep water
The Deepwater Horizon Open Ocean Trustees have released a final Open Ocean Restoration Plan. They selected 18 projects totaling almost $226 million to help restore fish, sea turtles, marine mammals and deep-sea coral habitat injured by the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. This represents the largest dedication of Natural Resource Damage Assessment funds to restore these oceanic marine resources in the Gulf of Mexico to date.

Economic Contribution of Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Recreational Fisheries

NOAA Fisheries has released the findings of two studies on the economic contribution of private recreational fishing trips and tournaments targeting Atlantic highly migratory species (HMS). The analyses use survey data collected in 2016.

West Coast

Divers Release Endangered Abalone into the Wild for First Time, Boosting Odds of Recovery

On November 18, a dedicated group of scientific divers gathered on a southern California dock to release hundreds of juvenile white abalone grown in captivity. This marked the first release of endangered white abalone into the wild off southern California, a key recovery strategy for the native species.

Salmon Lose Diversity in Managed Rivers, Reducing Resilience to Environmental Change

New research shows that the manipulation of rivers in California is jeopardizing the resilience of native Chinook salmon. It compresses their migration timing to the point that they crowd their habitats and may miss the best window for entering the ocean and growing into adults. The good news is that even small steps to improve their access to habitat and restore natural flows could boost their survival.

Endangered Winter-run Chinook Salmon Increase with Millions of Offspring Headed to Sea

Biologists have estimated that almost 3.8 million juvenile winter-run Chinook salmon headed down the Sacramento River toward the ocean this year. This is the most offspring in a decade for the highly endangered population. The rebounding numbers reflect the critical help of a conservation fish hatchery and balanced water management.

Pacific Islands

NOAA and Partners Gather to Discuss Hawai‘i Coral Bleaching and Restoration

On November 6–7, several federal, state, university, and NGO partners hosted a symposium to discuss coral bleaching in Hawai‘i—and how to combat this growing threat. The Hawai‘i 2nd Coral Restoration and Bleaching Symposium, hosted by the Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology, brought together coral experts and representatives from across the state.


North Atlantic Right Whales Spotted off East Coast

right whales
North Atlantic right whale migration is underway. As of December 2, biologists have five confirmed sightings of potential right whale moms. The first right whale of the 2019–2020 season was spotted on November 23, six miles off Jacksonville, Florida. The whale, known to biologists as “Harmonia,” is a 19-year-old female. According to scientists, she last gave birth in 2016.

Greater Atlantic

Conservation Partners to Restore Nearshore Habitat in Virginia

A shoreline restoration project in York County, Virginia, at the Naval Weapons Station Yorktown’s Cheatham Annex.
The Chesapeake Bay is full of special places, including Virginia’s Middle Peninsula. Much of this area, which is bounded to the north by the Rappahannock River and to the south by the York River, is rural. Many residents make their livelihoods from farming or fishing, thanks to the region’s vibrant ecosystem.

Upcoming Deadlines

December 18 Nominations due for the Atlantic Highly Migratory Species SEDAR Pool. December 20 Nominations due for Outstanding Leaders in Wetland Conservation award.
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 19 Nominations due for MAFAC’s Recreational Electronic Reporting Task Force.
January 31 Proposed Rule To Designate Critical Habitat for the Central America, Mexico, and Western North Pacific Distinct Population Segments of Humpback Whales: Open for Comment

Upcoming Events

December 10–12 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting in Annapolis, Maryland.
December 23 Applications due for participation in 2020 Shark Research Fishery.
January-March 2020 – Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops
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

Recreational and Commercial Harvest of Lane Snapper in Federal Waters of the Gulf of Mexico Will Close on December 13, 2019

The following Fishery Bulletin is provided to our subscribers as a courtesy: 
Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.
ISSUE DATE: December 10, 2019                                                                                  FB19-079
CONTACT: Kelli O'Donnell, 727-824-5305,

Recreational and Commercial Harvest of Lane Snapper in Federal Waters of the Gulf of Mexico Will Close on December 13, 2019


  • Recreational and commercial harvest of lane snapper in federal waters will close at 12:01 a.m. (local time) on December 13, 2019.
  • Recreational and commercial harvest will reopen at 12:01 a.m. (local time) on January 1, 2020.


  • The 2019 stock annual catch limit is 301,000 pounds.  Updated landings data indicate that stock annual catch limit has been reached.
  • In 2018, the stock annual catch limit was exceeded.
  • In accordance with the regulations, if the stock annual catch limit is exceeded one year, then during the following fishing year, if the sum of commercial and recreational landings reaches or is projected to reach the stock annual catch limit, NOAA Fisheries must close the recreational and commercial sectors for the remainder of that fishing year. 
  • As a result, recreational and commercial harvest for lane snapper will close in federal waters at 12:01 am (local time) on December 13, 2019, and will remain closed until 12:01 a.m. (local time) on January 1, 2020.
  • This closure is necessary to protect the lane snapper population. 


  • No recreational or commercial fisherman may fish for or keep lane snapper after 12:01 a.m. (local time) on December 13, 2019.
  • The closure applies in both state and federal waters for vessels that have a valid Gulf of Mexico commercial reef fish permit.
  • During the closure, the bag and possession limits for lane snapper in or from federal waters of the Gulf are zero.
  • Sale or purchase of any harvested lane snapper in or from federal waters is prohibited.
  • The prohibition on sale or purchase does not apply to trade in lane snapper that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold before 12:01 a.m., (local time) December 13, 2019, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor.
About Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is one of eight regional Fishery Management Councils established by the Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976. The Council prepares fishery management plans, which are designed to manage fishery resources within the 200-mile limit of the Gulf of Mexico.     
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