Saturday, September 23, 2017

Florida DEP permit activity for Gulf and Wakulla Counties

DEP Logo
Florida Department of
Environmental Protection

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

Carlos Lopez-Cantera
Lt. Governor

Noah Valenstein

Permitting Application Subscription Service

Subscriber email address:

  Profile Name: Oyster Radio

Permit: Water - Individual With No Conceptual Approval Permit
Location Id: 357560
Location Name: COOK, JAY
County: Gulf
Application Number: 357560-001

For further information, please contact the Northwest District permitting office in Pensacola at (850) 595-8300
Permit: Water - ERP Exemption Permit
Location Id: 357569
Location Name: LOT 20
County: Wakulla
Application Number: 357569-001

For further information, please contact the Northwest District permitting office in Pensacola at (850) 595-8300
Permit: Water - ERP Exemption Permit
Location Id: 357569
Location Name: LOT 20
County: Wakulla
Application Number: 357569-003

For further information, please contact the Northwest District permitting office in Pensacola at (850) 595-8300
Permit: Water - ERP Exemption Permit
Location Id: 357569
Location Name: LOT 20
County: Wakulla
Application Number: 357569-002

For further information, please contact the Northwest District permitting office in Pensacola at (850) 595-8300

Friday, September 22, 2017

Agenda and commissioner's packet for September 26th Gulf County Commission meeting

FWC looking for Biological Scientist for work in Eastpoint

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
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OPS Biological Scientist I - FWC - 77900775
Date: Sep 20, 2017
Location: EASTPOINT, FL, US, 32328

Requisition No: 20370 
Agency: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Working Title: OPS Biological Scientist I - FWC - 77900775
Position Number: 77900775 
Salary:  $14 per hour DOE 
Posting Closing Date: 10/04/2017 

SECTION/SUBSECTION:  Marine Fisheries Research/Fisheries Biology

Job Description:
The selected candidate will primarily assist with scallop monitoring and scallop restoration programs in the Florida Panhandle.  Duties include, but are not limited to:
  • participation in scheduled monthly sampling trips;
  • semi-annual population surveys;
  • sample collection and dissection;
  • construction, maintenance, and deployment of various sampling gear;
  • microscope use include analysis of histological slides and other samples;
  • chemical and biochemical analyses including safe handling of a variety of chemicals;
  • data entry and proofing;
  • maintenance of vehicles, vessels, and trailers;
  • assistance with administrative duties such as purchasing and completing travel documents.

Prolonged, intensive field work in adverse and physically challenging conditions is required, as well as laboratory and office duties as they pertain to research goals.  The successful applicant will be required to process live and preserved animal specimens as well as dead specimens in varied states of decay.  The incumbent will be required to drive state vehicles courteously and safely and trailer research vessels up to 25' in length to and from research sites.  SCUBA diving will be a necessary component of field work and will require the employee to obtain an AAUS scientific diving certification and to maintain CPR, First Aid, and Oxygen Administration certifications.

The position requires extensive travel during all months of the year, including frequent overnights and occasional weekends.  Field days often reach or exceed 12 hours in duration and include multi-day field efforts that exceed the standard 40-hour work week.  The candidate will need to pass a swim test in a poolwithin 6 weeks of hire date.  The incumbent will be required to pay lodging costs which will be reimbursed by the state, until the candidate completes training for state purchasing card.
Minimum Qualifications:
A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a major in one of the biological sciences.  Proof of SCUBA certification from a nationally accredited organization.

Preferred Experience:  A degree from a biological or environmental studies program and 6 months paid work experience in a relevant marine-related, field-oriented position.   Valid driver's license.  Applicants with scientific experience working with molluscs (gastropods or bivavles), experience operating or trailering boats, or with AAUS certification and logged scientific dives may be given experience.

Knowledge, skills, and abilities:

Knowledge of:
  • principles and techniques used in scientific research;
  • laboratory procedures and practices associated with marine fisheries research;
  • familiarity with methods of data collection and laboratory and field preparations in support of marine fisheries research;
  • familiarity with basic laboratory methods such as weighing, measuring, data recording, data entry, and data proofing.

Skill in: the use of scientific laboratory and field equipment; use of Microsoft office programs including Excel and Word.

Ability to:
  • perform strenuous field duties in adverse conditions;
  • follow and adhere to standard operating protocols;
  • safely trailer and operate vessels up to 25’ in length;
  • work effectively as part of a team or independently to accomplish research goals;
  • communicate effectively and diplomatically with stakeholders, peers, and scientific groups;
  • flex work hours to accommodate field sampling efforts;
  • follow directions from project leaders outside the direct supervisory chain;
  • lift at least 50 lbs repeatedly over extended periods and consecutive work days;
  • maintain a valid driver’s license.
  • maintain SCUBA certification

WHAT IS OPS EMPLOYMENT?  Other Personal Services (OPS) temporary employer/employee relationship used solely for accomplishing short term or intermittent tasks. OPS employees do not fill established positions and may not be assigned the duties of any vacant authorized position.  OPS employees are at-will employees and are subject to actions such as pay changes, changes to work assignment and terminations at the pleasure of the agency head or designee.

  • State of Florida 401(a) FICA Alternative Plan* - mandatory
  • Workers’ Compensation - mandatory
  • Reemployment Assistance (Unemployment Compensation) - mandatory
  • Participation in state group insurance (you must meet eligibility requirements, please consult with People First or your servicing HR office for details)
  • Deferred Compensation - voluntary
  • Employee Assistance Program – voluntary

  • Any form of paid leave
  • Paid holidays
  • Participation in the Florida Retirement System
  • Reinstatement rights or retention rights

The State of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Affirmative Action Employer, and does not tolerate discrimination or violence in the workplace.

Candidates requiring a reasonable accommodation, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, must notify the agency hiring authority and/or People First Service Center (1-866-663-4735). Notification to the hiring authority must be made in advance to allow sufficient time to provide the accommodation.

The State of Florida supports a Drug-Free workplace. All employees are subject to reasonable suspicion drug testing in accordance with Section 112.0455, F.S., Drug-Free Workplace Act.

Nearest Major Market: Tallahassee

Project WILD Florida Fall 2017 Newsletter

WILD Times color

Fall Issue 2017

Inside This Issue

A Message from the Coordinator

Hello WILD Ones,
I hope everyone is doing as well as possible in hurricane aftermath. Many are likely still in clean-up mode. Some may have lost a home--our hearts are with you. Storm related issues at FWC's Everglades Youth Camp forced us to postpone the upcoming Train the Trainer. Several other workshops around the state have been rescheduled. But these are high level problems, right?! None-the-less, getting back to business and continuing the mission of conservation education is what you do so well. You keep me inspired and dedicated--you are the most resilient folks I've ever known. Nature is a new to truth to be discovered--the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful. The workshop proposals continue to  arrive. Beautiful. Thank you!  
Stay WILD,
Anita Forester
Project WILD Coordinator

Florida Black Bear Lesson Plans...and More

bear photo

 The Florida Black bear Curriculum is a joint project of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission and the Defenders of Wildlife. It is updated and includes 10 lesson plans covering the following topics:
  • Diversity of bear species
  • Bears as a distinct group of animals
  • Human perceptions/views of bears
  • Florida black bear natural history
  • Florida black bear habitats
  • Factors influencing the conservation success of  the Florida black bear
  • Ecological significance of the Florida black bear
  • Status of the Florida black bear
  • The future of the Florida black bear
    Unlike other curricula guides distributed from the Florida WILD office, the bear curriculum is completely online which allows for video link interaction, easy accessibility, and more! Go to    to explore the possibilities! 

What's on the FWC Calendar? Project WILD Workshops!

 When a workshop proposal that is open to the public arrives to the Project WILD Office it is advertised on the FWC calendar found at For the specific list of upcoming WILD workshops click on the link below:

Click Here for Up-to-Date WILD Calendar of Events

Also, check out Florida Project WILD's Facebook Page

wild workshop participants
Face Book Logo

Become a Project WILD Facilitator or Reactivate Your Facilitator Status

Project WILD Participants

If you have attended one or more Project WILD workshops and are ready to take it to the next level and facilitate a workshop, then you are ready to attend a Project WILD Train the Trainer. The next Project WILD Facilitator Training (otherwise known as Train the Trainer) is scheduled to be held at FWC's Ocala Youth Conservation Camp February 23-25, 2018.  Along with receiving a really cool tee-shirt, this is what it means to be a Project WILD Facilitator.
  • Recognition as a leader in Florida's conservation 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 curricula 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
If interested in attending the February 2018 Train the Trainer, please contact 

2017 Call of the WILD Registration Deadline Approaching


Attention ALL Project WILD Facilitators: 
October 20, 2017 is the deadline for registering to attend 2017 Call of the WILD. Many of you have registered early bird-thank you! This event is exclusively for active and non-active WILD workshop facilitators and volunteers (at least 18 years old). The weekend includes food, lodging, professional development, fellowship, and entertainment! We had an amazing time last year that will be difficult to top, but we're going to try our best! This is all free to active facilitators and only $75 for in-active facilitators. If you attended last year and contributed you are considered active status. We need you. Hope to see you there. Ahhhoooooooo!

2017 Call DateNovember 10-12, 2017
Location: Ocala Youth Camp, Silver Springs
Registration Link:

DeadlineOctober 20, 2017
For questions or more information contact

Visit Carrabelle's museums for free on Saturday

This Saturday would be a great day to visit Carrabelle's three museums.

The Carrabelle history museum, the Camp Gordon Johnston World War 2 Museum and the Crooked River lighthouse are all taking part in the Smithsonian’s Museum Day Live on Saturday.

That means free admission all day and extended hours for all three sites.

This is the first time all three of Carrabelle’s museums are participating in the event.

The museums will be open from 10 am to 5 pm with special activities and exhibits including Camp Gordon Johnston’s WWII military vehicles, an exhibit about historic trains and steamboats at the Carrabelle History Museum and tower climbs at the Crooked River Lighthouse.

Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum will also show Authentic Army training films taken throughout Franklin County during WWII.

Visitors to the Carrabelle History Museum can meet professional artist Ray Andersen from 10 am to noon as he works on a historical mural of Carrabelle's working waterfront circa 1880-1920.

The Crooked River Lighthouse will offer a lantern-making workshop at the Keeper’s House from 1-4:30 pm.

To take part in the event just download your Museum Day Live! tickets at

Fall is here and more butterflies are coming

As it gets chillier we can expect to see kaleidoscopes of Butterflies start to pass through our area.

Gulf Fritillaries are already passing through, and it can make driving on local bridges a little frightening as they float in front of your car.

And very soon we should start seeing Monarch butterflies too.

As the chilly weather hits the northern United States and Canada, monarch butterflies begin a migration south that takes them across North Florida.

Millions of monarchs east of the Rocky Mountains spend their winters at a specific forest in central Mexico—encompassing just 70 square miles and to get there, they use Florida’s river corridors and coastal barrier islands.

Groups like the Nature Conservancy have helped protect almost 40,000 acres across this Panhandle pathway to make sure the monarchs have a safe trip.

They also tag some of the butterflies to see if they can follow the migration pattern.

Franklin County Commission approves 2017-2018 budget

The Franklin County Commission gave final approval to its 2017-2018 budget Tuesday night.

The 52.3 million dollar budget will take effect on October the 1st.

The new budget represents about a 2 and a half percent tax increase over the current budget.

The amount that will be paid by local taxpayers is a little over 11.6 million dollars which is about a half million dollars more than last year.

Much of the local tax increase comes from an across the board cost of living increase for county workers as well as increases in the cost of health insurance and in payments to the Florida retirement system.

The county also needs additional money to take over the transfer station at the county landfill, which it will have to do in early 2018.

Under the new budget, people with a 150 thousand dollar home and a 50 thousand dollar homestead exemption will see their annual taxes increase by about 20 dollars in the coming year.

If you have a 100 thousand dollar home that is homesteaded you’ll pay about 13 dollars more in taxes.

Florida says thank you to first responders with free fishing

Florida's law enforcement, first responders and utility workers are getting a big thank you from the state of Florida for their lifesaving work preparing for and responding to Hurricane Irma.

Governor Rick Scott announced on Thursday that Florida’s law enforcement officers and first responders won't have to buy a saltwater or freshwater fishing license until July the 1st of next year.

Instead, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will accept official first responder identification in lieu of a Florida fishing license.

On top of that, The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is offering free day-passes to Florida State Parks that can be used on an unlimited basis until October 2018 for all law enforcement officers, first responders and utility workers.
Governor Scott said, Florida’s law enforcement officers and first responders have been tirelessly working around the clock to meet the needs of families and communities even as their own families were evacuating or working to begin the recovery process.

He added that we owe these brave heroes a debt of gratitude and the license-free fishing opportunity is a gesture of appreciation and recognition for their service to our state.

Franklin County Humane Society Pet of the Week

Faye and Sam are 8 month old Chihuahua littermates that we would very much like to keep together as they are a bonded pair.  They are happy and social little dogs and would do best in a home without young children.  Faye and Sam are heartworm negative and will be spayed and neutered next week.  Come and meet this dynamic duo!

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 to see more of our adoptable 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Apalachicola moving forward plan to lower flood insurance premiums for city residents

 The City of Apalachicola is moving forward on a plan to lower flood insurance premiums for city residents.

The city recently closed out a floodplain management program review and received word that it is now eligible to seek entry into the national Community Planning Rating System which helps lower flood insurance premiums in exchange for the City implementing more flood resilient measures.

The Community Rating System is a voluntary program – it rates communities by how they conform to to national flood insurance Program regulations.

Franklin county has been part of the program for years and county residents currenty get a 15 percent discount on their flood insurance premiums because of actions the county has taken which includes better record keeping as well as road work and drainage maintenance.

If the City of Apalachicola is successful in gaining entry into the program, the CRS designation could take effect as early as May, 2018.

Once the City enters the program , Apalachicola flood insurance policy owners could see their premiums drop between 10 to 20% annually.

The City of Apalachicola said there are a total of 254 flood insurance policies within the City.

Franklin county to take over transfer station on October the 1st

Franklin County will be taking over the transfer station at the local landfill sooner than expected.

Waste Management had given its official notice that it plans to stop operating the transfer station at the Franklin County landfill in early 2018 but now they say they would like to get out of the contract beginning October the 1st.

The transfer station provides temporary storage for local trash before its loaded on to larger trucks to be disposed of at other sites.

Waste Management has provided the service for nearly 20 years.

Solid Waste Director Fonda Davis said his department is not quite ready for the switch-over yet, but he assured county commissioners they can make it work.

And Waste Management is trying to make it worth the county's efforts.

Waste Management said it will leave most of its equipment for the county to use, which includes two compactors and a truck.

By taking over the transfer station now, the county will also get to keep its current 17 dollar a ton disposal rate at the landfill in Jackson County where our trash is taken.

If the county were to wait until next March, the disposal rate would increase to 28 dollars a ton minimum.

The landfill does not yet have anyone certified to operate the transfer station, but will send someone for training as soon as possible.

Fonda said they will be able to operate the station without the certification until the training takes place.

Gov. Scott Announces License-Free Freshwater and Saltwater Fishing for Florida Law Enforcement and First Responders

SANFORD, Fla. - Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that Florida’s law enforcement officers and first responders will be able to enjoy license-free freshwater and saltwater fishing beginning today through June 30, 2018. This is in recognition of their lifesaving work preparing and responding to Hurricane Irma. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will accept official first responder identification in lieu of a Florida fishing license during this period. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is also offering free day-passes to Florida State Parks that can be used on an unlimited basis until October 2018 for all law enforcement officers, first responders and utility workers.

Governor Scott said, “Before and after Hurricane Irma, Florida’s brave law enforcement officers and first responders have been tirelessly working around the clock to meet the needs of our families and communities. Even as their own families were evacuating or working to begin the recovery process, they have been putting their own lives on the line to keep our state safe. We owe these brave heroes a debt of gratitude, and I am proud to announce this license-free fishing opportunity as a gesture of appreciation and recognition for their service to our state.”

Brian Yablonski, FWC Chairman, said, “These true heroes of hurricane response efforts will be able to enjoy Florida's world class freshwater and saltwater fishing opportunities without buying a fishing license. It is our hope this small token of appreciation will give these dedicated men and women an opportunity to get a break from stressful recovery work so they can relax and enjoy good times fishing with family and friends.”

Gulf County bay scallop season opens on Saturday

 The Gulf County bay scallop season will open to harvest this Saturday.

The bay scallop harvest was originally scheduled to begin on July 25th but was postponed after a Pseudo-nitzschia bloom was found in the St. Joe Bay.

The FWC said this week that recent samples have indicated that the scallops in St. Joseph Bay are safe for human consumption and meet FDA requirements for opening harvest in the bay.

It won't be a very long scallop season.

The 2017 season will be open for 16 days, with the last day of harvest on October 8th.

The season will be for all state waters from the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County through the westernmost point of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County.

The daily bag limit is 2 gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell or 1 pint of bay scallop meat per person, with a maximum of 10 gallons of whole bay scallops in shell or 1/2 gallon bay scallop meat per vessel.

NOAA Fisheries FishNews – September 20, 2017

NOAA Fish News
September 20, 2017


Estuary San Francisco Bay
National Estuaries Week
It’s National Estuaries Week! Estuaries are places where freshwater from rivers and streams mixes with saltwater from the ocean. These transitional areas provide vital habitat for commercial and recreational fish species, shellfish, birds, wildlife—and people.

Estuary Videos
Celebrate National Estuaries Week with us by checking out some of our videos on estuaries, fish habitat, and habitat restoration:
Habitat Video 1

Habitat Video 2

Habitat Video 3

Habitat Video 4
Treasuring the Choptank:Residents and Scientists Envision a Healthier Chesapeake Bay

Estuary Story Maps
Virtually explore our habitat restoration work at an estuary near you!
Story Map 1

Story Map 2 v2

Story Map 3

Story Map 4 v2

Story Map 5

Story Map 6

Story Map 7
Right Whale mom and calf Christin Khan
Photo: Christin Khan / NEFSC, Permit #17355
New Model Confirms Recent Right Whale Decline
NOAA Fisheries researchers and their colleagues at the New England Aquarium have developed a new model to improve estimates of abundance and population trends of the endangered North Atlantic right whale. Their new method confirms a recent decline in right whale abundance every year since 2010.


Bering Sea algae bloom
Image courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory
Exploring the Bering Sea’s Changing Colors
This week, NOAA Fisheries scientists hope to witness the changing colors of the Bering Sea as they investigate why it happens (hint: plankton blooms) and what it means for the ecosystem that supports the nation’s biggest fisheries.

West Coast

Photo: Blane Bellerud / NOAA Fisheries
New Plan Charts Path for Eulachon Recovery
NOAA Fisheries finalized a recovery plan for the southern distinct population segment of eulachon, a small smelt that spawns in coastal rivers like the Columbia River Estuary. Recovery of eulachon would not only benefit the ecosystem, but also restore a resource of enormous cultural significance for tribes and coastal communities.

Puget Sound
Photo: Greg Williams / NWFSC
New Puget Sound Species Database Informs Ocean Acidification Research
A new study by NOAA Fisheries scientists has produced a detailed, searchable database of almost 3,000 species found in Puget Sound. The study unravels some earlier assumptions about how vulnerable some species may be to ocean acidification—namely, that whether or not an organism builds a shell may not be the best indicator of their sensitivity.

Pacific Girl trawl boat
Groundfish Programs Review – Open for Comment
Following the requirements of its groundfish fishery management plan, the Pacific Fishery Management Council is undertaking a 5-year review of the trawl catch share program (Amendment 20) and intersector allocations (including Amendment 21). Comments on the draft of the catch share program 5-year review are due October 17.

Pacific Islands

HICEAS Killer Whales
Story Map: Hawaiian Island Cetacean Survey
Scientists aboard NOAA ships Oscar Elton Sette and Reuben Lasker are participating in a 187-day Hawaiian Islands Cetacean and Ecosystem Assessment Survey to study whales and dolphins, seabirds, turtles, and habitat around the Hawaiian Islands. They share their sightings in this new story map.

West Hawaii HIMS
Photo: Courtney Couch, Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology
Reef and Watershed Management in West Hawaii
In July, NOAA awarded $250,000 in funding to The Nature Conservancy to continue efforts to manage coral reefs and watersheds in West Hawaii. The award builds upon the partnership between NOAA and TNC established in 2014 as part of the West Hawaii Habitat Focus Area, one of 10 Habitat Focus Areas across the country.

Sharks and Tuna
Photo: Paula Ayotte / NOAA Fisheries
First Collaborative Climate Science Workshop
Staff from NOAA Fisheries, NOAA Satellites, and the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council are meeting this week in Honolulu for the first Annual Collaborative Climate Science Workshop. A component of the Pacific Islands Regional Action Plan for climate science, the workshop aims to identify climate-related management questions for the Pacific Islands and the science needed to address them.

Greater Atlantic

Scup illustration
NOAA Fisheries Announces Scup Quota Increase
NOAA announced an increase in the commercial scup quota and possession limit for the period November 1 to December 31. This increase rolls unused quota from January–April into the upcoming season.

Observer Northeast
Photo: Northeast Observer Program / NOAA
Sector At-Sea Monitor Provider Applications
Companies interested in receiving approval to provide at-sea monitoring services to sectors in fishing year 2018 must submit an application by October 1. Companies already approved to provide at-sea monitoring services for both the 2017 and 2018 fishing years need not reapply to service 2018, and future opportunities will grant approval to provide services over 2-year periods.

For-Hire Reporting Requirement SAFMC
Photo Credit: South Atlantic Fishery Management Council
Mid-Atlantic For-Hire Vessel Permitting, Reporting
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council has received questions about for-hire (party/charter) vessel permitting and reporting requirements. Read more about required Vessel Trip Reports, which must be submitted electronically beginning March 12, 2018.