Thursday, January 18, 2018

Bridge on Mill Road over Trout Creek closed till further notice

 The County is alerting drivers that the bridge on Mill Road over Trout Creek has been closed until further notice.

The closure was implemented at the recommendation from the Florida Department of Transportation after a bridge inspection found a possible cracked panel on the bridge.

Its not known how long the bridge will be closed but the County is working to reopen the bridge as quickly as possible.

Governor Scott Recognizes Two Wakulla County Sheriff’s Deputies with Governor’s Medal of Heroism

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, during a meeting of the Florida Cabinet, Governor Rick Scott recognized Wakulla County Sheriff’s Deputies Matt Hedges and Brandon Sheffield with the Governor’s Medal of Heroism for their life-saving response to a house fire.

Governor Scott said, “It is an honor to recognize two of our state’s brave law enforcement officers, Deputy Matt Hedges and Deputy Brandon Sheffield, with the Medal of Heroism today. Florida is home to the world’s best first responders. I’d like to thank Deputy Hedges, Deputy Sheffield and law enforcement officers across Florida for their courage and dedication to the safety of Florida families.”

About the Medal of Heroism Recipients
On February 23, 2017, Wakulla County Sheriff’s Deputy Matt Hedges and Deputy Brandon Sheffield responded to a house fire and arrived first on the scene. Hearing cries for help, the deputies searched the surrounding area and found a victim behind the house suffering from severe burns. While firefighters fought to control the fire, Deputies Hedges and Sheffield shielded the victim from the heat until it was safe to carry him across the property to paramedics.

Sea Turtle Release at Saint George Island State Park this Saturday

We are only able to rescue, rehabilitate and return to the wild turtles like Barney with the support of people like you. Consider making a donation today. All contributions are tax-deductible. Click the button below to donate via PayPal using any major credit or debit card.


Sea Turtle Release at Saint George Island State Park     
Dear Friend of the Aquarium,
We have a wonderful happy event we'd like to invite you to attend. The Gulf Specimen Marine Laboratory Turtle Rescue Team is delighted to announce that they will be releasing approx. 40 sea turtles back into the Gulf of Mexico at St. George Island State Park on Saturday, January 20th at 3:00 pm.  These rehabilitated cold stunned turtles were initially rescued from St. George Island, Dog Island and Alligator Harbor during the cold snap on Jan 5th & 6th. The turtles have since recovered and are cleared by FWC to return to the Gulf due to a warming trend beginning Saturday. The Gulf Specimen Marine Laboratory would like to thank all of our volunteers, followers and supporters during this cold stunning event. We could not have done saved these beautiful turtles without your support and dedication. We hope you can join us in celebrating our success by seeing the rescued turtles returned to the sea.

In the first week of January with overnight lows hovering in the 20's hundreds of sea turtles were rescued across Florida. The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), sea turtle rescue organizations and volunteers were searching the shallow waters and walking the beaches. In our area, Gulf Specimen Marine Lab, a licensed sea turtle rehab facility were alerted that turtles were dying off St. George Island, Dog Island and Alligator Point, so we, headed out. We rescued and transported 47 cold stunned sea turtles to our facility in Panacea. Most of the turtles are juvenile Green sea turtles and a few Kemp's Ridleys. When the water temperature drops below fifty degrees F. sea turtles are unable to swim because, being cold-blooded animals, their body temperature is the same as the water temperature. As it gets colder they become torpid, float around, wash to shore and, unless rescued, freeze to death. We are grateful we were able to rescue so many of our local sea turtles due tot he support of our community.

We would like to thank The St. George Island Rangers &Staff, FWC, Audubon, Terri Cannon, Cynthia & Ron Jenkins, Val and Dave LaHart, Serge Latour and all our volunteers and GSML employees who spent many hours at various location including St. George Island, Dog Island  and Alligator Point walking miles of beaches and wading through boggy mud flats in search of stranded turtles lugging them back to vehicles and boats. Your time and dedication is greatly appreciated.


Cypress Rudloe
Executive Director

Security cameras may be needed to combat vandalism at local ball fields

 The Franklin County Parks and Recreation Department is looking at installing security cameras at local ball fields after some vandalism at Vrooman Park in Eastpoint.

Parks director Fonda Davis said the incident happened Monday night.

He said someone broke into the concession stand and stole items from the building.

He said they also cut the nets around the concession stand which are there to catch fly balls.

He said the damage was not major.

Because of it, however, the county is now looking at installing cameras around the concession stands at all three of the county's sports complexes.

Anyone with information about the vandalism should contact the Franklin County Sheriff' office.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Florida DEP permit activity for Franklin 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: Stormwater - Large Construction (>= 5 AC)
Location Id: FLR10RO47
Location Name: River Road and Mill Road
County: Franklin
Application Number: FLR10RO47-001

For further information, please contact the Tallahassee Npdes Stormwater permitting office in Tallahassee at (850) 245-7522
Permit: Water - Mitigation Bank Permit
Location Id: 295847
County: Wakulla
Application Number: 295847-016

For further information, please contact the Tallahassee Headquarters permitting office in Tallahassee at (850) 245-8489
Permit: Water - Individual With No Conceptual Approval Permit
Location Id: 231411
County: Franklin
Application Number: 231411-004

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

NOAA Fisheries FishNews – January 17, 2018

NOAA Fish News
January 17, 2018


New GARFO Lead
NOAA Names New Greater Atlantic Region Lead
NOAA Fisheries announced Michael Pentony as the new Regional Administrator for the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office in Gloucester, Massachusetts. An agency veteran, he has more than 20 years of experience in sustainable fisheries management.

Offshore Oil Rig
CORRECTED Due Date—National Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing Program
The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has released a Draft Proposed Program for the 2019–2024 National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program. Comments on the draft are due March 9.BOEM will also host a series of 23 public meetings on the National OCS Program in cities around the nation, January 18 – February 28.

GLRI Habitat Restoration
$3 M Available for Great Lakes Habitat Restoration
NOAA announces the availability of up to $3 million in Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant funding in 2018. This funding will support habitat restoration projects in the Great Lakes region, supporting healthy ecosystems and resilient Great Lakes coastal communities. Proposals are due March 12.

Commerce Trusted Trader Program
Commerce Trusted Trader Program – Open for Public Comment
By March 19, please submit your comments on a proposed rule to establish a voluntary Commerce Trusted Trader Program for U.S. importers. It will serve as a valuable complement to the Seafood Import Monitoring Program, helping achieve seafood traceability while streamlining the reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Shortfin Mako Shark
Voluntary Shortfin Mako Shark Measures
NOAA Fisheries requests that fishermen voluntarily adopt internationally recommended measures for shortfin mako shark to decrease fishing mortality pending an upcoming emergency rulemaking. The most recent population assessment estimated that shortfin mako catches would need to be significantly reduced to prevent further declines.


Alaska Fisheries Science Center building
New Alaska Fisheries Science Center Leadership
The past several months have brought changes in key management positions at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center. Meet four new members of our leadership team: Jeremy Rusin, Deputy Director; Jennifer Ferdinand, Director of the Fisheries Monitoring and Analysis Division; Stan Kotwicki, Program Manager of the Groundfish Assessment Program; and Pete Hagen, Acting Director of Auke Bay Laboratories.

West Coast

California Sea Lions
Estuary Explorers
California Sea Lions Rebounded to New Highs
A 39-year study of the California sea lion population reflects conditions in the California current through the decades and finds the population to have fully rebounded under the protection of the Marine Mammal Protection Act to a healthy and robust level. The MMPA calls these levels the Optimum Sustainable Population and provides options for states to take over management of species that have reached their OSP. 

Green Sturgeon
Green Sturgeon Recovery – Open for Comment
NOAA Fisheries released a draft recovery plan for green sturgeon in Central California. The plan itself is non-regulatory. It identifies guidelines for state and federal agencies to promote the recovery of the green sturgeon’s southern population, which is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Comments are due March 18.

Student ‘Estuary Explorers’ at Elkhorn Slough
In 2014, the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve received a Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) grant to create the Estuary Explorers Club. The afterschool program partners with Elkhorn Elementary School to provide local students a chance to experience the Elkhorn Slough Reserve.


Mutton Snapper illustration
Mutton Snapper Regulations in the South Atlantic
NOAA Fisheries announced a final rule for Amendment 41 to the Snapper-Grouper Fishery Management Plan in the South Atlantic. This rule updates the mutton snapper catch limits and regulations based on the most recent population assessment.

Greater Atlantic

Gray Seal Pup
Gray Seal Pup Surveys Underway
Researchers from the Northeast Fisheries Science Center and their colleagues will visit Muskeget and Monomoy Islands off the southeastern coast of Massachusetts this month to study gray seal pups born on the islands in December and January. The Coast Guard transported several researchers to the islands by helicopter for the first of several tagging efforts when recent winter storm conditions prevented travel by sea.

For-Hire vessels take2
Workshops on Electronic Vessel Trip Reporting
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council will hold two workshops next month to help for-hire vessel operators prepare for upcoming electronic reporting requirements. Starting March 12, vessels with Federal charter or party permits for species management by the Mid-Atlantic Council will be required to submit electronic vessel trip reports. Workshops will be held February 10 in Massachusetts and February 24 in New Jersey.

MREP workshops
Fisheries Science and Management Workshops for Fishermen
A partnership program of NOAA Fisheries, the Marine Resource Education Program offers fishermen and other stakeholders opportunities to learn the basics of fisheries science and management in workshops organized and led by other fishermen. The Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management Workshop will be held February 26–28 in Massachusetts and the Recreational Fisheries Workshop will be held March 20–22 in Maryland.

Woods Hole interns
Woods Hole Summer Programs for High Schoolers
The Woods Hole Science Aquarium is offering two summer programs for high school students in 2018: a 5-week internship and a 2-week seminar devoted to careers in marine science. Both summer programs are projects of NOAA Fisheries in partnership with Marine Biological Laboratory. Applications are due March 30.


January 18 Atlantic Salmon Ecosystems Forum, co-sponsored by NOAA Fisheries, in Orono, Maine.
January 18 - February 28 Public meetings on the Draft Proposed Program for the National Offshore Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program, held in cities around the nation.
January 22–24 Three public hearings via webinar on Coastal Migratory Pelagics Amendment 31 (Atlantic cobia.)
January 24
Free Protected Species Safe Handling, Identification, and Release workshop in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
January 29–February 1
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council meeting in New Orleans.
January 30–February 1
New England Fishery Management Council meeting in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
February 5–12
North Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting in Seattle.
February 6 and 22 
Free Protected Species Safe Handling, Identification, and Release workshops in North Carolina and Mississippi.
February 10 and 24
Two training workshops on electronic reporting requirements, hosted by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, in Massachusetts and New Jersey.
February 13–15
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina.
February 15
Free Atlantic Shark Identification workshop in Corpus Christi, Texas.


January 18
Applications due for position of IT Director for NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center.
January 22
Applications due for position of Director of Science and Research, Alaska Region.
January 22
(Extended deadline) Nominations due for 2018 National Wetlands Awards.
January 22
Applications due for position of Deputy Director of NOAA’s Office of Protected Resources.
January 26 Applications due for the 2018 NOAA Fisheries–Sea Grant Joint Fellowship Program.
January 31
Applications due for two NOAA Undergraduate Scholarship Programs.
February 1
Proposals due for marine aquaculture pilot project funding via the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commissions.
February 16
Proposals due for contract work assessing the importance of Atlantic chub mackerel to the diets of recreationally important highly migratory species.
February 20
Applications due for summer 2018 student internships at NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office.
March 2
Complete proposals due to state Sea Grant Programs for 2018 National Aquaculture Initiative funding.
March 9
Applications due for 2018 Chesapeake Bay-Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) funding.
March 30
Applications due for summer 2018 student summer programs at Woods Hole Science Aquarium.

Federal Register Actions

Visit for a list of only those actions open for public comment. Scroll search for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
For a list of all daily actions, check the Federal Register online.

Corrections or technical questions should be sent to the FishNews Editor at