Sunday, February 7, 2016

Seahawk Scoop for Feb. 8th-12th.







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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Make your own Valentine at the Carrabelle Library!





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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
Governor

Carlos Lopez-Cantera
Lt. Governor

Jonathan P. Steverson
Secretary


Permitting Application Subscription Service


Subscriber email address: manager@oysterradio.com

  Profile Name: Oyster Radio

Permit: Water - Domestic Wastewater Collection/Transmission System
Project Name: BOARDWALK SUBDIVISION LPS
Location Id: 240068
Location Name: PORT ST JOE CAPE SAN BLAS SEWER EXPANSION
County: Gulf
Application Number: 240068-003

For further information, please contact the Northwest District permitting office in Pensacola at (850) 595-8300
Permit: Water - Domestic Wastewater Collection/Transmission System
Project Name: MAGNOLIA GARDENS SEWER PH I
Location Id: 341409
Location Name: MAGNOLIA GARDENS SEWER PHASE I
County: Wakulla
Application Number: 341409-001

For further information, please contact the Northwest District permitting office in Pensacola at (850) 595-8300
Permit: Water - Domestic Wastewater Collection/Transmission System
Project Name: WAKULLA GARDENS SEWER PH I
Location Id: 125387
Location Name: WAKULLA CO WW SYSTEM IMP PH 1 - WAKULLA GARDENS FM
County: Wakulla
Application Number: 125387-005

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


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Sign up to give blood at Weems Memorial Hospital next week!

Announcing your next Blood Drive
Date :
02/11/2016 from 10:00 AM to 03:00 PM
Location :
George E. Weems Memorial Hospital
Bloodmobile
135 Avenue G

Apalachicola, FL 32320
Make an Appointment :
Why Give Blood?
There is no substitute for human blood.  When you donate blood with OneBlood, you are making an immediate contribution to the health and welfare of your community. 
Blood is needed by patients facing planned and unplanned medical procedures, trauma victims, cancer patients and premature babies.  Your donation will help an ill or injured patient within a few days.  The turn-around is that fast, the need is constant.



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HIT THE TRAIL FOR FLORIDA HIKING TRAILS MONTH

Press Release Banner

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 5, 2016

CONTACT: DEP Press Office, 850.245.2112DEPNews@dep.state.fl.us 

HIT THE TRAIL FOR FLORIDA HIKING TRAILS MONTH

~Celebrate hiking in February~

hiking
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Governor Rick Scott proclaimed February as Florida Hiking Trails Month to promote healthy lifestyles and recognize the economic benefits trails bring to the state. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Park Service invites Floridians and visitors to enjoy a hike along the state’s extensive, nationally recognized trail system this month and throughout the year. 
“February is the perfect time to take advantage of the scenic beauty offered by our state’s outstanding system of trails,” said Donald Forgione, director of the Florida Park Service. “Florida’s network includes a combined total of more than 7,000 miles of multi-use and hiking trails and provides access to natural and cultural resources.”
Florida Hiking Trails Month emphasizes fun and fitness along scenic and diverse trails from urban trails in the midst of cityscapes to wilderness trails winding through Florida’s award-winning state parks. Florida’s vast network of trails includes more than 2,500 miles of dedicated hiking trails on public lands and more than 4,500 miles of multi-use trails across the state. 
For ideas in planning your own hiking trips, explore the online Trail Guide composed by DEP’s Office of Greenway and Trails or find a trail in one of Florida’s award-winning state parks.


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Friday, February 5, 2016

January 2016 Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council Update

header
For Immediate Release
February 2, 2016


Gulf Council Update - January, 2016
 
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council met in Orange Beach, Alabama, January 25 - 28, 2016, to discuss a number of fishery issues, including electronic reporting for for-hire vessels, regional management for recreational red snapper, and the shrimp permit moratorium.

Regional Management of Recreational Red Snapper - Reef Fish Amendment 39
After reviewing Reef Fish Amendment 39 and public hearing summaries, the Council postponed further discussion of the Amendment as other options for recreational red snapper management are explored. Amendment 39 was developed to divide the recreational red snapper quota among regions to allow region specific management measures.

Reef Fish Amendment 43 - Hogfish
The Council reviewed a document that proposes to set a management boundary between Gulf and South Atlantic hogfish stocks near the Cape Sable area of South Florida. The amendment also considers setting status determination criteria, revising the annual catch limit, and increasing the minimum size limit. The Council will review a public hearing draft of the document during its April, 2016 Council meeting. Public hearings will be held sometime after the April meeting.

Yellowtail Snapper Framework Action to Modify Gear Restrictions
This framework action addresses inconsistencies between Gulf and South Atlantic Councils' circle hook requirements for yellowtail snapper commercial fishing in Gulf waters and increase the operational efficiency of the commercial yellowtail snapper fishery. The Council added a new action to the document that looks at modifying the fishing year for Gulf yellowtail snapper. For this action, the Council chose alternatives that would establish commercial and recreational seasons of August 1 - July 31.
 
Two public hearings are scheduled: one in Key West March 1, 2016, and the other in Sarasota March 2, 2016.
 
Reef Fish Amendment 36 - Red Snapper IFQ Modifications
The Council reviewed potential management actions and decided to divide Amendment 36 into two Amendments in an effort to expedite items that can be addressed quickly.

Amendment 36A will include actions related to the enforcement of commercial reef fish trips, inactive shareholder accounts, and mid-year quota changes and could apply to both the red snapper and grouper/tilefish IFQ programs.

Amendment 36B will address issues such as eligibility requirements, caps on the use or possession of IFQ shares and allocation, and other issues.

Reef Fish Amendments 41 and 42
The Council heard summaries of the scoping meetings and public comments for Amendments 41 and 42. For Amendment 42, the Council selected gray triggerfish, greater amberjack, and red grouper, in addition to red snapper and gag, as preferred alternatives. An alternative to establish a fishing cooperative program was moved to the 'considered but rejected' section of the document. The Council also requested the addition of an action to Amendments 41 and 42 that would allow both charter and headboat owners/operators to opt-out of the proposed programs.

New Reef Fish Actions
The Council initiated a new amendment to examine extending or eliminating the sunset provision on sector separation created by Amendment 40. 

Amendment 40 established a red snapper federal for-hire component that includes all for-hire operators with a valid or renewable federal reef fish for-hire permit and a private angling component that includes all other for-hire operators and private recreational anglers. It also established separate red snapper season closure provisions for the two components.

The Council also initiated work on two new reef fish framework actions. One would adjust the red grouper annual catch limit. The other would develop a mechanism to allow the recreational red snapper season to reopen in the event that the annual catch limit is not met during the regular season.

Data Collection
The Council reviewed a proposed amendment to modify the frequency and method of reporting for charter and headboats fishing for reef fish and coastal migratory pelagics in the Gulf of Mexico. After reviewing public comments on the amendment, the Council decided to postpone taking final action. Instead, the Council requested that the Southeast Fishery Science Center develop a flowchart illustrating alternatives for implementing electronic reporting in the federally permitted for-hire component. Alternatives will be presented to the Council during its April, 2016 Council meeting.

Shrimp
The Council took final action on Shrimp Amendment 17A to extend the shrimp permit moratorium for ten years and maintains the endorsement requirement for royal red shrimp. Amendment 17A will be transmitted to the Secretary of Commerce for review and implementation.

Coastal Migratory Pelagics (Mackerel)
The Council reviewed and chose preferred alternatives for a public hearing draft of Amendment 26 which considers making modifications to allocations, stock boundaries, and sale provisions of king mackerel. Public hearings will be held February 22, 2016 - March 3, 2016.  The Council is expected to take final action during the April Council meeting.

The Council also decided to start a framework action to remove the prohibition on retaining the recreational king mackerel bag limit on a vessel with a commercial king mackerel permit or a dually permitted charter vessel, when the king mackerel commercial season is closed but while the king mackerel recreational season is open.

More Information
For more information about any of the amendments discussed during the Council meeting, visithttp://gulfcouncil.org/fishery_management_plans/scoping-thru-implementation.php and scroll down to the amendment of interest to find the draft document, video, guide, and other information.



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Florida DEP permit activity for Franklin County

DEP Logo
Florida Department of
Environmental Protection

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

Carlos Lopez-Cantera
Lt. Governor

Jonathan P. Steverson
Secretary


Permitting Application Subscription Service


Subscriber email address: manager@oysterradio.com

  Profile Name: Oyster Radio

Permit: Water - ERP Noticed General Permit
Project Name: DAMPIER DOCK & BOAT SLIP
Location Id: 341393
Location Name: DAMPIER DOCK & BOAT SLIP
County: Franklin
Application Number: 341393-001

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



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FWC Division of Law Enforcement Weekly Report January 29, 2016 through February 4, 2016

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
(Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.)
FWC
Division of Law Enforcement
FWC logo and law enforcement badge 
Weekly Report
January 29, 2016 through February 4, 2016
This report represents some events the FWC handled over the past week;
however, it does not include all actions taken by the Division of Law Enforcement.

Patrol, Protect, Preserve
NORTHWEST REGION

ESCAMBIA COUNTY

Officer Cushing was conducting fisheries inspections at the Bayou Texar Boat Ramp when he encountered some individuals pulling their vessel out of the water.  When asked how their day was, they stated that they had a good day and had caught an assortment of fish.  Officer Cushing boarded the vessel and just prior to opening the cooler, the owner stated that they had three greater amberjack.  When asked what the size limit was on greater amberjack, the owner responded 34 inches to the fork.  Two of the greater amberjack measured under 34 inches and the owner of the boat was issued a notice to appear for possession of undersized greater amberjack.

LEON COUNTY

Investigators Williams and Louque assisted Leon County Animal Control regarding an anonymous complaint of neglectful treatment of birds at a licensed bird facility.  Upon inspection of the facility and the cages the birds were being housed in, it was determined they were being kept in unsafe and unsanitary conditions. It appeared the facility had been neglected for an extended amount of time and the licensed facility has been warned in the past.  The licensee was cited for unsafe and unsanitary conditions.  

Investigators Louque and Williams were traveling west on I-10 just before arriving into Leon county when Investigator Louque spotted two whitetail deer tails hanging out of the bottom rear of an enclosed trailer being pulled by a Ford truck.  A traffic stop was conducted to perform a wildlife inspection.  Upon inspection of the trailer, investigators observed whitetail deer inside the trailer. Some of the animals appeared to be sedated while others were alert.  Investigators spoke with the driver who supplied them with proper FDACS movement paperwork.  The driver stated that there were 16 deer inside the trailer and that they would be moving a total of 48 animals to a separate farm. After checking her paperwork, investigators thanked her and sent her on her way.  There were no violations noted.

OKALOOSA COUNTY

Officer Corbin was on land patrol conducting an offload fisheries inspection on a commercial vessel in Fort Walton Beach.  The officer obtained the names of the operator and crew members.  The Tallahassee Communications Center confirmed that one crew member had an active warrant for failure to pay child support in Okaloosa County.  Officer Corbin transported the individual to the Okaloosa County Jail and completed the intake process.

Officer Corbin was on land patrol conducting boating safety and resource inspections at the Cinco Bayou Boat Ramp, and observed a boat return to the boat ramp.  The operator was returning to pick up another individual.  While conducting a boating safety inspection, the Tallahassee Regional Communications Center confirmed the operator of the boat had an active warrant for failure to provide child support.  A deputy transported the individual to the Okaloosa County Jail.

SANTA ROSA COUNTY

Officer Hutchinson was working an area where he received complaints of illegal night hunting activity.  While working the area late at night, he observed a truck slow down while approaching a field.  He observed a spotlight being shined from the cab of the truck into the field and then into a group of trees.  He conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle and made contact with the driver.  The driver said that he was looking for deer and admitted to having a rifle in the truck.  Officer Hutchinson observed a loaded hunting rifle lying in the driver seat between the driver and the center console.  He continued his search of the vehicle and discovered an ice chest on the back of the truck with deer meat in it.  When questioned about the deer meat, the man informed Officer Hutchinson that it was from a cow horn buck that he shot a few days ago.  Officer Hutchinson followed him to his residence where he determined that the man had shot an illegal antlered deer.  The man was charged with night hunting, taking an illegal antlered buck, and driving with a suspended license.

Officer Hutchinson received information that a man had possibly shot an illegal deer the previous day.  He located the man, and after being questioned, the man admitted to shooting a deer the day before and that the deer was not a legal sized antlered deer. After measuring the antlers, Officer Hutchinson confirmed that the antlers did not meet the minimum required length.  The man was charged with taking an illegal antlered buck and hunting without a valid hunting license.

Officer Hutchinson received information that a man had an illegal deer carcass hanging inside of his barn.  Officer Hutchinson located the subject at his residence and questioned him about the deer.  The subject said that his younger sister shot the deer, a small spike. Officer Hutchinson questioned him about the antlerless deer that he received information about the subject shooting.  The subject claimed his younger sister shot it also.  Officer Hutchinson measured the antlers and confirmed that the antlers length did not meet the minimum required length.  After further questioning, the subject admitted to shooting both of the illegal deer.  He showed Officer Hutchinson the deer meat from one of the deer which was inside an ice chest without any ice or water on it and spoiled.  Officer Hutchinson also discovered that the carcass was dumped in a public park.  Warrants were obtained charging the subject with taking an illegal antlered buck, taking an antlerless deer out of season, wanton and willful waste of a game animal and hunting without a valid hunting license.

Officer Land received a complaint of a vehicle parked in a closed area within the Eglin Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and the occupants of the vehicle possibly hunting.  Officer Land arrived in the closed area and observed a vehicle matching the description given in the complaint.  The officer observed footprints leading away from the vehicle and out through the closed area and began to track the subject.  Once well out into the closed area, Officer Land encountered a subject who was bow hunting.  The hunter admitted that he was aware that he was hunting in the closed area and was unable to present an Eglin Permit.  This subject was issued a notice to appear for hunting in a closed area and a warning for no Eglin Permit.

WALTON COUNTY

Officer Brooks made contact with a subject after observing him hunting from a tree stand well within the boundary of posted private property. Officer Brooks had located the tree stand and conducted surveillance on the property throughout the hunting season prior to making contact with the subject. When the subject was questioned, it was determined he had entered the property knowing it was private and posted. The land manager of the property requested that the subject be charged with trespassing. He was booked into the Walton County Jail for felony trespass.



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Folk Fantastic Exhibit & Reception at the Apalachicola Center for History Culture and Art

Apalachicola Center for History, Culture and Art

FOLK FANTASTIC - The Collection of Lee and Randy Sewell
Featuring Charlie "The Tin Man" Lucas

Exhibited folk art from February 04, 2016 – April 02, 2016

Meet and Greet  Lee and Randy Sewell
and Charlie Lucas at
Opening Night Reception
Saturday, February 13, 2016 from 6-8 pm











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Franklin County Humane Society Pet of the Week

STAR really is a star!  He is a 2 yr old Basenji mix and very smart. He was brought to us with an old injury to his front paw which is now in the shape of a star.  He doesn't let it slow him down a bit and loves to play fetch.  He also has wonderful manners and knows basic commands.  This boy has a lot of potential and is worth your consideration if you are looking to adopt a really nice dog.

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 www.forgottenpets.orgto see more of our adoptable pets.





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Franklin County park project approved for phase 5 of early restoration projects

A number of restoration projects in north Florida including a park project in Franklin County have been approved by The Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees.
This is the 5th phase of early restoration projects designed to repair and enhance areas impacted by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Phase 5 includes four projects in the Florida Panhandle including the construction of a public park on a 7.3-acre of what used to the Island View campground east of Carrabelle.
The project will include restoring and improving the two existing piers at the site and building accessible boardwalk with decks that connect the piers.
There will also be shoreline access for paddle craft, a central plaza with an informational kiosk, a pervious concrete parking area for visitors, and a turn lane for park access.

Other projects in Phase 5 will be done in Escambia County and in the cities of Destin and Lynn Haven.



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Solar panels save money at courthouse annex

            County officials say the solar panels installed on the Courthouse annex in Apalachicola are saving the county anywhere between 35 and 50 percent a month on the electric bills for the building.        

The solar panels were installed in 2012 using a federal energy efficiency grant to fund the 100 thousand dollar project.

A total of 104 solar panels were placed on the annex, each panel generates 240 watts of electricity for a total capacity of nearly 25 thousand watts.

County coordinator Michael Moron said the county has kept monthly records of the bills before and after the installation to know what the savings are.

Commissioner Noah Lockley said the county might want to put solar panels on the Armory too, but was told that might not be economically feasible.

Alan Pierce said the solar panels on the courthouse annex made financial sense because they didn’t cost the county anything – but the county doesn’t have a grant for more solar projects at this time – and solar panels are still pricey.


He added that because the armory is a historic structure it might not even be eligible for grants for solar panels.


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Franklin County ready to kick off Residential Construction Mitigation Program

County Commissioners this week signed a contract with a company the Florida Retrofit Construction Company out of Palm Bay, Florida to serve as the contractor for the county’s Residential Construction Mitigation Program.
The Residential Construction Mitigation Program is a state funded program to help Franklin County Residents mitigate their homes against strong winds.
The program is designed to help lower income residents make their homes more wind resistant.
The program can help pay for the installation of hurricane resistant doors and shutters as well as repair roofs or add straps to existing roofs.
The program is open to Franklin County households with incomes below 120 percent of the area median and below.
Emergency Management Director Pam Brownell said they are accepting applications for the program and plan to continue applying for grant money to provide even more funding for the program in the future.
If you are interested in applying or learning more about Residential Construction Mitigation Program, you can find applications and criteria on the Franklin County Emergency Management website at franklincountyemergencymangement.com.

You can also pick up an application at the Emergency Management Office at the Apalachicola Airport.



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PORT ST. JOE MAN CLAIMS TOP PRIZE IN $500,000 FLAMINGO MULTIPLIER SCRATCH-OFF GAME


TALLAHASSEE - The Florida Lottery announces that Chester Williams, of Port St. Joe, claimed a top prize in the $500,000 FLAMINGO MULTIPLIER Scratch-Off game at Florida Lottery Headquarters in Tallahassee.

Williams purchased his winning ticket from Walker's Dixie Dandy, located at 2176 U.S. Highway 98 in Port St. Joe.

The $5 game, $500,000 FLAMINGO MULTIPLER launched on January 12 and features more than 7.5 million winning tickets and more than $113 million in total cash prizes! The game's overall odds of winning are one-in-4.23.

Scratch-Off games are an important part of the Lottery's portfolio of games, comprising approximately 67 percent of ticket sales and generating more than $632 million for the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund (EETF) in fiscal year 2014-15.



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Playground at Vrooman Park in Eastpoint now open to children

The refurbished playground at Vrooman Park in Eastpoint is now open to the public.
County workers recently completed work on the playground – the existing playground equipment was repaired and moved to the front of the park and the county added some new equipment including slides and monkey bars.
Moving the playground required tearing down two small pavilions at the site – those are now being replaced by a new pole barn.
Moving the childrens’ playground is part of a larger project to renovate Vrooman Park and add a new T-ball field.
The project includes replacing the existing T-ball field, which is too small, with a regulation sized field with all of the required fencing.
In order to get a regulation sized field at the site it will require that the paved walking trail in the rear of the park be moved back about 12 feet.

The work is being paid for through a state FURDAP grant.


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Carrabelle Chamber of Commerce E-Newsletter for February the 5th







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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Landfill may soon charge residents to dispose of used oil

The landfill may soon have to charge residents who dispose of used oil.
The county currently accepts used oil for free at the landfill.
Solid Waste Director Fonda Davis said the company that collects the oil is now charging the county 90 cents a gallon for used oil and 1.25 a gallon for oil mixed with water.
Fonda said the price for the service has fluctuated in the past – sometimes the county has paid for the service, and sometimes the company has paid the county for the oil.
For the short term the county is covering the costs through its hazardous waste fund.
But they can’t do that forever.

Fonda said if the price doesn’t drop soon, the charges will have to be passed on the customers.



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Franklin county approves tracking system for solid waste department

            Franklin County Commissioners have approved the installation of tracking systems in the trucks used at the solid waste department.
Solid Waste director Fonda Davis said he plans to install the system in a dozen trucks used by the landfill.
The system will locate trucks and monitor their location from a computer at the landfill.
Fonda said the system will help provide needed information to FEMA during storm recovery.
It will also help the solid waste department save on fuel by allowing for better planned routes.

The system will cost the solid waste department 3000 dollar a year – the money was already budgeted for the project. 


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Miss Gulf County/Miss Forgotten Coast NWFL


Miss Gulf County NWFL and Miss Forgotten Coast NWFL will be held on Sunday, April 3, 2016 at the Port Saint Joe Elementary School Auditorium at 2 PM EST.
Miss Gulf County is open to only girls who are residents of Gulf County or attend school in Gulf County.
Miss Forgotten Coast is open to girls who are residents of Wakulla and Franklin Counties or attend school in Wakulla or Franklin Counties.
Age divisions include (as of November 1, 2016)
Tiny- 4-6 years old
Little- 7-9 years old
Junior- 10-12 years old
Teen- 13-16 years old
Miss- 17-24 years old
Miss Gulf County and Miss Forgotten Coast are official preliminaries for the Miss Northwest Florida Pageant. Winners of the Little, Junior, Teen, and Miss divisions will advance to the Miss Northwest Florida Pageant in November to be held in DeFuniak Springs, Florida at Walton High School where they will compete for the chance to win scholarships and trip to Disney World.

Last year's queens had the opportunity to tour the capitol in Tallahassee, visit the office of the Department of Agriculture, meet various local and state officials, volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House, were featured in "On the Coast" magazine, and participated in the RMH charity Fashion Show in February.
For more information contact director, Robyn Parrish-Hill, at 850-557-3889 or email her at misscalhouncountynwfl@gmail.com or you can visit them on Facebook at The Official Miss Northwest Florida Pageant page. 



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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
Governor

Carlos Lopez-Cantera
Lt. Governor

Jonathan P. Steverson
Secretary


Permitting Application Subscription Service


Subscriber email address: manager@oysterradio.com

  Profile Name: Oyster Radio

Permit: Water - ERP Exemption Permit
Project Name: WAKULLA COUNTY PUBLIC WORKS
Location Id: 341358
Location Name: WAKULLA COUNTY PUBLIC WORKS - SUNRISE LANE CANAL
County: Wakulla
Application Number: 341358-001

For further information, please contact the Northwest District permitting office in Pensacola at (850) 595-8300
Permit: Water - Individual With No Conceptual Approval Permit
Project Name: MOODY LOT 29 BLOCK B MAGNOLIA
Location Id: 341373
Location Name: MOODY - LOT 29 BLOCK B MAGNOLIA BAY - LIVING SHORELINE
County: Franklin
Application Number: 341373-001

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



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Find out more about bird watching at the Franklin County Public Library

Bird Watchers! Learn more about Birding and the great birdwatching locations in our area!
Presentation by FWC's Public Access and Wildlife Viewing Office
Wednesday February 10th at 1:30
Eastpoint Branch of the Franklin County Public Library
No need to sign up, just come! It's free.




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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

DEEPWATER HORIZON TRUSTEES FINALIZE FIFTH PHASE OF EARLY RESTORATION PROJECTS

Press Release Banner

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 2, 2016

CONTACT: DEP Press Office, 850.245.2112DEPNews@dep.state.fl.us 

DEEPWATER HORIZON TRUSTEES FINALIZEFIFTH PHASE OF EARLY RESTORATION PROJECTS

~$34.4 million provided for Florida Coastal Access Project ~

FCO

The Florida Coastal Access Project will enhance and increase recreational opportunities through the acquisition and enhancement of four coastal parcels in the Florida Panhandle.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection announces $34.4 million in funding for the fifth phase of early restoration projects that were selected by the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) Trustees. TheFlorida Coastal Access Project will enhance and increase recreational opportunities through the acquisition and enhancement of four coastal parcels in the Florida Panhandle.
This is the first phase of the Florida Coastal Access Project, which also includes funding for 10 years of operation and maintenance for the four coastal locations.
The Trust for Public Land is leading the acquisition efforts and managing the enhancements on behalf of DEP. Ownership of the properties will be transferred to the respective county or city. A project fact sheet is available here.
The four sites include:
  • Innerarity Point in Escambia County, Fla., which includes acquiring a
    3.38-acre property and building a public park on the property.
  • Leonard Destin Park in Okaloosa County, Fla., which includes acquiring a 3.42-acre parcel and building a public park on the property.
  • Lynn Haven Preserve and Park in Bay County, Fla., which includes acquiring a 90.7-acre tract and building a public park on the property.
  • Island View Park in Franklin County, Fla., which includes constructing a public park on a 7.3-acre parcel owned by the county.
“These projects will provide additional recreational opportunities for residents and visitors to the Panhandle,” said DEP Secretary Jon Steverson. “Parks like these will benefit local communities and begin to mitigate damage Florida incurred as a result of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.”
Infrastructure will be constructed at each location to facilitate and enhance recreational use. These enhancements could include pathways, boardwalks and docks with kayak launches, trails, picnic areas and other improvements.
Douglas Hattaway, the senior project manager with the Trust for Public Land, stated, “Creating four new parks in Panhandle communities will improve public access to Gulf Coast waterways, improve recreation in those towns and cities, and support tourism to the coast for generations to come. We are proud to be part of this historic plan for creating new parks and access to Gulf Coast waterways.”
This project is described in the Phase V Early Restoration Plan, which incorporates public comments that were received on the draft plan released last year.
The second phase of the Florida Coastal Access Project will propose acquisition of one or more additional properties in the Florida Panhandle to provide passive recreational uses and coastal access for the public, as well as 10 years of funding for operation and maintenance. This phase of the Florida Coastal Access Project will be identified by the Trustees in a future proposed restoration plan.
Copies of the plan are available at a number of public locations in area communities. Click here to view a list of public libraries where copies of the plan have been placed for public review.
More information about the first four phases of early restoration can be found atwww.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov.
Media Contacts
About the Florida Department of Environmental Protection
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s principal environmental agency, created to protect, conserve and manage Florida’s environment and natural resources. The department enforces federal and state environmental laws, protects Florida’s air and water quality, cleans up pollution, regulates solid waste management, promotes pollution prevention and acquires environmentally sensitive lands for preservation. The agency also maintains a statewide system of parks, trails and aquatic preserves. Visit the department’s website at www.dep.state.fl.us.

http://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/FLDEP/bulletins/133c329 



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