Monday, March 19, 2018

St. George Island State Park seeks OPS Park Ranger

 If you are looking for work and you like the outdoors, the state park on St. George Island is looking for a Park Ranger.

The state park is currently taking applications for an OPS Park Ranger position.

The job pays 10 dollars an hour and there are no benefits, except that you get to work at one of the most beautiful beaches in Florida.

The job is 24 hours a week on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from April 2nd through June the 30th.

Apllicants should enjoy working with the public as they will provide visitor services among other duties.

To apply you will need to fill out an application at

For more information you can also call Joshua Hodson at the State Park at 921-2111.

Franklin County residents can now renew their driver's licenses at the tax collector's office

 Franklin County residents can now renew their driver's licenses in Franklin County.

Beginning today residents will no longer have to travel out of county to get a new drivers license or renew an old license.

People can now go the tax collector's office at the Franklin County Courthouse in Apalachicola for Driver licenses, ID cards, and license reinstatements.

The office is also able to administer the written exam and driving test.

You will have to make an appointment to take the driving test.

You can make an appointment by calling 653-9323.

Guardian ad Litem program to hold training class in Apalachicola on Saturday

The Guardian Ad litem program is looking for local volunteers and plan to hold a training session in Apalachicola on March 24th.

The Guardian Ad Litem program represents the best interests of children in court, generally in non-criminal court cases like divorces.

Many of the thousands of children using the program statewide are the victims of abuse, abandonment or neglect.

In January there were 13 Franklin County children being represented by a Guardian Ad Litem, there were 8 Franklin County volunteers in the program.

More volunteers are needed – particularly retired people – the program would like to have 12 to 15 volunteers working locally.

Its a big commitment but not overwhelming.

If you would like to help, on average you would have to devote 8 to 10 hours a month to the program.

The program will hold an orientation session at the Courthouse Annex in Apalachicola on Saturday, March the 24th from 10 till 5.

If you are interested, you should call Sara Urban at 850-606-1213 to register.

Anyone interested in learning more about the prgram can go to

The Gulf Council's Shrimp Advisory Panel to Meet


 Meeting Notice
March 19, 2018
The Gulf Council's Shrimp Advisory Panel  
to Meet 
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will hold a meeting of it's Shrimp Advisory Panel on Thursday, April 5, 2018. The meeting will convene in the Council office conference room at 2203 N. Lois Avenue, Suite 1100, Tampa, Florida, from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, EST.
The panel will address the following items:
  • Biological review of the Texas closure
  • Review of the new stock assessments for brown, white and pink shrimp
  • Update on shrimp catch, effort, CPUE, turtle threshold update, and juvenile red snapper effort threshold
  • Review of the Ph.D. of Coral Amendment 9
  • Discussion of hurricane(s) impact on shrimp industry
  • Discussion of SPGM permit renewal process
For a complete agenda and meeting materials click here.

To register for the webinar click here.

About the 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.
Submit comments and stay updated on fishery issues:
Check it out! Go to and click on the thermometer in the middle of the page. From there you can read up on all the pending actions, watch the video presentations, read comments, and submit your own. All comments submitted through the online form are automatically posted on our web site for Council review. Other comments are manually posted every couple of days. 

There is also a thermometer for each issue that lets you know where the Council is in the process for that particular amendment, whether it's the scoping phase, final action, or implementation.
You can also find information on our Facebook page, blog, and YouTube channel.
 Like us on Facebook  Visit our blog  View our videos on YouTube

The Gulf Council has an APP for that - Download it for free!
Join Our Mailing List
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council
Public Information Officer

April 15 marks start of Florida’s bat maternity season

bat photo
FWC photo by Karen Parker.

If you have bats roosting in your attic, eaves or chimney spaces, now is the time to give them an eviction notice. Bat maternity season begins April 15 and runs through August 15. Exclusions of bat colonies must be completed before the season starts.

“During bat maternity season, bats gather to give birth and raise their young,” said Terry Doonan, a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) biologist and mammal conservation coordinator. “The season lasts until the young bats can fly and feed themselves. In Florida, this occurs from mid-April through mid-August for most bat species.”

Bat exclusions are illegal during this maternity season to prevent young bats that cannot yet fly from being trapped inside structures and dying.

Florida is home to 13 resident bat species, including threatened species such as the Florida bonneted bat. Some bat species roost in artificial structures, including buildings and houses. Although it is illegal to harm or kill bats in Florida, guidelines have been developed allowing for the legal exclusion of bats outside of the maternity season.

Exclusion guidelines on how to remove bats from buildings can be found at and methods to exclude bats can affect the success of that process. For more information on how to conduct a bat exclusion, watch this YouTube video: How to Get Bats Out of a BuildingFurther details on how to conduct a legal bat exclusion can be found at Bat Conservation International.

Bats are beneficial to people and are an important part of the ecosystem. The state’s native bats help keep insect populations under control, with the average bat eating hundreds of insects a night. In addition to the benefit of keeping mosquitoes and other insects at bay for residents enjoying the outdoors, the value of insect suppression by bats to U.S. agriculture has been estimated to be in the billions of dollars.

There are several ways that Florida residents and visitors can help bats:
  • Preserve natural roost sites, including trees with cavities and peeling bark. Dead fronds left on palms can also provide roosting spots for bats.
  • Put up a bat house.
  • Report unusual bat behavior to:
Bats can carry rabies. Although infected bats may not become aggressive, like any other wild animal, they can bite to defend themselves if handled. Don’t touch or go near any wild animal, especially one that’s not acting normally. For more information about rabies, visit the Florida Department of Health website at
FWC staff are working to learn more and share information about Florida’s bats. For more information on Florida’s bats, go to If you need assistance, contact your closestFWC Regional Office to speak with a regional wildlife assistance biologist for more information.

Florida adds 65 acres to Torreya State Park

Torreya State Park in Jackson County is now a little bit bigger.
The State of Florida recently purchased a 65-acre addition to Torreya State Park known as the Pope Family Parcel.
Torreya State Park is adjacent to the Apalachicola River Florida Forever project, which includes much of Florida’s upland glades natural community and is home to several globally rare plant species as well as 16 species that occur nowhere else in Florida. 
Torreya State Park is also adjacent to The Nature Conservancy’s Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve to the south.

The connected properties protect forests on the east bank of the Apalachicola which helps preserve water quantity and quality in the river – which feeds the highly productive Apalachicola Bay – and the unique species and biological communities of the region.

Nominate a local business for the Better Business Bureau's annual Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics

Time is running out to nominate a business or charity for the Better Business Bureau's annual Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics program.

The Torch Award publicly recognizes businesses and charities that maintain a commitment to conducting their business practices in an ethical manner.

There is also a Customer Service Excellence Award for individuals that go above and beyond with their interactions with customers and a Student Ethics Scholarships for high school juniors and seniors who demonstrate leadership, community service and overall personal integrity.

Applicants must be physically located within the 14 county service area of Better Business Bureau Northwest Florida.

Businesses may can nominate themselves or be nominated by others; the application deadline for all awards is March 30th.

For entry forms and guidelines just go to the Better Busines Bureau of northwest Florida website.

You can find the link on this story at and on the Oyster Radio facebook page.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Look out for manatees when boating

FWC photo by Karen Parker.

Chances of close encounters between Florida manatees and boaters increase in the spring.

For manatees, it is the season when they leave their winter refuges and travel along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts and through inland waters. For boaters, it is a critical time to be on the lookout for manatees to avoid colliding with these large aquatic mammals.

“Spring is a great time to go boating in Florida, but manatees are out there too. Please watch out for them,” said Ron Mezich, who heads the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) manatee management program.

From April 1 through Nov. 15, seasonal manatee zones require boaters to slow down in certain areas to prevent manatees from being struck by motorboats or personal watercrafts. FWC law enforcement officers are on patrol in state waters to remind boaters of the seasonal manatee speed zones and take enforcement actions when appropriate.

Since manatees are difficult to detect when underwater, operators of boats and personal watercrafts can help by:
  • Wearing polarized sunglasses to help spot manatees.
  • Looking for large circles on the water, also known as manatee footprints, indicating the presence of a manatee below.
  • Looking for a snout sticking up out of the water.
  • Following posted manatee zones while boating.
  • Reporting an injured, distressed, sick or dead manatee to the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) or dialing #FWC or *FWC on a cellphone.
FWC biologists, managers and law enforcement staff work closely with partners to evaluate current data and identify necessary actions to protect this iconic animal. Florida has invested over $2 million annually for manatee conservation, and the FWC works toward continued success for manatees in our state.
Manatee zones and maps are available at, where you can select “Protection Zones” for links to county maps. Boaters can get tips from “A boater’s guide to living with Florida Manatees.” And if you want to see manatees in the wild or captivity, go to “Where are Florida’s Manatees?”
To support the FWC’s manatee research, rescue and management efforts, purchase a “Save the Manatee” Florida license plate at, or donate $5 to receive an FWC manatee decalby going to and clicking on “Decals.”


RUSTY is an adorable 5 month old Lab mix pup. He is a sweet and gentle soul with a wonky ear. He won't get real big so should be a manageable size for many households. You are invited to the shelter to meet this sweet boy and all the other dogs and cats waiting for their forever home!

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

Draft Agenda for March 19th Wakulla County Commission meeting

Agenda for March 20th Franklin County Commission meeting

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Important Addition to Torreya State Park Acquired

Press Release Banner


CONTACT: DEP Press Office, 850.245.2112,

Important Addition to Torreya State Park Acquired

~The park harbors many rare and native animals and plants 
such as the nearly extinct Florida torreya tree~

A view of the river from the bluffs at Torreya State Park

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently purchased a 65-acre addition to Torreya State Park in Jackson County. Torreya State Park is adjacent to the Apalachicola River Florida Forever project, which includes much of Florida’s upland glades natural community, currently not represented on conservation lands, and harbors several globally rare plant species as well as 16 species that occur nowhere else in Florida. 
“Torreya State Park is incredibly important, not just for its fantastic scenic views of the Apalachicola River, but also for the many rare species it protects," said Florida State Parks Director Eric Draper. "The acquisition of this parcel preserves this landscape while helping us improve our management of this incredible resource.”
Torreya State Park is also adjacent to The Nature Conservancy’s Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve to the south. These connected and unique landscapes protect forests on the east bank of the Apalachicola which helps preserve water quantity and quality in the river – which feeds the highly productive Apalachicola Bay – and the unique species and biological communities of the region.
Lindsay Stevens, land protection program manager at The Nature Conservancy, said, “The state of Florida is to be congratulated on the addition of the Pope Family parcel. This acquisition will further protect one of the rarest of habitats: steep-head ravines and streams, and also provide important protection benefits to the Apalachicola River and Bay region, one of five biological hotspots in North America and an important economic, environmental and cultural resource. The Nature Conservancy’s Florida Chapter is proud of our continued partnership and synergy with the State of Florida to ensure protection of this valuable resource for generations to come."
Developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, Torreya State Park is popular for hiking, fishing, camping, bird-watching and other outdoor recreational pursuits.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Nina and the Pinta will be coming to Wakulla County this weekend.

The Nina and the Pinta will be coming to Wakulla County this weekend.

The replicas of two of Christopher Columbus’ three ships were last in our area in 2015 when they stopped in St. Marks.

Starting Friday the two ships will be docked at Riverside Café in Saint Marks from March 16th through the 25th.

The two ships are historically accurate replicas Ships which were built by the Columbus foundation and are now used as floating museums.

The ‘Nina’ was built completely by hand and without the use of power tools.

Archaeology magazine called her “the most historically correct Columbus replica ship ever built.”

The ships do have a few modern amenities like motors and the Pinta has an air-conditioned main cabin.

The ships travel year-round stopping at different ports where people can go on-board and learn more about Columbus and his trips to the new world.

While in port, the general public is invited to visit the ships for a walk aboard self-guided tour.

You can find out more about the two ships, their crew and their schedules on-line at