Saturday, May 26, 2018

Coast Guard to boaters: Be safe, prepare for Subtropical Storm Alberto

Coast Guard to boaters: Be safe, prepare for Subtropical Storm Alberto

NEW ORLEANS – The Coast Guard encourages boaters along the Gulf coast to prepare for subtropical storm Alberto and stay safe through the Memorial Day weekend.
Typically, there is an increase of boaters on the water during the holiday weekend, however, due to the impeding storm the Coast Guard urges boaters to take precautions for their personal safety.
Heavy seas, significant rain and damaging winds may accompany Alberto and present serious dangers to boaters. Rescue and assistance by the Coast Guard and other agencies may be degraded as the storm approaches.
Boaters are urged to secure their vessels and emergency position indicating radio beacons.
Drawbridges along the coasts may deviate from normal operating procedures prior to a storm. They are generally authorized to remain closed up to eight hours prior to the approach of gale force winds of 34 knots or greater and whenever an evacuation is ordered. Because of the uncertainty of weather movements and related bridge closures, mariners should seek passage through drawbridges well in advance of the arrival of gale force winds. 
Here are a few tips to help mariners protect themselves, their families and their vessels:
  • Do not go out to sea in a recreational boat when a storm is approaching. Heed all weather marine warnings. 
  • Stay up-to-date on weather forecasts. Storms can move and change quickly. 
  • Secure electronic position indicating radio beacons. If unsecured, EPIRBS can break free from a boat and trigger an emergency signal to the Coast Guard, putting responders in unnecessary danger.
  • Ensure boating gear is properly stowed or tied down to avoid causing unnecessary searches by the Coast Guard and other first responders. Life jackets, life rafts and small non-powered vessels are some examples of boating equipment often found adrift following severe weather.
  • Stay clear of beaches. Strong waves and rip currents are likely.
  • After the storm passes, check with local authorities before entering any storm-damaged area. Boat owners should not place themselves in danger to survey damage.
  • Do not try to reach a boat that has been forced into the water and is surrounded by debris. Wait until authorities have made safe access available.
  • Do not try to board a partially sunken boat; seek salvage assistance from a professional.

Attorney General Bondi Activates Price Gouging Hotline

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi today activated Florida’s price gouging hotline for consumers statewide. The opening of the hotline comes as Governor Rick Scott declares a state of emergency in 67 counties and warns of heavy rain and flooding as we continue to monitor Subtropical Storm Alberto. Florida’s price gouging law only applies within the area of the declared state of emergency, which in this case is all Florida counties.

State law prohibits extreme increases in the price of essential commodities, such as food, water, hotels, ice, gasoline, lumber and equipment, needed as a direct result of an officially declared emergency. Anyone who suspects price gouging during this declared state of emergency should report it to the Attorney General’s Office by calling 1-866-9-NO-SCAM.

Violators of the price gouging statute are subject to civil penalties of $1,000 per violation and up to a total of $25,000 for multiple violations committed in a single 24-hour period. In addition to the civil penalties for price gouging, state law criminalizes the sale of goods and services to the public without possession of an occupational license. Violators of the law can be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor.

Florida Statute 501.160 states that during a state of emergency, it is unlawful to sell, lease, offer to sell, or offer for lease essential commodities, dwelling units, or self-storage facilities for an amount that grossly exceeds the average price for that commodity during the 30 days before the declaration of the state of emergency, unless the seller can justify the price by showing increases in its prices or market trends.

For more information on price gouging, please click 

Subtropical Storm Alberto Update 05/26/18 1900

Wakulla County to Honor American Servicemen and Servicewomen at the Annual Memorial Day Ceremony

Crawfordville, Florida – On Monday, May 28, 2018, the Wakulla County Board of County Commissioners will observe Memorial Day at an opening ceremony at 10:00a.m. on the grounds of the Wakulla County Courthouse.  This Memorial is dedicated to the lasting memory and sacred honor of the brave American servicemen and servicewomen who gave their lives in our Country’s defense.  

This year’s ceremony includes Keynote Speaker Captain Bradley Martin, Wakulla High School NJROTC Commander.  The ceremony will also include Landon Owens who will honor the Country with the singing of the National Anthem, and the VFW Post #4538 will perform the laying of the wreath, and raising and lowering the flag to half-staff.  “Let us not forget the ultimate toll paid in blood by our fallen to secure the blessings of liberty and the continuation of our way of life.  It is with honor and dignity we pay tribute to the co-authors of our nation’s history and military legacy,” said Harold Ross, Veteran’s Services Officer.  Please join us on May 28, 2018 to support our veterans and their families for their sacrifices.

Gov. Scott Declares State of Emergency in Florida for Subtropical Storm Alberto

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott issued Executive Order 18-150 declaring a state of emergency in all 67 Florida counties as the state continues to monitor and prepare for Subtropical Storm Alberto. By declaring this state of emergency, Governor Scott is ensuring that state and local government has ample time, resources and flexibility to get prepared for this storm.

Governor Scott said, “As we continue to monitor Subtropical Storm Alberto’s northward path toward Florida, it is critically important that all Florida counties have every available resource to keep families safe and prepare for the torrential rain and severe flooding this storm will bring. Today, I have declared a state of emergency in all 67 Florida counties to make sure that our state and local governments are able to coordinate with federal partners to get the resources they need. Yesterday, I directed the State Emergency Operations Center activate to Level 2 and I will continue to be in constant communication with state and local emergency management officials as this storm approaches Florida.

“If any Florida family doesn’t have an emergency preparedness plan, now is the time to act. Remember, the track of these storms can change without notice. Do not think that only areas in the cone will be impacted – everyone in our state must be prepared. I encourage every Floridian to visit and get your plan before this storm hits so you can keep your family safe. We will continue to provide updates to Florida’s residents and visitors and do everything to prepare for and respond to this storm.”

  • The State Assistance Information Line (SAIL) contact number is 1-800-342-3557.
  • The State Emergency Operations Center Media Line: 850-921-0217.
  • Follow @FLSert or @FLGovScott on Twitter for live updates.
  • Visit to find information on shelters, road closures, and evacuation routes.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Subtropical Storm Alberto Update 05/25/18

Audubon Reminds Beachgoers and Boaters to Share the Shores with Rare Baby Birds and Eggs

People and Birds Expected to Enjoy Florida's Beaches this Memorial Day Weekend

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (May 24, 2018) – Millions of visitors flock to Florida’s beaches on Memorial Day weekend, and Audubon Florida reminds beachgoers and boaters to enjoy the beach while respecting posted fencing around nesting shorebirds and their fluffy chicks. Florida’s beaches are nurseries for species like Snowy Plovers, Black Skimmers, and Least Terns.

"Just like people, birds love our beaches too! This Memorial Day weekend, we’re asking beachgoers and boaters to give nesting birds some space," said Julie Wraithmell, Audubon Florida's executive director. "Eggs and fluffy chicks are on our sandy shores and tree islands right now, and the end of May is a critical time for Florida's iconic coastal birds.”

Many nesting sites are visibly posted and well-marked on Florida beaches to protect them from human disturbance. Unfortunately, when boaters or beachgoers enter posted areas, they may unintentionally cause the death of chicks and eggs. When parents are frightened from nests, chicks and eggs are left vulnerable to predators, overheating in the summer sun, crushing under foot (in beach nests), or falling and drowning in water beneath the nest (from tree nests). A single disturbance can destroy an entire colony.

"Whether or not human disturbance is intentional, the sad result for birds is the same," said Dr. Marianne Korosy, Audubon Florida’s director of bird conservation. "By following Audubon’s easy tips, we can all work together to ensure this holiday weekend is safe and enjoyable for people and birds."

Volunteer "bird stewards" chaperone nesting bird colonies on many Florida beaches. These stewards help educate beachgoers about nesting colonies while reminding them not to enter protected areas. For more information or to volunteer, email

Audubon's Memorial Day Weekend Beach Tips:
                     Keep your distance. Respect areas posted with signs, even if you don't see birds inside them. Birds, eggs, and nests are well-camouflaged.
                     Leave no trace. Take all your trash with you and always dispose of fishing line and tackle appropriately.
                     Avoid disturbing birds. If birds take flight or appear agitated, you are too close.
                     Keep pets leashed and far away from birds. Even on a leash, dogs are perceived as predators by birds.
                     Don’t feed birds or wildlife. Feeding attracts predators like crows and gulls that will prey on eggs and chicks of beach-nesting birds.
                     Keep quiet and calm near nesting areas. Beach activities like flying kites or using personal fireworks can cause parents to abandon nests. Help prevent a catastrophe for vulnerable chicks and eggs.
                     Look out for nesting birds, even outside of posted areas. Beach-nesting birds can’t read signs and sometimes nest outside of posted areas. If you notice birds circling noisily overhead, you may be near a nesting colony. Leave quietly and enjoy from a distance.

Carrabelle Chamber of Commerce E-Newsletter for May 25th

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Franklin County Emergency Management Invest 90L Advisory


Invest 90L will move into the Gulf of Mexico Friday night, reaching the Gulf Coast by Sunday night. There is a high chance (90%) that the storm in the western Caribbean will develop into a tropical cyclone in the next few days.

Impacts will be felt in Franklin County beginning on Saturday night. Franklin County is expected to receive at least 5-7 inches of rainfall, most of which will occur Saturday night.

Slow movement near and after landfall will result in heavy rain and potential for flash flooding. Water over flood prone coastal roads and minor coastal erosion are anticipated. Greatest surge to arrive Sunday morning and afternoon.

The following are the HIGH Tides for Franklin County:

Height Ft
Height Ft
Bald Point
12:36 AM
1:37 AM
2:26 AM
12:51 PM
1:28 PM
2:02 PM
Alligator Point

12:56 AM
1:45 AM

12:10 PM
12:47 PM
1:21 PM
12:39 AM
2:06 AM
3:13 AM
12:12 PM
12:35 PM
12:57 PM
Turkey Point

12:48 AM
1:37 AM

12:02 PM
12:39 PM
1:13 PM
Dog Island
12:11 AM
1:38 AM
2:45 AM
11:44 AM
12:07 PM
12:29 PM
St. George Island
12:02 AM
1:29 AM
2:36 AM
11:35 AM
11:58 AM
12:20 PM
Cat Point
1:24 AM
2:51 AM
3:58 AM
12:57 PM
1:20 PM
1:42 PM
2:04 AM
3:31 AM
4:38 AM
1:37 PM
2:00 PM
2:22 PM
West Pass
1:37 AM
3:04 AM
4:11 AM
1:10 PM
1:33 PM
1:55 PM

We are asking that all citizens who live along the coastline or are prone to surge or flooding to take precautionary measures. This includes but is not limited to:
  1. Secure yard items such as chairs, umbrellas, etc.
  2. Secure Boats and Vehicles – This includes moving to higher ground.
  3. Make sure your disaster kit is ready and accessible.
  4. Do Not Drive Cars Through Flooded Areas. If you see Flood Waters…..REMEMBER TO TURN AROUND AND DO NOT DROWN.

Please monitor the weather closely for the next several days.

There is an elevated risk of Rip Current for the next several days. Please Use Caution!

Franklin County Emergency Management continues to monitor this storm closely. If you have any questions:

NOAA Fisheries FishNews – May 23, 2018

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NOAA Fish News
May 23, 2018


Status of Stocks 2017
Status of Stocks 2017: Number of Overfished Stocks at All-Time Low
In a new leadership message, Chris Oliver, head of NOAA Fisheries, announces the release of the Status of U.S. Fisheries report for 2017. The report shows the number of stocks on the overfished list just reached a new all-time low. Under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the United States has become an international leader in fisheries management.

Climate Species Shift
Study: Climate Change to Shift Many Species North
A NOAA Fisheries–funded study published this week presents the first major projections of where U.S. fish species populations may shift under future climate scenarios. The research was led by James Morley and Malin Pinsky of Rutgers University–New Brunswick.

Restoration Partnership
NOAA Announces Habitat Restoration Partnership
NOAA’s Damage Assessment, Remediation and Restoration Program (DARRP) helps to restore natural resources after disasters like oil spills or releases of hazardous waste. NOAA will enter a new 5-year partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to implement DARRP restoration grants, starting with $1.5 million toward restoration in California.

Boating safety stock photo
Easy Ways to Boat Safely, for You and for Wildlife
Whether you are boating, fishing, or on a sightseeing cruise, NOAA and our partners share these tips to help you safely enjoy time on the water and keep the marine environment healthy and protected.

IUU Fishing
NOAA Seeks Information on IUU Fishing, Bycatch, and Shark Catch
In preparation for the next Biennial Report to Congressand the updated MMPA List of Foreign Fisheries, NOAA Fisheries issued a notice to collect information on foreign vessels engaged in illegal, unreported, or unregulated fishing or fishing that results in bycatch or catching sharks. NOAA will host a webinar on this information collection on June 26. Submissions are due via email by December 31, 2018

Saildrones Voyage into Remote Waters
Through a public-private partnership between NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory and Saildrone, Inc., saildrones—autonomous, solar- and wind-powered sailing vessels—are providing a cost-effective way to enhance NOAA’s ocean-monitoring fleet.

West Coast

Whale Entanglement Report
2017 West Coast Whale Entanglement Report
NOAA Fisheries’ 2017 West Coast Whale Entanglement Report is now available online. Large whale entanglements along the West Coast were down in 2017 from historic highs, but are still higher than average. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions to learn how NOAA’s efforts, and those of our partners, are helping recover and sustain whale populations.

White abalone
Studying White Abalone’s Cousin Helps Researchers Gain Insight
Researchers are hoping to reintroduce endangered white abalone into their native California waters in the next few years, and they want to give the lab-grown shellfish the best odds of survival. So a team of scientists is tracking the movements of a related and more abundant species, pinto abalone, to learn how abalone disperse in the wild.

NOAA to Manage FADs in Eastern Pacific
NOAA Fisheries is implementing new management measures for fish aggregating devices—floating and drifting structures used by fishing vessels to attract fish (such as skipjack and bigeye tuna). The measures reflect international standards developed through years of negotiations.

sperm whale
Study: Ice Age Sperm Whale Population Bottleneck
Researchers found evidence that an ice age that ended just over 100,000 years ago confined the world’s sperm whales to a single population in the Pacific Ocean, creating a genetic “bottleneck” that explains the low genetic diversity of today’s worldwide sperm whale populations.

Antarctic cameras
Remote Cameras Track Antarctic Species Cheaply
An international research team has developed a simple method for using a network of autonomous time-lapse cameras to track the breeding and population dynamics of Antarctic penguins. The network of 51 cameras, positioned across the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands, provides a new, low-cost window into the health and productivity of the Antarctic ecosystem.

Pacific Islands

Now-deceased monk seal :(
Three Monk Seals Found Dead on Oahu
NOAA Fisheries staff are sad to announce that three monk seal deaths were reported on Oahu in the past week: two adult females and one premature pup. Preliminary post-mortem exams did not find signs of trauma, and researchers are working to determine the final causes of death. NOAA reminds the public to please report all monk seal sightings.


Louisiana barrier island
Building Coastal Resiliency with Natural Infrastructure in Louisiana
Hundreds of thousands of acres of coastal wetlands in Louisiana have been washed away by natural and man-made disasters. To build up the state’s coastal defenses, NOAA and partners have built or enhanced almost 3,000 acres of barrier islands and marsh.

Red Snapper illustration
Limited Opening of South Atlantic Red Snapper – Open for Public Comment
By June 18, please submit your comments on a proposed rule for Amendment 43 to the South Atlantic Snapper-Grouper Fishery Management Plan. The proposed measures would open recreational and commercial red snapper seasons for limited harvest beginning in 2018.

Gulf of Mexico coral reef
Gulf of Mexico Habitat Areas of Particular Concern – Open for Public Comment
By July 5, please submit your comments on a draft environmental impact statement for Amendment 9 to the Fishery Management Plan for Gulf of Mexico Coral and Coral Reef Resources. The statement evaluates a proposal to establish new habitat areas of particular concern (HAPCs) and prohibit dredge fishing in all HAPCs with fishing regulations.

South Atlantic Update
South Atlantic Update Spring 2018 Available 
The latest issue of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council newsletter, South Atlantic Update, is now available. Read about the Council’s latest actions, collecting recreational data, possible red snapper seasons, electronic monitoring, and more.

Greater Atlantic

Lobster with shell disease
Science Blog: Lobster Shell Disease
Researchers at sea right now on NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow are busy catching lobsters at the southern edge of the Northeast Channel. Joining NOAA scientists is a researcher from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, who is investigating lobster shell disease and ways to avoid it in the lobster fishery.


May 29 and June 12 Two informational webinars on federal for-hire permit holders, hosted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council.
May 31
Public webinar to collect comments on Reef Fish Amendment 49 (Sea Turtle Release Gear), hosted by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.
June 4
Fishing Families in Alaska Fisheries Workshop, hosted by the Alaska Fisheries Science Center, in Kodiak.
June 4–6
Four public hearings and one webinar on draft Coral Amendment 9, hosted by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.
June 4–11
North Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting in Kodiak, Alaska.
June 5–7
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting in Philadelphia.
June 7–13
Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting in Spokane, Washington.
June 11
Fishers Forum sponsored by the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council in Kahului, Maui.
June 11–13
Western Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting
 in Wailea, Maui.
June 11–15
South Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
June 12–14
New England Fishery Management Council meeting in Portland, Maine.
June 18–21
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council meeting in Key West, Florida.
June 26 Webinar on NOAA Fisheries’ notice to collect information on IUU fishing, bycatch, and shark catch by foreign vessels.


May 25 Applications due for seats on the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committees.
June 15
Applications due for position of Deputy Director of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.
June 22
Nominations due for the 2018 Dr. Nancy Foster Habitat Conservation Award.

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