Sunday, October 23, 2016

Great Northwest Florida Elected Officials Public Meeting

Regional Economic Transformation Strategy Roundtable Discussion Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty, Wakulla, Washington Elected Officials Tuesday, October 25, 2016 12:00-1:30pm CT Gulf Coast State College Advanced Technology Center, Room 303 5230, West Highway 98, Panama City, FL 32401.

Purpose of Meeting:
Florida’s Great Northwest is hosting a special roundtable session regarding a regional economic transformation strategy for elected officials of Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty, Wakulla and Washington counties

For information, please contact Therese Baker, Executive Vice President, Florida Great Northwest, PO Box 370, Niceville, FL  32588; office phone: 850.729.6848

Wakulla-Franklin County Child Advocate Volunteer Training

Sopchoppy, Florida – The Guardian ad Litem program will host a volunteer training on October 27, 2016 from 4 to 8 pm at the Sopchoppy United Methodist Church at 131 Rose St Sopchoppy, FL.
The Guardian ad Litem (GAL) program is a volunteer based program that advocates for local abused and neglected children within the court system and community.
“We are in need of community members to stand up for local children in need,” said GAL circuit director Deborah Moore. “We look forward to people joining us to make a difference in the life of a child.”
Volunteers, who the program estimates spend 8 to 10 a month volunteering, ensure local children receive the services they need while in the child welfare system. They speak up for the children in the court, schools and community. Children who have a GAL are more likely to find permanent safe home sooner and have a brighter, more successful future.
“The impact we have on our children and families is immense,” said GAL volunteer Jennifer Stump. “I know every day I am making a difference and that is not something you can say just anywhere.”
The four day training on Thursday October 27 from 4 to 8 pm, Saturday October 29 for 10 to 4 pm, November 10 from 4 to 8 pm and Saturday November 12 from 10 to 4 pm will train community members on how to be effective advocates and work to make a difference in the lives of local children.
For more information or to learn how you can get involved, visit or contact Sara Blumenthal at 850-606-1213 or

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Park Service Commemorates Fort Gadsden's "deadliest cannon shot in US history"

Nearly 200 people came out Saturday to commemorate the 200-year anniversary of the British Fort and Fort Gadsden National Historic Landmark located on Prospect Bluff.
The ceremony featured the Seminole Color Guard, a traditional invocation in Miccosukee language by medicine man Bobby Henry, Descendants of Prospect Bluff Maroon Community, a Peace Belt Ceremony, and Keynote Address from James Edward Billie, Chairman of the Seminole Tribe in Florida.

Tips for Bay-Friendly Living By Anita Grove

Tips for Bay-Friendly Living
By Anita Grove, Coastal Training Program Coordinator at ANERR

The Apalachicola and St. George Island area boast clean air and water, plenty of places to explore and seek solitude, no high rises or traffic jams, and some of the best seafood in the world right outside our door.  From your local National Estuarine Research Reserve, to area businesses, to your neighbor down the street, we all play a role in making sure the bay and river survives and thrives. What can you do to help?

Create a Bay-Friendly Yard
A bay-friendly yard is also a wildlife-friendly yard when it contains plenty of trees and bushes for habitat, requires little to no chemical use, and holds rainwater so that it can percolate through the soil. You can create large mulched beds with bushes and trees that provide habitat for wildlife rather than an expansive green lawn that needs constant mowing, pesticides and fertilizers. For lawn maintenance, make sure to use organic, slow-release fertilizer no more than once a year. Also, do not apply fertilizers before it rains. This practice does not “water in” fertilizer, but washes it away from your lawn and down nearby storm drains. By planting drought-tolerant, low-maintenance plants, you can even save money by using less fertilizer and by watering less often.  Use natural pesticides to take care of pest problems, avoid using herbicides and choose a disease- and pest-resistant variety of grass. More information on creating a bay-friendly yard can be found at For information on lawns, visit

Create Living Shorelines
If you live next to the water, consider a using a living shoreline to stabilize your property instead of a hardened seawall. Living shorelines incorporate native grasses and plants with deep roots that help stabilize soft sand and create marine life habitats. When constructed properly, living shorelines are often found to be more effective than hardened shorelines. More information on living shorelines is available at

Secure Trash
Trash on bridges, by the roadside or on the beach usually ends up in the water where it becomes a hazard for wildlife and pollutes nearby waters. Whether you are inland or out on the water, be sure to secure any trash you might generate in your truck bed, vehicle or boat, and then recycle it or dispose of it appropriately when you get home.  Also, remember to purchase recyclable packaging to reduce overall waste.

Don’t Dump Rx
When you are finished with medications, do not dump them down the toilet or the sink. Researchers are now finding significant levels of various medications in waters that surround communities. Dispose of unused medicines in the trash, not down the drain.

Septic Tanks
Many people in Franklin County have septic systems. Make sure to service your septic system regularly, as leaking septic systems can pollute nearby waters. Also, do not plant trees or bushes in the drain field of the septic tank as the roots can damage the tank and cause leaks. Parking on top of your system regularly can also damage your system over time.

The Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve holds classes on bay-friendly living. The next Bay-Friendly Landscaping class will be on Nov. 11. For more information on bay-friendly landscaping or to sign up for a workshop, contact Anita Grove at 850-670-7708 or

Friday, October 21, 2016

Florida DEP permit activity for SummerCamp in Franklin County

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

Jonathan P. Steverson

Permitting Application Subscription Service

Subscriber email address:

  Profile Name: Oyster Radio

Permit: Water - Industrial Wastewater Group 5d, Design Daily Discharge 10,000 or Less GPD Permit
Project Name: RENEW 0.006 MGD SPRAYFIELD
Location Id: FLA555665
Location Name: SummerCamp WTP
County: Franklin
Application Number: FLA555665-004

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

Red tide found in Bay County waters

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
(Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.)
A patchy bloom of the Florida red tide organism, Karenia brevis, persists in Southwest Florida from Pinellas to Collier counties. 
Over the past week, Karenia brevis was observed in background to high concentrations in six samples collected from Pinellas County; background to medium concentrations in thirteen samples collected from Manatee County; very low to high concentrations in thirty-eight samples collected from Sarasota County; very low to low concentrations in six samples collected from Charlotte County; background to medium concentrations in nineteen samples collected from Lee County; and background to high concentrations in seven samples collected from Collier County.
Karenia brevis was observed at background and very low concentrations in two samples collected from Northwest Florida (Bay County), and at background concentrations in one sample collected from Florida’s East Coast (St. Lucie County).
Additional samples collected throughout Florida over the past week did not contain K. brevis.
Fish kills affecting multiple species have been reported along Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, and Collier counties over the past week; respiratory irritation was reported at Barefoot Beach (Collier County) on 10/16, Gasparilla Island (Lee County) on 10/19, and Manatee Beach (Manatee County) on 10/21. Forecasts for Southwest Florida by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tides show net southern movement of surface waters, and southern, onshore movement of subsurface waters between southern Pinellas and Collier counties over the next 3 days.
This information, including maps and reports with additional details, is also available on the FWRI Red Tide website. The website also provides links to additional information related to the topic of Florida red tide including satellite imagery, experimental red tide forecasts, shellfish harvesting areas, the FWC Fish Kill Hotline, the Florida Poison Information Center (to report human health effects related to exposure to red tide), and other wildlife related hotlines.
To learn more about various organisms that have been known to cause algal blooms in Florida waters, see the FWRI Red Tide Flickr page. Archived status maps can also be found on Flickr.       
The FWRI HAB group in conjunction with Mote Marine Laboratory now have a facebook page.  Please like our page and learn interesting facts concerning red tide and other harmful algal blooms in Florida.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Presentation about local barrier islands wins NOAA award

 A graduate student from Delaware State University recently won first place for his presentation about migrating songbirds and the islands off Franklin county.

Armando Alberto Aispuro gave his winning presentation at the eighth Biennial Education and Science Forum in New York City.

The title of Aispuro’s research presentation was “The Role of Apalachicola Barrier Island Ecosystems in Supporting Migratory Passerine Concentration Sites.”

Basically he studied songbird migration and the role St. Vincent Island and Little St. George Island play in providing a place where the birds can find rest and nourishment after their long flight.

Hi work shows that birds rely on Franklin County's barrier islands to gain fat and muscle to complete their migration to northern breeding grounds.

It is called “stop-over” ecology – the research .will shed light on the ecological function of the islands, and hopefully provide useful data to help mitigate impending sea-level rise.

Franklin County readies carcass containers for deer season

 Deer hunting season begins in just a few weeks so Franklin county will place containers around the county where deer hunters can dispose of deer carcasses.

In the past the landfill has set up three containers strategically located near popular hunting areas.

The containers are at the Parking lot of the DW Wilson BallField on Pal Rivers Road in Apalachicola, at bear Creek Road on Highway 65 in Eastpoint and at Cypress Slough, just north of the State Prison, on Highway 67 in Carrabelle.
The county began providing the containers over 7 years ago so hunters would have a legal way to dispose of deer carcasses.

Before the containers were provided some hunters dumped their deer carcasses along roadsides and in waterways.

There were also problems caused by carcasses dumped near the airport which attracted birds and posed a danger to airplanes.

The deer carcasses the county collects are either incinerated or used in the county’s composting project.

Your Guide to Florida Hunting

Tammy S temp


FWC’s Hunting Hot Sheet

The latest hunting and conservation news and events from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
HuntFlorida Banner