Environment

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Health advisory issued for Blue Mountain Beach

April 11, 2019 – Walton County – The Florida Department of Health in Walton County (DOH-Walton) conducts regularly scheduled saltwater beach water quality monitoring at seven sites through the Healthy Beaches Monitoring Program. Samples are collected from March through the end of October. The water samples are analyzed for enteric bacteria (enterococci) that normally inhabit the intestinal tract of humans and animals, which may cause human disease, infections, or rashes. The presence of enteric bacteria is an indication of fecal...

Learn about animal scat at Grayton Beach State Park April 24

Join Grayton Beach State Park ranger Aaron Allen on Wednesday, April 24 as he discusses and identifies the different sightings of wildlife scat (poop) you may see in the park and on the trails. What you think may be raccoon scat could be grey fox. The event begins at 10 a.m. Ask for more details at the ranger station. Grayton Beach State Park is located in Walton County, South of U.S. 98 off of Scenic Road 30A. Take county road...

Learn about animals in the wild at Grayton Beach State Park April 17

Join Grayton Beach State Park ranger Slade Ward on Wednesday, April 17 as he provides information on the many species animals that call Grayton Beach home. Be ready to take a quiz on the top 10 species that are in park. Learn why it is discouraged to feed animals in the wild. Parking will be at the boat launch lot. The interpretive will begin at 10 a.m. Grayton Beach State Park is located in Walton County, South of U.S. 98...

Warm weather means it’s time to brush up on tips for living with alligators

Warm weather means it’s time to brush up on tips for living with alligators The American alligator, Florida’s state reptile, is an important part of Florida’s wetland habitats. This large reptile is found throughout the state in fresh water lakes, ponds, swamps and slow-moving rivers. During spring, alligators become more active and visible. When temperatures rise, their metabolism increases and they begin seeking prey. Although alligator bite incidents resulting in serious injury are rare in Florida, the Florida Fish and Wildlife...

FWC working to stop illegal trapping of Florida’s native songbirds

At its February meeting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) directed staff to move forward with a draft rule to help protect Florida’s native songbirds from illegal capture. To prevent the continued illegal taking of native birds, staff recommend creating a new rule within Chapter 68A-16, F.A.C. (Rules Relating to Birds) to include regulations for bird traps. The proposed rule includes regulations regarding the use, placement, possession and transport of bird traps. This rule would provide an additional...

FWC hosting open house on Juniper Lake management plan Feb. 12

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is hosting an open house regarding the management of Juniper Lake in Walton County. The FWC is considering a drawdown of Juniper Lake between October 2019 and January 2020 to restore and improve lake habitat. The open house will be held Tuesday, Feb. 12, from 6 to 8 p.m. at DeFuniak Springs Community Center, 361 North 10th Street in DeFuniak Springs. FWC staff in the Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management, Invasive Plant...

Haz mat collection day in north and south Walton March 2

Walton County is hosting a haz mat collection and waste tire amnesty collection day in north and south Walton on March 2, 2019 from 8:00 am to 12 Noon. The collection will be held at Walton County Fairgrounds, Hwy. 83 North in DeFuniak Springs, and Topsail Hill Preserve State Park 7525 W. Scenic Highway 30A, Santa Rosa Beach. Representatives from the Walton County Solid Waste and Recycling office will be on hand to help unload the following items from your vehicle:...

Several Florida species no longer warrant listing

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) completed the final step in reevaluating five Species of Special Concern, one of six key objectives outlined in Florida’s Imperiled Species Management Plan. As a result, several fish and wildlife species no longer warrant listing. Based on thorough scientific review, the FWC determined the harlequin darter, Homosassa shrew, southern fox squirrel and the Monroe County osprey population no longer warrant listing as Species of Special Concern. Through the process, FWC biologists and...

Learn about coastal dune lakes at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park Feb. 15

Join Topsail Hill Preserve State Park and the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance on February 15, 2019 from 10 – 11 a.m. Come learn about the rare coastal dune llakes in Walton County. Meet at the clubhouse. This program is free with regular park admission.  Topsail Talks is a monthly educational discovery series with presentations from organizations and government agencies from outside the park on the third Friday of the month at 10 am in the clubhouse.  Future dates and topics are...

Learn about Reefs of Florida: Past and Present in Niceville Jan. 25

Join Mattie M. Kelly Environmental Institute for our Spring Semester 2019 Seminar with speaker Dr. Jon Bryan presenting “Reefs of Florida: Past and Present.” The seminar will take place on Friday, January 25, 2019 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Robert E. Greene, Jr. Science Building (Building 350), Room 110, Niceville Campus of Northwest Florida State College. Admission is free and the event is open to the public. The Florida Reef Tract is one of the best-studied coral...