Environment

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Land donated to State of Florida in Gulf County

Donation will preserve undeveloped tracts of land for native plants and animals TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of State Lands, acting on behalf of the Governor and the Board of Trustees, announces the donation of a valuable piece of conservation land to the St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve in Gulf County. The 7.23 acre-property was donated by the Friends of St. Joseph Bay Preserves. This land is part of the St. Joseph Bay Buffer Florida...

Gulf coast lupine blooms along South Walton area beaches

Beautiful blue shrub a welcomed sight In the springtime, sand dunes along the beaches in South Walton are dolloped with beautiful blue lupine. The gulf coast lupine (Lupinus westianus) is a native plant and endemic to Northwest Florida. Lupine habitats are sand hills, scrubs and coastal dunes. This particluar perennial shrub is only found in a few counties with Walton fortunate enough to be one of them. The beautiful blue flowers provide a delicate lavender-like scent. Early settlers to the...

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...