Environment

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Emerald Coast Surfrider takes the helm on local Gulf DOS water testing

Organization hopes to enlighten on water health, seeks public support With concerns of the oil and dispersant’s effects reaching the Florida Panhandle shores, both surfers and beach goers are anxious to know if it is safe to enter the Gulf of Mexico. Local surfing organization, Emerald Coast Surfrider Foundation started going the extra mile on July 10 to acquire a specific testing called DOS (details below). The DOS test checks for the chemical compounds present in dispersant and can serve...

Have breakfast with a park ranger July 10

Learn about park life at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park Location: Topsail Hill Preserve State Park on Scenic Road 30A, Santa Rosa Beach Saturday, May 8 and 15 – 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Come and join the Rangers of Topsail Hill and ask them all the questions you can think of about park life.  To cover the cost of food please bring $4, which goes to Friends of Topsail Hill Preserve State Park to enhance the park, or bring...

FWC, partners to relocate Northwest Florida sea turtle eggs

Sea turtle hatchlings will get a chance for survival on Florida’s east coast Sea turtle hatchlings face great challenges when they crawl to the water, swim offshore, and begin their lives in the ocean. They face many dangerous obstacles, both on the beach and in the water – some natural, some because of man – that make survival difficult. This summer, the hatchlings of these threatened and endangered species emerging from nests on Northwest Florida beaches would face an additional,...

FWC taking unprecedented action to protect wildlife from oil disaster

Moving turtle eggs one of the risks involved in protecting numerous species from decimation An editorial from FWC chairman Rodney Barreto As an unprecedented crisis spews oil into the Gulf of Mexico, our ocean, our fish and our wildlife suffer immediate and devastating impacts. The good people on the Gulf coast are fighting for their very livelihoods because of the impacts of the oil spill, but they have strong voices coming to their aid, and they are beginning to get...

Learn about the native snakes of Florida at Topsail July 8

Native snakes of Florida program offers fascinating facts Thursday, July 8 – 1:30 p.m. Come and join the park for a presentation of native snakes.  Learn the differences between venomous and non-venomous snakes and how they help the environment.  Park at the Day-Use area off Hwy 30A and take a short hike to the clubhouse. All programs require a $6.00 entry admission per vehicle into the park. Location: Topsail Hill Preserve State Park on Scenic Road 30A – Click here for...

Health advisory issued for Topsail State Park area of Walton County

Advisory issued for Stallworth Lake outfall to the western edge of Topsail Hill Preserve State Park UPDATE: Health Advisory rescinded July 2 From the Walton County Sheriff’s office: The Walton County Health Department issued a health advisory this afternoon, following a report by the Walton County Emergency Operations Center of oil substances coming ashore along a section of Walton County beaches. The advisory covers beaches from the Stallworth Lake outfall to the western edge of Topsail Hill Preserve State Park....

Audubon looking for experienced wildlife observers

Observers will accompany beach clean up crews on Panhandle beaches Audubon is pre-screening wildlife observers for oil spill clean up activities. This is important work. Cleanup activities pose significant threats to wildlife and habitats. Official beach clean up crews responding to the oil spill will now be required to have a wildlife observer accompanying them during night work in the Panhandle, out of concern for impacts to beach wildlife like marine turtles, shorebirds and beach mice. Observers will be given...

Marine toxologist shares oil spill expertise with Gulf Coast residents

Dr. Riki Ott urges communities to prepare and become proactive On June 26th, the South Walton Community Council sponsored a public forum on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill with guest speaker Dr. Riki Ott. Ott is a community activist and a marine toxologist with a specialty in oil pollution. Ott experienced first hand the devastating effects on the environment and community from the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989. At the time, Ott was a commercial fisherwoman in Cordova, Alaska....

Thousands across the globe participate in Hands Across The Sand

Seaside drew more than 400 participants in global event Thousands of people across the globe participated in the Hands Across The Sand event on June 26, 2010. Dave Rauschkolb, founder of the event and his family participated along with more than 400 supporters at Seaside Florida. Hands Across the Sand is a movement to oppose offshore oil drilling and champion clean energy and renewables. There were 797 events organized in the U.S. in 537 cities including 104 events outside the...

Walton County begins next phase of beach protection plan

Sand berms to be created on 19.2 miles of county beaches Walton County received approval today from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to move forward with the next phase of its coastal protection plan.  Work will begin immediately to construct a sand berm on approximately 19.2 miles of Walton County Beaches, (not including beaches maintained by the state). The berms, which will be approximately three feet high and 20-30 feet back from the mean high tide water line,...

Health advisory issued for six miles of Walton County Beaches

Advisory issued for Miramar Beach east to Topsail Hill Preserve State Park UPDATE: Health Advisory rescinded June 25 The Walton County Health Department issued a health advisory this afternoon, following a report by the Walton County Emergency Operations Center of oil substances coming ashore along a six mile stretch of Walton County Beaches. The advisory covers beaches from the Miramar Beach access point eastward to the east end of Top Sail Hill Preserve State Park. Crews were dispatched immediately to...