Environment

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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issued for Stallworth Lake outfall to the western edge of Topsail Hill Preserve State Park UPDATE: Health Advisory rescinded July 2 From the Walton County Sheriff’s office: The Walton County Health Department issued a health advisory this afternoon, following a report by the Walton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...

Marine toxicologist Dr. Riki Ott to speak at public forum June 26

Dr. Ott will speak about the Deepwater Horizon spill-its impacts on people, the Gulf and the future On June 26th, the South Walton Community Council will sponsor a public forum on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The guest speaker, Riki Ott, is a community activist, a former commercial salmon “fisherm’am,” and has a doctorate in marine toxicology with a specialty in oil pollution. Living in Alaska, she experienced firsthand the devastating effects of the  Exxon Valdez oil spill—and chose to...

BP subcontractors lay boom on the Choctawhatchee Bay

Boom near Clyde B Wells Bridge along the Intracoastal Waterway BP sub contractors deployed more than 8,100 ft. of boom on the Choctawhatchee Bay June 19, 2010. The boom was placed along the Intracoastal Waterway channel near the Clyde B. Wells bridge. Within the last 48 hours Walton County laid 9,300 feet of boom in the Choctawhatchee Bay as a proactive, precautionary measure. By this evening they will have staged an additional 5,000- 6,000 which will bring the total to 14,300-...

Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge designated contact for oiled Wildlife in Walton County

Currently donations and supplies along with volunteers to answer phones are most needed To report oiled or injured wildlife in an area after it has been designated as oiled, call 800-557-1401 Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge is now the point of contact for local response to oiled wildlife in the Walton County area. They have put in a request with BP’s training coordinator to conduct volunteer training for the general public in our area, but have not received a response as yet. There...

Beach wrack full of curiosities

That bunch of seaweed on the beach teems with life When walking the beach this spring break, pause and ponder the virtues of stranded seaweed. Those scattered clumps along the high-tide line actually have a name – beach wrack – and are a pivotal part of the beach ecosystem. “Many might think sand makes a beach, but it’s the wrack that truly brings a beach to life,” said Blair Witherington, a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) biologist who...