Environment

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Florida Forest Service announces Longleaf Pine program for landowners

The Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, announced today that the Longleaf Pine Landowner Incentive Program is now accepting applications from eligible, non-industrial private forest landowners. The application period is open Monday, June 4, through Friday, July 13, 2018. The goal of the program is to increase the acreage of healthy longleaf pine ecosystems in Florida by helping non-industrial private forest landowners make the long-term investment required to establish and maintain this...

Health Department in Walton County issues rabies alert for Freeport area

The Florida Department of Health in Walton County (DOH-Walton) issued a rabies alert for the Freeport area. This is in response to a fox that tested positive on May 31, 2018. All residents and visitors in Walton County should be aware that rabies is present in the wild animal population and domestic animals are at risk if not vaccinated. The public is asked to maintain a heightened awareness that rabies is active in Walton County. Alerts are designed to increase awareness...

Sea turtle season in South Walton runs May 1 – October 31

South Walton Turtle Watch watches over our nesting sea turtles According to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, sea turtles are among the oldest creatures on earth, and have remained essentially unchanged for 110 million years. However, they face an uncertain future. Illegal harvesting, habitat encroachment, and pollution (physical and light) are only some of the issues sea turtles face as the beautiful creatures struggle to stay alive. Each year from May – October, there are four species of Florida...

Learn about the history of turpentine at Eden Gardens State Park April 28

Eden Gardens State Park invites you and your family to step into the past and discover turpentine with a Ranger dressed in period attire. Discover the techniques, processes and uses of a sticky resin that helped shape Florida’s history and has had a lasting effect on Florida’s economy, environment and culture. The program will be held on the Mansion’s lawn down by the stage near the bayou. The event will be on Saturday, April 28 from 10 – 11 a.m. Directions...

Learn about coastal species at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park April 20

Join the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to learn about animal species that live or nest along the Gulf Coast at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park. The event will be held Friday, April 20, from 10 – 11 a.m. Topsail Talks is a monthly educational discovery series with presentations from organizations and government agencies from outside the park. Future dates and topics are “Shorebirds” by Audubon Society on May 4, “Bears” by FWCC on June 15 and “Prescribed Fires and...

Beach clean up at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park April 21

Join Topsail Hill Preserve State Park for a Beach Cleanup on April 21, 2018 from 9:15 – 11:30 a.m.  Help keep the beach safe for the threatened and endangered species that call the beach home by minimizing the impact of marine debris on the beach and in the Gulf. To register as a beach cleanup volunteer please call 850-267-8330 and provide your name, email address, phone number and number of people coming. Volunteer check in is at Tram Stop #3...

FWC provides tips for living with alligators

The American alligator is a conservation success story. Florida has a healthy and stable alligator population, which is estimated at 1.3 million and consists of alligators of every size. They are an important part of Florida’s ecosystem, but should be regarded with caution and respect. During spring when temperatures rise, alligators become more active. Although alligator incidents are rare, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) recommends taking precautions when having fun in and around the water. Alligators inhabit...

Important addition to Torreya State Park acquired

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently purchased a 65-acre addition to Torreya State Park in Jackson County. Torreya State Park is adjacent to the Apalachicola River Florida Forever project, which includes much of Florida’s upland glades natural community, currently not represented on conservation lands, and harbors several globally rare plant species as well as 16 species that occur nowhere else in Florida. “Torreya State Park is incredibly important, not just for its fantastic scenic views of the Apalachicola River,...

Learn about insects at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park March 30

Join Topsail Hill Preserve State Park and the South Walton Mosquito Control District (SWMCD) on March 30, 2018 from 10 – 11 a.m. Come learn about the insects and bugs that call the Florida Panhandle home at the park’s educational series. 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.  Future dates and topics are “Coastal Species” by FWCC on April 20,...

Miner bees nothing to worry about in your landscape

What are all these little mounds of dirt in my lawn? This time of year, you might notice some industrious creature has been busy digging up tiny piles of soil around your lawn, pasture, or garden. If they look like this picture, don’t worry, it’s just a miner bee. These solitary bees emerge from the ground in the spring, and then spend their time pollinating plants and digging new nests for their young. They look a lot like bumblebees, though...

Health advisory issued for Morrison Springs

A Health Advisory has been issued on February 22, 2018 for Morrison Springs. The Advisory is issued based on the criteria for fecal indicator bacteria. This should be considered a potential health risk to the bathing public and swimming is not recommended.  Samples taken are above the public health threshold for fecal indicator bacteria. Water quality exceedances are based upon the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recommended standard of no more than 61 Enterococci CFU/100mL, or 235 E. coli CFU/100mL...