Lifestyle/Leisure

Castro shifts from secretary role to job as ranger

Castro shifts from secretary role to job as ranger

Corliss Castro never imagined she would become a park ranger. Before getting into the career, she was in a job on the opposite end of the spectrum. “I was a secretary in a medical office and indoors all day,” Castro said. She applied for a secretary position at St. Andrews State Park in Panama City […]

Why spay your cat?

Why spay your cat?

Almost a million cats a year are euthanized, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.  They are either born feral or run away and eventually end up in a local shelter. And shelters are filled to capacity which leaves them little choice but to euthanize the “excess.” A non-spayed female […]

Best webcam in Florida on Navarre Beach

Best webcam in Florida on Navarre Beach

Entrepreneur and photographer Kenny Wilder has many passions. One is for his Christian faith and the other is for his hobbies including photography which he is well-known for in northwest Florida. He has many followers on his Facebook page. In fact, he must wait until someone “de-friends” him before he can add another – and […]

Navarre Beach appoints new fire chief

Navarre Beach appoints new fire chief

In an unusually large turnout, the meeting room of Regency Condominiums was full Jan. 5 as the Navarre Beach Fire District board of directors voted unanimously to appoint Danny Fureigh as the new fire chief. Board chair John Lewis joked that he did not realize Fureigh had so many friends. He then had Fureigh take […]

Cold snap stuns beach wildlife

Cold snap stuns beach wildlife

Despite the sun beaming down from a nearly cloudless sky, sheets of ice still were still lingering around the edges of tidal pools along Santa Rosa Sound at midmorning last Friday. Standing at the water’s edge, Jeff Waldorf looks like something out of a science fiction film. He slowly turns his head back and forth, […]

Recreational options abound at Eglin

Recreational options abound at Eglin

For more than 50 years, military land has been open to the public for outdoor recreational activities, and that includes the Eglin Air Force Base Reservation at Jackson Guard. The Sikes Act triggered that opening in 1960, ensuring that wildlife and natural resources on military lands are protected and enhanced. Chris Johansen, a wildlife biologist […]

Service dog or support animal?

Service dog or support animal?

Much has been made recently about the rules and recognitions belonging to the different service classes of dogs and other animals. We break down the differences here: Service dog: (U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section) Only dogs are recognized as service animals under titles II and III of the American With […]

Pier restaurant and shop nearing completion

Pier restaurant and shop nearing completion

Those hoping to savor grub from the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier’s newest restaurant won’t have to wait much longer. Though initially set to open at the onset of 2018, Growing Santa Rosa Enterprises’ (GSE) restaurant and other spaces are nearing completion for an end of January opening. GSE took up the lease and operation responsibilities […]

Stocking stuffers for pets

Stocking stuffers for pets

Outside of her normal business approach, Pet Nation owner Holly Elassaad put on some big sales for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday this year in the hopes of capturing a specific kind of Christmas shopper: pet lovers. The pet products industry will generate more than $69 billion for items geared to the 312 million […]

Reopening of gray triggerfish season on the horizon

Reopening of gray triggerfish season on the horizon

Fishermen will soon be able to cast their lines into the state waters of the Gulf of Mexico in the hopes of reeling in gray triggerfish. The recreational season was closed for most of 2017, opening only for a limited time over four weekends this past fall in state waters. Now the Florida Fish and […]

Fort Pickens area back in business

Fort Pickens area back in business

Hurricane Nate closed the Fort Pickens area for more than a month. It reopened Nov. 30, and it didn’t take long for visitors to return and activities to resume as normal. “The second the gate went up, we had visitors in Fort Pickens,” said Brent Everitt, who handles public affairs for Gulf Islands National Seashore. […]

Helping your pet manage the cold

Helping your pet manage the cold

The low temperatures and cold snaps have finally made their way to Navarre and while it is likely it will warm up during the day, the temperatures may remain lower at night. How do you help your pet in the cold temperatures? Colder even freezing temperatures put pets at risk. Dora Thomason, kennel supervisor at […]

Turtle center shell-a-brates Christmas season

Turtle center shell-a-brates Christmas season

The weather outside is frightful, but inside the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center (NBSTCC) it was delightful Saturday as children played and learned at the first ever Sea Turtle Shell-a-bration. Children visiting the center were greeted by a variety of activities as well as wildlife. Dozens of salt dough sea turtle ornaments were laid […]

Board seeks way to revive fee simple bill

Board seeks way to revive fee simple bill

Federal fee simple legislation for Navarre Beach is dead in the water, but the Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) discussed possible alterations that could jump-start the bill’s chances in the Senate. Three of five commissioners indicated they would be willing to modify the language of Senate Bill 1073 if it meant securing fee […]

Blackwater State Park popular destination for outdoor lovers

Blackwater State Park popular destination for outdoor lovers

Mention Florida and sunshine and sandy beaches come to mind. But the Blackwater River State Park is far from a hidden treasure. Contrary to what some may think, it’s a destination hot spot. “We get quite a bit of attention,” especially in the hot, summer months,” Park Services Specialist Darryl Hatfield said.  “At the state […]

Pier revamp underway, new operator at helm

Pier revamp underway, new operator at helm

While the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier has remained open, the pier restaurant and bar have been closed since Nov. 25 as Growing Santa Rosa Enterprises transitions into its role as the new pier operations company. GSE was selected by the county from a number of bidders to improve the pier’s amenities and profitability. The contract […]

Team aims to determine true numbers of red snapper population

Team aims to determine true numbers of red snapper population

No one knows for sure how many red snapper are out in the Gulf of Mexico. Fishermen believe there are more than the numbers calculated in stock assessments. A team of 21 scientists from state and federal agencies and universities in the Gulf Coast region, including Florida, are determined to paint a better picture of […]

Wildlife refuge seeks support for Holley relocation

Wildlife refuge seeks support for Holley relocation

After the shopping rush and cyber sales ended, #GivingTuesday arrived Nov. 28, and local nonprofit Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge (ECWR) tried to capitalize on the event. #GivingTuesday is a global fundraising movement for nonprofits that follows the Thanksgiving shopping weekend each year. ECWR rescues, rehabilitates and releases more than 1,200 sick, injured or orphaned native […]

NOAA taking advantage of advances in technology

NOAA taking advantage of advances in technology

Technology makes a world of difference, even on the water. NOAA is capitalizing on the technology when it comes to managing fisheries, including along the heavily fished Gulf Coast. “We’re moving to a more automated way of doing things, and that reduces the number of people who need to go out for research,” said Roy […]

Reptiles drawn back to pier despite multiple run-ins with fishing hooks

Reptiles drawn back to pier despite multiple run-ins with fishing hooks

Okra, a juvenile green sea turtle, has had a rough year. After sustaining serious head trauma that exposed part of her skull, Okra ended up on the end of a fisherman’s line on the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier. The hook was caught in her right shoulder. Fortunately, she was rescued and sent to the Gulfarium […]

Manatee population continues to recover

Manatee population continues to recover

November is Manatee Awareness Month and the state of the species is far better than it used to be, with Florida manatees now listed as threatened rather than endangered. The change in status of the species, which was made in March due to increased population counts, is the result of effective protection measures. The manatee […]

Visiting Gulf Islands will cost a little more in 2018

Visiting Gulf Islands will cost a little more in 2018

Two years after its first price increase in more than a decade, the entrance fee for vehicles into Fort Pickens will increase by $5 starting in January. The rise in price is a result of the nationwide entrance fee structure that was established three years ago by the National Park Service. The rate for vehicles […]

Educators go WILD

Educators go WILD

Despite being closed to the public, the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center was packed last week as educators from all-around and from all disciplines got a little wild with a Project WILD workshop. Project WILD is a national curriculum program designed to connect students to environmentally centered education. There are a variety of resources […]

Area residents share their stories of hiking the Appalachian Trail

Area residents share their stories of hiking the Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail is the Footpath for the People and spans nearly 2,200 miles from Georgia to Maine. It’s a bucket list item for the most serious of hikers. There are also sections that make for great day hikes for those with less experience. Famed travel author Bill Bryson summed up hiking the trail in […]

Dune damage on Navarre Beach costly

Dune damage on Navarre Beach costly

  Staying off the sand dunes along Navarre Beach is more than good environmental policy, it is a legal requirement. Since 2007 Santa Rosa County has had an ordinance on the books to stop people from setting foot on these natural formations, and for good reason. Sand dunes are a naturally occurring and crucial part […]

Duck hunting popular on national seashore

Duck hunting popular on national seashore

Duck hunting is a thing on Gulf Islands National Seashore. The numbers tell you as much. While hunting ducks has been allowed since the national seashore was established more than 40 years ago, the issuance of permits for it didn’t start until 2013. Over the last three seasons, more than 200 permits have been issued […]

Hatchling hustle

Hatchling hustle

Navarre Beach’s last sea turtle nest of the season offered up an unexpected surprise on Friday, Oct. 27 as roughly a dozen loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings made their sprint for the Gulf of Mexico in broad day light. At around 9:30 a.m. visitors from out of state watched and snapped pictures as the smaller-than-golf-ball-sized babies […]

Sea Turtle Extravaganza promotes conservation

Sea Turtle Extravaganza promotes conservation

Arriving at Navarre Beach Saturday morning, visitors were greeted by a flying 50-foot alligator, a 75-foot-long octopus with swooping tentacles and several other flying sea creatures. These larger-than-life critter kites were part of the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center’s (NBSTCC) annual Sea Turtle Extravaganza. Center director Christy Meyer said she was thankful to the […]

Keeping your pet safe during Halloween

Keeping your pet safe during Halloween

Halloween has its own hazards and risks for pets and can make them anxious and even frightened. The chaos of Halloween means a flurry of activity, a constantly ringing doorbell and excited children running through neighborhoods. “It’s so easy for pet parents to forget or overlook how vulnerable our beloved animals really are in the […]

Exotic pets get second chance with amnesty program

Exotic pets get second chance with amnesty program

They may seem cute, exciting and manageable when they are young, but exotic pets such as reptiles and birds can mean a big commitment. They can grow to unexpected sizes, live for long periods and require more room and specialized care over time. For that reason some of these species have been released into the […]

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