Science/Environment

Fish and Wildlife officers stay busy this summer

Fish and Wildlife officers stay busy this summer

In one case, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers responded to a boating accident in which a rented personal watercraft struck a swimmer in the head. In another instance, officers responded to a home where a man had a dead deer on his front porch because he brought it home after shooting it illegally. […]

MathAlive! comes to the Emerald Coast

MathAlive! comes to the Emerald Coast

Children along the Emerald Coast are piloting Mars rovers, designing video games and making movies this week thanks to MathAlive! at the Emerald Coast Science Center. Located in Fort Walton Beach, the science center seeks to engage children throughout the Panhandle in the pursuit of science from a young age, said director Diane Fraser. “Our […]

FWC continues efforts to conserve panther population

FWC continues efforts to conserve panther population

While there have been calls and e-mails to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission from the public about panther sightings in the Panhandle, Kip Frohlich of the FWC said there haven’t been any confirmed for quite some time. “We’ve gotten calls and -emails in the past, but it’s been many years since we’ve had one […]

Bridge toll proposed to help fund future renourishment

Bridge toll proposed to help fund future renourishment

Pensacola Beach already has its estimates for beach renourishment and the cost is 8 percent lower than the estimate for Navarre Beach’s renourishment. Robert Coley is just one of many Navarre Beach leaseholders who will be footing a good portion of the bill, and he wants the county look into the cost difference. Coley also […]

Cottonmouth bite scares Navarre family

Cottonmouth bite scares Navarre family

Koebi King didn’t see the 3-foot-long cottonmouth snake that bit him just after midnight on Aug. 4 until after the fangs had suddenly sunk into his ankle and been withdrawn. “At first it felt like something had just scraped my leg. Then it started to feel like fire,” said King, 14, who lives in the […]

Clock’s ticking on beach renourishment

Clock’s ticking on beach renourishment

When Santa Rosa County began discussing the next go-round of beach renourishment in January 2013, the estimated price was $12 million to $13 million. All necessary permits have been issued and the project now has an $18 million price tag, which could increase to $19 million if the county doesn’t act soon, according to Michael […]

Jellyfish get in the swim with summer tourists

Jellyfish get in the swim with summer tourists

Purple flags have been waving along Navarre Beach for a good part of the summer, alerting swimmers to “dangerous marine life” in the Gulf of Mexico. Although no one keeps official records on jellyfish stings, lifeguards at Pensacola Beach said they have been consoling and treating dozens of victims daily through most of July. August […]

State, DOD buy 165 acres at Whiting Field

State, DOD buy 165 acres at Whiting Field

Gov. Rick Scott and cabinet members approved the purchase of the 165-acre Clear Creek/Whiting Field parcel in Santa Rosa County for $705,000 from Paradise Bay Developers. This Florida Forever acquisition will expand a conservation corridor between state and private conservation lands for wildlife and recreational use as well as buffer Whiting Field Naval Air Station […]

Vibrio-related death confirmed in Escambia County

Vibrio-related death confirmed in Escambia County

One person has died in Escambia County from Vibrio vulnificus, a naturally occurring bacteria that thrives in warm, brackish seawater. According to Tiffany Cowie, communications director with the state Department of Health, the details of exposure are unknown at this time. The department would not release any additional information, including the age of the person […]

State’s first West Nile case in Walton County

State’s first West Nile case in Walton County

A Walton County resident is the state’s first confirmed West Nile case this year, according to the Florida Department of Health. The DOH urges Floridians and visitors to protect themselves against the mosquito-borne virus, which causes mild to severe illness, adding that there have been 38 other states with confirmed cases this year. “I encourage Floridians […]

Daughter’s legacy continues through turtle center

Daughter’s legacy continues through turtle center

Growing up on Cape Cod, it was no surprise that Shanna Litterst loved the ocean – as well as its inhabitants. In 2007, the 21-year-old biology major was interning at a fish hatchery on the Cape – her ultimate goal was to become a marine biologist. But six weeks before she graduated college, Shanna was […]

Looking back: 50 years since the Navarre pass

Looking back: 50 years since the Navarre pass

It’s been 50 years since a pass connected the Santa Rosa Sound to the Gulf of Mexico. And with it, 50 years of hoping for a second chance. To hear Phil Babiak tell the story, the building of Navarre’s pass was somewhat serendipitous. “Rumor has it there was a dredge company in New Orleans owned […]

15 projects eyed for RESTORE funds

15 projects eyed for RESTORE funds

Santa Rosa County’s local RESTORE council has identified 15 projects which could be recommended for funding through county’s first direct allocation of RESTORE Act funds, and several Navarre area projects made the list. If the projects make the final cut later this year, including surviving a 45-day public comment period and receiving county commission approval, they could be implemented […]

Great Scallop Search seeks volunteers

Great Scallop Search seeks volunteers

Florida Sea Grant needs volunteer boaters and snorkelers to participate in a one day scallop count in Santa Rosa Sound on Saturday, Aug. 1, from 8 a.m. to noon. The search will determine whether there are scallops in the Pensacola Bay System. Volunteers will work in teams with a boat captain and three to four people to conduct […]

Tempers flare during tourism meeting

Tempers flare during tourism meeting

Frustrations ignited over Commissioner Rob Williamson’s suspension of county funding for the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center at the July 8 south end tourist development committee (SETDC) meeting. At one point Santa Rosa County Tourist Development Director Julie Morgan stood up and threatened to walk out following comments made by attendee T.J. Goulet, a […]

FWC approves limited bear hunting in Florida

FWC approves limited bear hunting in Florida

For the first time in two decades, bear hunting will be allowed in the state of Florida. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission approved hunting at its three-day commissioner meeting last week in Sarasota. Several areas of the state will be open for hunting over the course of a short season in late October. […]

FWC: Fireworks and nesting birds don’t mix

FWC: Fireworks and nesting birds don’t mix

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) asks the public to help protect beach-nesting shorebirds across the state this holiday weekend by giving them space and keeping personal fireworks off the beach. Shorebirds are nesting on beaches along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of Florida, with many still watching over flightless chicks during the […]

Gulf states reach $18.7B settlement with BP

Gulf states reach $18.7B settlement with BP

BP and five Gulf states announced an $18.7 billion settlement Thursday that resolves years of legal fighting over the environmental and economic damage done by the energy giant’s oil spill in 2010. The settlement money will be used to resolve the Clean Water Act penalties; resolve natural resources damage claims; settle economic claims; and resolve […]

Turtle center funding expected to resume in July

Turtle center funding expected to resume in July

Following Commissioner Rob Williamson’s surprise move to suspend county funding for the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center, its representatives had their say at Monday morning’s commission meeting. During the public forum Navarre resident Yvonne Harper suggested Williamson’s actions may have led some to wrongly infer there had been a misappropriation of funds. Harper questioned […]

Kids build robots at marine science station

Kids build robots at marine science station

As if summer camp on the Gulf of Mexico wasn’t enough, throw in a robot, and it becomes a kid’s dream come true. More than 50 students participated in Reefs & Robotics Camp at the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station last week. Separated into two groups – third through fifth and sixth through eighth grades […]

Holmes offers tips for sea turtle encounters

Holmes offers tips for sea turtle encounters

Sea turtles are currently in their nesting season, but their efforts to lay eggs can be easily disturbed by people eager to catch a glimpse of them. “Seeing a sea turtle is an amazing experience for residents and visitors, but a lot of activity and noise around it can make it feel enclosed and deter […]

Wildlife commissioners approve bear hunting

Wildlife commissioners approve bear hunting

Florida wildlife officials on Wednesday approved a new bear hunting season in the state just a few years after it was removed from the state’s threatened species list. After hours of impassioned public comment, mostly in opposition to the new hunting regulations, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted 5-1 for a limited black […]

Williamson suspends turtle center funding

Williamson suspends turtle center funding

Santa Rosa District 4 Commissioner Rob Williamson isn’t satisfied that the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center has answered all his questions related to county fund expenditures, so he moved June 11 to suspend further payments to the organization. Cinnamon Holderman, president of organization, said she was “blind sided” by Williamson’s move, stating he has never asked her […]

Dead fish still a mystery

Dead fish still a mystery

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is still investigating why hundreds of dead fish washed up on the shore from Pensacola to Fort Walton last week. No algae bloom was found in the water samples taken by the FWC, although that doesn’t rule out the bloom. The samples taken were from Fort Walton Beach. […]

Midnight deadline for oil spill settlement claims

Midnight deadline for oil spill settlement claims

With a midnight deadline approaching to file claims under a 2012 settlement over the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the claims administrator said he expected a last-minute rush of filers. “There’s always a rush, for myriad reasons,” Patrick Juneau said in a telephone interview last week. Juneau said more than 328,000 claims had been […]

Spraying efforts help control mosquitoes

Spraying efforts help control mosquitoes

  Mosquitoes are out for blood but Santa Rosa County is prepared to do what it can to prevent summer’s most famous pest from quenching its thirst. The county has already started spraying for mosquitoes and will cover 30 routes, spraying five each week. The spraying is typically done from sundown until 1 a.m. However, […]

Bald eagle rescued after shooting

Bald eagle rescued after shooting

Nancy Forester crossed “rescuing a bald eagle” off her bucket list last week. Forester, a volunteer docent with the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge (ECWR), frequently receives calls to rescue animals. Sometimes, she fosters them until they are well enough to go back into the wild. “This eagle is a dream rescue,” Forester said. According to Brittany […]

Trio travels 1,000 miles to aid wildlife

Trio travels 1,000 miles to aid wildlife

After a 70-day journey from the Florida Everglades, participants in the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition March 19 paddled up to Fort Pickens, ending a 1,000-mile trek aimed to improve the state’s wildlife areas. Krystin Olinski, spokeswoman for the event, said three participants hiked, biked and paddled the entire route to promote what organizers said is […]

FWC establishes new hunting area at Escribano Point

FWC establishes new hunting area at Escribano Point

Tony Young said the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is always looking for new hunting areas in the state. The media relations commissioner for the FWC’s Division of Hunting and Game Management believes the addition of the Escribano Point Wildlife Management Area is a good one. During the 2015-16 hunting season, the 4,017-acre WMA […]

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