Science/Environment

FWC battling coral reef disease

FWC battling coral reef disease

Coral reefs in the Florida Reef Tract in the southern part of the state, which happens to be one of the largest reef systems in the world, are being impacted greatly by Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease. The disease is caused by bacteria and can be transmitted through direct contact and water circulation. Read the […]

Flashlights keeping sea turtles away

Flashlights keeping sea turtles away

Walk over the boardwalks of Navarre Beach last week and the scene resembles Christmas Eve, with waves of flickering lights. After sundown, hundreds of visitors took to the shoreline with flashlights, head lamps and cellphones to light their way. While strolling moonlit beaches is part of vacationing, the bright lights pose a risk to wildlife, […]

Nest count dismays turtle protectors

Nest count dismays turtle protectors

Navarre Beach has had seven loggerhead sea turtle nests since the season started in May, said Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center founder Cathy Holmes. The season is off to a wobbly start but is an improvement over last year, when nesting numbers hit an all-time low.   Read the full article in the July […]

Whale strands on Opal Beach

Whale strands on Opal Beach

A rare beaked whale species that beached itself along Opal Beach Monday died shortly after being discovered, adding to a rising number of marine mammal deaths along the panhandle. The Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge (ECWR) Marine Mammal Stranding Team responded to Opal Beach, just west of Navarre at around 4:30 p.m. after beachgoers spotted the […]

Navarre Beach Ambassadors return to the shore

Navarre Beach Ambassadors return to the shore

Volunteers armed with beachy giveaways and binders of knowledge will be engaging Navarre Beach visitors this summer as the second year of the Navarre Beach Ambassadors Program gets underway. A partnership between the Santa Rosa County Tourist Development Office and UF/IFAS Sea Grant, the program held a training session last week on Monday at the […]

Bird babysitters back on beach

Bird babysitters back on beach

With the nesting season for Navarre Beach’s shorebirds moving along, Audubon Florida is in need of volunteers for its bird stewardship program. Shorebird Program Manager Caroline Stahala said these volunteers act as bird babysitters, keeping an eye out for the handful of colonies that call this beach home.   Read the full article in the […]

Fight the yellow flies: UF has tips to combat these aggressive biters

Fight the yellow flies: UF has tips to combat these aggressive biters

It’s summer in Florida, and that means itching welts on ankles, arms and toes. As biting bugs descend in droves on backyards, perhaps one of the worst offenders are yellow flies. Yellow fly is a term used to reference several species of aggressive, biting flies in Florida with yellowish bodies.   Read the full article […]

Navarre Beach wastewater permit headed to approval

Navarre Beach wastewater permit headed to approval

The Navarre Beach Wastewater Treatment Facility is set to get the go-ahead for continued discharge of 900,000 gallons of treated effluent each day into Santa Rosa Sound. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) issued an intent to issue a permit May 24 to extend the treatment facility’s discharge practices for another five years.   […]

Navarre teens help restore reefs during Keys trip

Navarre teens help restore reefs during Keys trip

For five days, 20 high school students of the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station dived reefs, snorkeled and learned from field experts on issues of marine biology and conservancy in Key Largo as part of an annual field trip. Station Director Charlene Mauro said the students begin learning to dive in August, then spend the […]

Volunteers welcome nesting shorebirds

Volunteers welcome nesting shorebirds

Glove-clad volunteers lined up along the Navarre Beach bridge April 24 intent on protecting the beach’s feathered residents. The nesting birds are back, and local expert Caroline Stahala of Audubon Florida said threatened least terns and black skimmers will be settling into their nesting colonies soon.   Read the full article in the May 2 […]

Rare Kemp’s ridley sea turtle rescued off pier

Rare Kemp’s ridley sea turtle rescued off pier

An endangered sea turtle hooked April 13 on Navarre Beach Fishing Pier is set to make a full recovery. This was the first rescue of the upcoming sea turtle nesting season, which officially starts May 1. Read the full article in the April 25 issue of Navarre Press. Visit https://navarrepress.com/subscribe/ to view subscription options – […]

Turtle center getting new vehicle to aid conservation

Turtle center getting new vehicle to aid conservation

National conservation organization Turtleman Foundation has awarded a $6,500 grant to the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center (NBSTCC) to purchase a new all-terrain vehicle. The center will use the UTV (utility task vehicle) in its conservation efforts for sea turtle nesting surveys, sea turtle strandings, research and education, said Animal Care Team member Alex […]

Shark tagging vital tool in conservation efforts

Shark tagging vital tool in conservation efforts

A great white shark was caught off the Navarre Beach Pier a few weeks ago. It was 10 feet long, weighed 650 pounds and took nearly an hour to reel in. While it’s not unheard of to catch a great white in the Gulf of Mexico, it’s not common either. Read the full article in […]

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 […]

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