Science/Environment

Bear Management Plan approved by FWC

Bear Management Plan approved by FWC

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved the updated Bear Management Plan for the state in December. The plan takes a comprehensive, science-based approach to managing bears in Florida. No proposal was made to open up a bear hunt, but that possibility does remain in the toolbox for managing bear populations. Read the […]

Institute focuses on data in effort to protect Florida’s wildlife

Institute focuses on data in effort to protect Florida’s wildlife

Nearly 20 years ago the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission reorganized. That led to the creation of the Florida Wildlife Research Institute, which involved bringing parts of the divisions of wildlife and freshwater fisheries as well as the Florida Marine Research Institute together in 2004. Headquartered in St. Petersburg, the institute serves a valuable purpose, […]

Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center awarded sea turtle grant

Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center awarded sea turtle grant

The Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center received a grant for $24,746.15 from the Florida Sea Turtle Grants Program, which is funded by the sales of the sea turtle specialty license plate. The C.A.R.E. Center received the grant Dec. 19 to help purchase a vehicle to aid in the transport of rescued and rehabilitated sea turtles. Read the […]

Zoo “shell-abrates” conservation with grant award

Zoo “shell-abrates” conservation with grant award

As part of their global wildlife conservation efforts, the Gulf Breeze Zoo recently awarded a 2019 Zoofari Parks Conservation Grant of $5,000 to help protect a threatened species closer to home. The University of West Florida’s (UWF) biology department team will use the grant to protect local Gopher tortoises. Project manager Dr. Phil Darby is […]

Soiree raises more than $10,000 for sea turtles

Soiree raises more than $10,000 for sea turtles

Among raffle prizes, embossed mementos and silent auction works of art, attendees of the Sea Turtle Soiree benefiting Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center Dec. 13 walked away with a more humble-seeming gift. Each person received a small, blue marble. Center founder Cathy Holmes explained to visitors the marble is a visual representation of the […]

Budget recommendations set to benefit FWC conservation efforts

Budget recommendations set to benefit FWC conservation efforts

Budget recommendations are in place for the 2020-21 fiscal year in the state of Florida and several are set up to benefit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and its environmental initiatives. More than $20 million is recommended to be dedicated to a wide range of initiatives, including $9.9 million to combat invasive species […]

Science station students evaluating Santa Rosa Sound

Science station students evaluating Santa Rosa Sound

As the famous quote from Maya Angelou goes, “if you don’t know where you’ve come from, you don’t know where you’re going.” In science that holds a lot of truth. Researchers trying to understand how things change must have baseline data, or their work has no meaning. Knowing where we are coming from is the […]

UWF researcher tracking reef fish health in gulf using eDNA

UWF researcher tracking reef fish health in gulf using eDNA

University of West Florida (UWF) professor Alexis Janosik has already brought a species of fish back from suspected extinction through her research. Now, she’s taking on the entire reef fish population of the Gulf of Mexico. Janosik, a professor in the UWF Department of Biology, will participate in a gulf wide, multiyear study of reef […]

A Day for the Dunes on Navarre Beach

A Day for the Dunes on Navarre Beach

Famed conservationist and ocean explorer Fabien Cousteau joined residents and visitors of Navarre Beach Saturday, Sept. 28, for a day of marine conservation education and dune restoration alongside the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier during “A Day for the Dunes.” The event was a partnership between the Dune Doctors, the Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Center and […]

Day for the Dunes offers conservation fun

Day for the Dunes offers conservation fun

Environmental groups are coming together Sept. 28, for “A Day for the Dunes” to promote the importance of coastal ecosystems hosted by Dune Doctors, the Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Center (FCOLC) and the Navarre Beach Marine Science Center (NBMSS). This family friendly educational event is designed with the purpose of inspiring both children and adults […]

McCall embraces opportunities that come with scuba diving

McCall embraces opportunities that come with scuba diving

Most people enjoy just walking along the beach, soaking in the atmosphere of it all. When Rebecca McCall is on the beach, she’s thinking about the life under the water. Read the full article in the Sept. 12 issue of Navarre Press. Visit navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options – or click here sign up to […]

Turtle monitors report mixed results

Turtle monitors report mixed results

Digging up the nest of an endangered sea turtle is illegal, with the risk of up to $125,000 in fines and even federal prison time. But that is exactly what Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Patrollers were doing the evening of Aug. 20. It’s OK for them. They have a permit and a job to do: […]

Gulf Breeze bear trap removed

Gulf Breeze bear trap removed

In keeping with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) policy, a bear trap has been removed from the area of Gulf Breeze where a pet dog was attacked and killed. FWC Regional Public Information Director Bekah Nelson said the initial incident occurred July 28 shortly after 10 p.m. Residents of Vestavia Way reported that […]

Refuge receives grant for marine mammal rescue, research

Refuge receives grant for marine mammal rescue, research

The Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge (ECWR) has received a grant of nearly $251,000 to support the Marine Mammal Stranding Team’s efforts to rescue and research some of the Gulf of Mexico’s most endangered species. ECWR executive director Carol “Stormy” Andersen said the grant award caps off a yearlong effort to secure the funds through the […]

Turtle heroes pull “Mac” from the surf

Turtle heroes pull “Mac” from the surf

Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center named four new Sea Turtle Heroes July 20 thanks to the rescue effort that likely saved the life of a loggerhead sea turtle along Navarre Beach. Kevin Wiethe said he and some friends were setting up their canopy on the beach for the day when they spotted something in […]

One nest added, two more lost

One nest added, two more lost

Despite continued impacts from people, Navarre Beach has added another sea turtle nest to its count after a loggerhead made the trek up the beach July 16. That brings this year’s total so far to eight.     Read the full article in the July 25 issue of Navarre Press. Visit navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription […]

Bears close Navarre Park for a nap

Bears close Navarre Park for a nap

Friday two bears were caught napping in a pine tree in Navarre Park. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation (FWC), along with the Santa Rosa Sheriff’s Office, closed Navarre Park for the safety of visitors. According to FWC’s website, the black bear is the only species of bear in Florida. Bears are solitary by nature […]

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 – […]