Oceans & Seas

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

Un-Muddying the Clean Water Act

Un-Muddying the Clean Water Act

Congress passed the Clean Water Act in 1972 and, more than 40 years later, administrators are still grappling with the scope of the law. James Giattina, Director of Water Protection Division for the southeast branch of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), was in Navarre Friday, Oct. 3, and discussed how far upstream the EPA’s jurisdiction goes. “For so many years we have been so water rich in the Southeast […]

Outreach Octobus on station

Outreach Octobus on station

The Navarre Beach Marine Science Station (NBMSS) Outreach Octobus has arrived on station. The bus will allow members of the NBMSS to bring STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education to groups that may not otherwise be able to visit the station. The vintage 1972 Volkswagen will feature a touch tank that will allow students to get “up close and personal” with sea stars, […]

US Treasury announces RESTORE rule

US Treasury announces RESTORE rule

The U.S. Treasury Department announced Wednesday a new rule that outlines grant programs established by the RESTORE Act as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The rule accepts the funding allocation proposal submitted by Florida’s Gulf Consortium, which was formed by 23 counties. Under the proposal, the eight disproportionately impacted counties, from Escambia through Wakulla, will […]

Mauro receives presidential award

Mauro receives presidential award

Navarre High School science teacher Charlene Mauro was at the White House Aug. 12 to accept the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educator. Mauro, Project Director for the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station, joined 16 other teachers and 60 students from across the country who were recognized for their contributions to environmental education and stewardship. Read more in […]

Turtles hooked, saved at pier

Turtles hooked, saved at pier

Folks on the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier (NBFP) jumped into action Aug. 12 as two sea turtle were rescued after being accidentally hooked. Snappy, the larger of the two turtles at 15 inches and 12.5 pounds, was snagged and swallowed a fishing hook. As soon as fishing pier staff got word, the Responsible Pier Initiative […]

It’s that time of the year … baby turtles are here

It’s that time of the year … baby turtles are here

Sea turtles have been busy making nests along the Emerald Coast, and according to a Gulf Islands National Seashore (GINS) biologist, 143 baby sea turtles found their way to the Gulf from Pensacola Beach Thursday night. The first baby turtles had hatched July 29 from a nest at Perdido Key. GINS Assistant Superintendent Steve McCoy said 32 […]

Tar mat cleanup completed

Tar mat cleanup completed

Crews have completed their work to remove a tar mat discovered June 21 in the Gulf of Mexico in the Fort Pickens Area of Gulf Islands National Seashore. U. S. Coast Guard Public Information Officer Natalie Murphy announced Aug. 4 that the case was closed. More than 1,700 pounds of material were removed. The material included oil product […]

Campers focus on fins, flippers

Campers focus on fins, flippers

Even as summer winds down, Navarre Beach Marine Station (NBMSS) summer camps are still in full swing. Kindergartners through second graders last week attended Fins and Flippers. The camp could be described as an introduction to NBMSS. “We talk about turtles and dolphins and sea otters,” said camp leader Emily Simon, referring to the mammals that […]

Decals support turtles, manatees

Decals support turtles, manatees

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) announced July 31 that newly designed sea turtle and manatee decals are available at local tax collectors’ offices and at myfwc.com. The decals are $5 and help support FWC’s conservation efforts. The backs of the decals include important information about manatees and sea turtles, including precautions beachgoers should take […]

Nearly 70 volunteers clean the beach

Nearly 70 volunteers clean the beach

Plastic bags. Bottles. Cups. Straws. Cans. Fishing line. Just some of the items collected by nearly 70 volunteers Saturday as part of the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center’s monthly “Trash Bash.” In all, volunteers removed more than 215 pounds of trash from Navarre Beach in just more than two hours.  

Red tide causes fish kill in northeast Gulf

Red tide causes fish kill in northeast Gulf

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has confirmed a large-scale offshore fish kill in the northeast Gulf of Mexico. Citizens have reported observations of thousands of dead and dying bottom-dwelling reef fish, as well as sea turtles and crabs, to the FWC’s Fish Kill Hotline. Satellite images revealed an extensive surface bloom of Florida’s […]

Grant to link students and turtles

Grant to link students and turtles

A grant award for Gulf Islands National Seashore (GINS) will fund an innovative educational opportunity, so that local teens can better understand a special group of seasonal guests on area beaches, sea turtles. The grant from the National Parks Foundation will fund Gulf Islands’ “Turtle T.H.I.S. (Teens Helping in the Seashore) Program.” “We are excited to […]

H2o + Tech = Sea3PO

H2o + Tech = Sea3PO

What do you get when you merge water and technology? A five-day STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) camp called Sea3PO hosted at the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station. Campers learned to take water samples, conducted research with microscopes and built and drove remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). The camp was led by two teachers, Lauris […]

Turtle nest, beach chairs and pavilion vandalized

Turtle nest, beach chairs and pavilion vandalized

At some point between 10 p.m. July 22 and 4:50 a.m. July 23, vandals damaged a sea turtle nest located west of the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier. The vandals also knifed through eight lounge chair cushions from V.I.P. Beach Services and at least one privately owned beach chair was damaged. Vandals also painted graffiti inside […]

Midway Fire debuts new boat

Midway Fire debuts new boat

Midway Fire District crews respond to calls in East Bay and the Santa Rosa Sound, and firefighters July 18 debuted their newest water rescue asset, a 19-foot Boston Whaler. Midway personnel launched the boat from the county ramp on Navarre Beach, and then tested it in the Santa Rosa Sound. Read more in the July […]