Florida

Caregiver survey aimed to provide valuable data for advisory committee

Caregiver survey aimed to provide valuable data for advisory committee

A statewide survey is underway by the Alzheimer’s Disease Advisory Committee to collect data from various caregiver resources that will play a role in helping to shape policy and improve services for those in the state of Florida living with dementia, their caregivers, their families and clinical providers. Michelle Branham, the vice president of public […]

FWC sets 2020 red snapper season

FWC sets 2020 red snapper season

The 2020 season for red snapper fishing in the Gulf of Mexico will take place June 11-July 25. There is the possibility of a fall season depending on if the quota of 1,913,451 pounds is not exceeded during the summer season. In 2019, an additional eight days were added in the fall. The summer season […]

Popular spring turkey season begins in March

Popular spring turkey season begins in March

Spring turkey season is just around the corner, and it tends to be the most popular one. It is scheduled to kick off outside the wildlife management area system March 21 and run through April 26 for most of the state. However, the portion of Florida that is south of State Road 70 will see […]

Cane toads remain prevalent invasive species in Florida

Cane toads remain prevalent invasive species in Florida

Cane toads aren’t native to Florida but have been in the state for quite some time, first introduced here in the 1930s to control agricultural pests. Pet trade escapes and releases in the 1950s and 1960s have created the current population. The invasive species, which is native to extreme southern Texas and Central and South […]

More than 1,000 cats spayed, neutered

More than 1,000 cats spayed, neutered

From manatees to sports teams to autism and more, Floridians can select from a variety of custom license plates at the local DMV. Each specialty license plate comes with an added cost with the promise that those funds will go toward causes associated with the license plate theme. One such plate is the Animal Friend […]

Efforts being made to revive oyster population

Efforts being made to revive oyster population

Oyster populations are falling off across the United States, and in Florida, until recent years, 90% of the state’s oyster harvest came from Apalachicola Bay. Pensacola Bay is feeling the effect of the oyster shortage, too. Since 2001 when the harvest peaked at 60,000 pounds, most coming from waters in Santa Rosa County, the decline […]

Man on the beach: What do you think of the Senate’s proposed law?

Man on the beach: What do you think of the Senate’s proposed law?

Navarre Press asked Navarre Beach visitors and residents: The Florida Senate is moving forward with a law that would prevent local governments from banning sunscreens that contain coral reef-harming chemicals. Sunscreen has been shown to play a critical role in protecting against skin cancer, but bans proposed in areas like Key West do not prohibit […]

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, […]

FWC set to approve red snapper season next month

FWC set to approve red snapper season next month

Recreational red snapper season isn’t too far off. And a new season is set to be approved in February. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is recommending a continuous 45-day season that kicks off June 11 and runs through July 25. “Our staff estimates that the harvest can stay open through July 25 […]

Warning period over for texting while driving

Warning period over for texting while driving

As of Jan. 1, law enforcement began pulling drivers over and issuing tickets, not warnings, for using a mobile device while driving such as texting while driving. The law also went into full effect for operating a mobile device in a non-hands-free manner while driving in a designated school crossing, school zone or active work […]

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 […]

Florida worker’s comp insurance rates decreasing 7.5%

Florida worker’s comp insurance rates decreasing 7.5%

Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier has issued a final order granting approval to the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) for a statewide overall decrease of 7.5% for Florida workers’ compensation insurance rates. This applies to both new and renewal workers’ compensation insurance policies effective in Florida as of Jan. 1, 2020.

Operation Outdoor Freedom still going strong thanks to grants

Operation Outdoor Freedom still going strong thanks to grants

Operation Outdoor Freedom has been going strong for a decade now, and the Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida announced a partnership with the Florida Forest Service to help fund a project that provides recreational and rehabilitative opportunities to wounded veterans on state, agricultural and private lands across Florida at no cost. A commitment of […]

Manatees are on the move in the winter months

Manatees are on the move in the winter months

Manatees are now on the move to warmer water as winter settles in, making this a good time to educate people about the popular aquatic animal. “Manatee Awareness Month is a great opportunity to educate the public about manatee conservation at a critical time of the year,” said Jamie Rager, a representative for the Florida […]

FWC working to keep Florida free of deer disease

FWC working to keep Florida free of deer disease

In nearly two decades since the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission began its Chronic Wasting Disease surveillance in the state, more than 13,000 deer—including animals killed by a hunter or vehicle, as well as those that died from an illness– have been tested for CWD. The results have come back negative every time.   […]

Florida seeking input on ways to serve seniors

Florida seeking input on ways to serve seniors

People age 60 and older in Florida already number more than 5 million, accounting for a little over 25% of the state’s population. That number is projected to rise significantly in the years ahead, hitting the 8 million mark by 2040. That is why having a state plan on aging in place is critical.   […]

Fort Barrancas offers interesting glimpse of history

Fort Barrancas offers interesting glimpse of history

This is the latest in a series of articles on outdoor opportunities worth checking out both in Florida and, every so often, out of state. This story puts the spotlight on Fort Barrancas in Pensacola. On the bluffs overlooking the glistening water of Pensacola Bay on a sun-splashed fall afternoon is an historic site that […]

FWC sets sights on updating bear management plan

FWC sets sights on updating bear management plan

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is set to update its Florida Black Bear Management Plan, which has been in place in since 2012. The updates, which include new data, an expansion of the Bear Management Unit Profiles and a new section on population management techniques, have been in the works for some time […]

State seeks public input on new education standards

State seeks public input on new education standards

Floridians can weigh in on the revamp of Florida’s K-12 educational standards this month in the Florida Standards Listening Tour series scheduled throughout the state by Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran. The forum closest to Santa Rosa County is scheduled for Oct. 23 at Walton High School in Walton County.   Read the full article in […]

Florida toughens ban on texting while driving

Florida toughens ban on texting while driving

As of Tuesday, Oct. 1, motorists in Florida can be stopped for using a hands-free communications device while driving in a designated school crossing, school zone or active work zone area. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), through its division of the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), sent out an advisory reminding […]

More to the Fountain of Youth than just water

More to the Fountain of Youth than just water

This is the latest in a series of articles on outdoor opportunities worth checking out both in Florida and, every so often, out of state. This story puts the spotlight on The Fountain of Youth, which I visited during my trip to St. Augustine. Along a main street in St. Augustine, complete with stores and a […]

Branham appointed to Alzheimer’s Advisory Committee

Branham appointed to Alzheimer’s Advisory Committee

Michelle Branham knows as much as anyone about Alzheimer’s and the devastating effects of one of the most prevalent diseases in the nation. She’s the vice president of public policy for the Alzheimer’s Association in the state of Florida, and earlier this month, Gov. Ron DeSantis named her to the state’s Alzheimer’s Disease Advisory Committee. […]

Florida teacher compensation deemed a ‘crisis situation’

Florida teacher compensation deemed a ‘crisis situation’

Florida has sunk even lower in the rankings for teacher pay to number 46, according to the National Education Association’s (NEA) annual Rankings of the States. On average Florida teachers are compensated $12,309 less per year than their peers across the country, according to the report released in April of this year.   Read the […]

Director selected for new UWF AI doctorate program

Director selected for new UWF AI doctorate program

The University of West Florida (UWF) and the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) have announced the appointment of Dr. Kristen “Brent” Venable as the inaugural director of the Ph.D. in Intelligent Systems and Robotics program. UWF is partnering with IHMC for the program, which begins this fall.   Read the full article […]

Property owners see average 4.7% insurance increase

Property owners see average 4.7% insurance increase

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) established the 2019 personal and commercial property insurance rates for Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (Citizens) July 29. Citizens announced June 19 that their Board of Governors had approved revised 2019 rates to reflect the projected impact of Assignment of Benefits (AOB) reforms enacted during the 2019 Legislative Session. […]

New rules in place for deer harvest

New rules in place for deer harvest

The reporting system for deer harvest during the new season has changed. All hunters, including those under the age of 16, must now log their harvested deer prior to moving it from where it was located. Hunters must also report the harvested deer within 24 hours.   Read the full article in the Aug. 8 […]

Oil interests threaten test range mission

Oil interests threaten test range mission

This is part three in a series of articles on the impacts of the U.S. Air Force Eglin Gulf Test and Training Range, which consists of 123,000 square miles of overwater training and testing space. Delineated at longitude 86˚ 41’, the Military Mission Line effectively cuts the Gulf of Mexico in half. This imaginary line […]

History comes alive inside nation’s oldest masonry fort

History comes alive inside nation’s oldest masonry fort

This is the latest in a series of articles on outdoor opportunities worth checking out both in Florida and, every so often, out of state. This story puts the spotlight on Castillo de San Marcos, which I visited during my trip to St. Augustine. Gunshots are fired over the water by a man dressed as a […]

Original Underground Railroad led to Fort Mose

Original Underground Railroad led to Fort Mose

This is the latest in a series of articles that will appear occasionally throughout the year on outdoor opportunities worth checking out, both in Florida and, every so often, outside the state. This story features my trip to St. Augustine and a visit to Fort Mose. Slaves in the 1700s in the British-controlled Carolinas had […]