Chris Verlinde

‘Rain harvesting’ nurtures gardens, aids conservation

‘Rain harvesting’ nurtures gardens, aids conservation

With concerns mounting about water supply throughout the state, the Florida Beverage Association (FBA) is partnering with the Santa Rosa County UF/IFAS Extension Office to promote citizen protection of local water. FBA presented the extension office with a grant for $12,000 July 26 to implement new Green Infrastructure/Water Tours and Rain Barrel Workshops. Read the […]

Delve into local ecosystems via Master Naturalist class

Delve into local ecosystems via Master Naturalist class

Santa Rosa County boasts nature trails with a variety of marsh, bog and prairie terrain. Among these ecosystems are a variety of plants and animals, some found only in this region. But identifying these creatures can be difficult. Knowing how best to protect them can be even harder. Read the full article in the Mar. […]

Protecting the shoreline naturally

Protecting the shoreline naturally

Paddling along the waterways of Navarre and Gulf Breeze, kayaker Dave Barker is disappointed. He said rather than the naturally sloping habitats that support dozens of species of fish, crabs, shrimp and more, he is greeted by almost continuous sea walls. “Most of the shorelines that I see where residents are, they are not natural,” […]

Volunteers press on with Great Scallop Search

Volunteers press on with Great Scallop Search

While severe weather conditions have canceled parts of this year’s Great Scallop Search in Santa Rosa Sound, volunteers with the UF/IFAS Florida Sea Grant Extension Santa Rosa County office will take to the surf again Saturday in hopes of finding seagrass-dwelling bay scallops. The Great Scallop Search is an annual event put on by the […]

Scallop population woes keep ban in effect

Scallop population woes keep ban in effect

While the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recently restructured the season structure for recreational scalloping, the outlook for that opportunity opening up in Northwest Florida in the near future isn’t the brightest. Searches have been done in this area, including two scheduled for this year, but they haven’t produced results indicating there is a […]

Seagrass festival teaches conservation lessons

Seagrass festival teaches conservation lessons

Gulf Breeze Shoreline Park south was busy Saturday as volunteers, scientists and community members celebrated Santa Rosa Sound’s seagrass beds during the Seagrass Awareness Festival. Organizer Chris Verlinde of the UF/IFAS Extension Office’s Sea Grant program said the festival combines education and fun. Read the full article in the March 23 issue of Navarre Press. […]

Microplastics: Hidden source of beach pollution

Microplastics: Hidden source of beach pollution

Residents of Navarre and Gulf Breeze have been dumping pounds of plastic into the Gulf of Mexico for years without knowing it. Every time they go through their morning routine there is plastic slipping down the drain in the form of microbeads. These tiny balls of polyethylene are used as exfoliators and found in everyday […]

Feeding families, one PB and J at a time

Feeding families, one PB and J at a time

In 2015, approximately one in every four children struggled with hunger and food insecurity in Northwest Florida according to Feeding the Gulf Coast, formerly Bay Area Food Bank. Many of these children would love to have a peanut butter sandwich, and the UF/IFAS Extension Santa Rosa County Office wants to give them one. They are […]

Red-flag conditions erode the shoreline

Red-flag conditions erode the shoreline

As nasty weather over the past weeks has brought red flag conditions to Navarre Beach, sands dredged to the shore during the beach renourishment were pulled back into the waters, but County Engineer Roger Blaylock says not to worry, it’s all part of the process. “Wave action in the surf zone creates a natural hump […]

Scallop search comes up empty handed

Scallop search comes up empty handed

The creatures appear as something out of a science fiction movie. Their outer shell is hard and rounded with scaly groves. A mouth stretches along the entire diameter of the body with hundreds of fringe-like tentacles. A ring of bright royal blue eyes sweep around each edge of the mouth. But this bivalve mollusk is […]