Columbus’s Mermaid; the Florida Manatee

The manatee may be one of the more iconic animals in the state of Florida. In Wyoming, we think of bison and bears.  In Florida, we think of alligators and manatees.  However, encountering this marine mammal in the Florida panhandle is a relatively rare occurrence… until recently. For several years now, visitors to Wakulla Springs …

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An Unwanted Invasive Plant; Beach Vitex

This week’s article is a bit different… it is about nature we hope you DO NOT see – but hope you let us know if you do. Most of you know that Florida, along with many other states, continually battle invasive species.  From Burmese pythons, to lionfish, to monitor lizards, we have problems with them …

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Restoring the Health of Pensacola Bay, What Can You Do to Help? – Mercury and Public Health

Shrimp, oysters, blue crab and fish have been harvested from the Pensacola Bay System (PBS) for decades, although there has been a decline in all in recent years. Annual landings (in pounds) have ranged from Fish                        66,000 – 4,600,000   (most are scaienids) Brown shrimp    43,000 – 906,000 Oysters                0 – 492,000 Blue crab             400 – …

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Two Words, Six Americas: Finding common ground on climate change

Climate change. Those two simple words have the power to bring about a strong reaction in people. For many, the term is fraught with emotion—with worry, anger, and fear of the unknown. For others, these two words might elicit doubt or frustration. According to a multi-year, nationwide study conducted by George Mason and Yale Universities, …

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Invasive Species Awareness Day a Success

Steve Johnson UF/IFAS Extension shares Exotic Invaders: Reptiles and Amphibians of Concern in Northwest Florida. (Updated June 7 2018 – 10AM CDT) http://www.eddmaps.org and http://ufwildlife.ifas.ufl.edu/steve_johnson.shtml   Rick tells us about the ball python, a potential invasive species. Rick also provides an overview of keeping pythons and other snakes as pets. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/UW/UW34100.pdf Holli tells us about …

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Are Sharks Really Out to Eat People?

You might get that impression from the movies but if you look at the data you will see quite a different story. With nearly fifty species identified in the Gulf of Mexico, an encounter with a shark is eminent if you spend much time in our coastal waters. So, let’s get the “scary” stuff out …

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Summer is here!! Let’s learn about natural resources indoors!

As the heat indicies rise, there a number of organizations that offer great learning experiences about our local Natural Resources!! While it is great to have the outdoor hands-on learning, the afternoon heat can feel suffocating. Here are a couple of nature centers that you can visit to get out of the heat.   Apalachicola National Estuarine Research …

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Our Magnificent Miner; the gopher tortoise

Just a decade ago, few people would have known what a gopher tortoise was and would have hard time finding one. But today, because of the protection they have been afforded by the state, they are becoming more common.  This is certainly an animal you might see visiting one of our state parks. The gopher …

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Restoring the Health of Pensacola Bay, What Can You Do to Help? – Bioaccumulation of Toxins

What is bioaccumulation of toxins?   Our bodies come in contact, and produce, toxins every day. The production of toxins can result during simple metabolism of food.  However, our bodies are designed with a system to rid us of these toxins.  Toxins are processed by our immune system and removed via our kidneys.  Some chemical …

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Restoring the Health of Pensacola Bay, What Can You Do to Help? – A Florida Friendly Yard

We have been posting articles discussing some of the issues our estuaries are facing; this post will focus on one of the things you can do to help reduce the problem – a Florida Friendly Yard. The University of Florida IFAS developed the Florida Friendly Landscaping Program. It was developed to be included in the …

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