Monthly Archive: July 2016

Scalloping: Unrivaled Natural Experience for Kids

If you have done this phenomenal summertime activity, then you know what I’m talking about. And it’s not just the kids that derive an amazing, nature-based educational experience. Anyone who puts on a mask and snorkel for their first scalloping adventure is about to have their world “rocked” in a good way. Gliding over the …

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Water Wars… Can We Avoid It in the Panhandle?

On a recent camping trip out west I was made aware of just how valuable water is. The American west has been battling water issues for a few years now.  Some camp showers had buttons that would provide you water for a couple of minutes, others charged $.50 for four minutes, some charged $1.00 for four …

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What Cause the Toxic Algal Bloom in South Florida and Could It Happen Here?

Most of us have heard about the toxic algal blooms plaguing south Florida waters. If not, check out http://www.cnbc.com/2016/07/05/.  This bloom has caused several major fish kills, bad odors, and has kept tourist away from the area.  What happen? and could it happen in the panhandle? First we have to understand what happened in south …

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Explore the Panhandle in a Kayak!

Many consider Northwest Florida as the “Canoe Capitol” of the state. We have numerous rivers, creeks, and springs that are great paddling spots.  The scenery is great, wildlife is common, and most are easily accessed.   To introduce residents and visitors to the natural history of these waterways, UF/IFAS Extension Agents, and other experts, will …

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Snorkeling and Kayaking in St. Joe Bay

Who does not like St. Joseph Bay! What a place… One of the more pristine estuaries in Florida, St. Joe is famous for its snorkeling, fishing, kayaking, and scalloping.   15 miles long and 6 miles across (at its widest point), St. Joe Bay has no significant freshwater input. It’s only opening is to the …

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Transient Birds and Beach House Refuge

Birds, migration, and climate change. Mix them all together and intuitively, we can imagine an ecological train wreck in the making. Many migratory bird species have seen their numbers plummet over the past half-century – due not to climate change, but to habitat loss in the places they frequent as part of their jet-setting life …

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Oil Spill Science Seminar held in Okaloosa County

The Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill occurred about 50 miles offshore of Louisiana in April 2010. Approximately 172 million gallons of oil entered the Gulf of Mexico. Five years after the incident, locals and tourists still have questions. The Okaloosa County UF/IFAS Extension Office invited a Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Scientist, Dr. Monica Wilson, …

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Southern Copperhead in Florida

  There are approximately 44 species of snakes found in Florida.  The Southern Copperhead is one of the six venomous snakes that one might encounter while outdoors in the panhandle of Florida.    A uniquely beautiful and secretive snake, they historically have only been found in the panhandle counties of Gadsden, Liberty, and Jackson along the …

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Bacteria at the Beach

The threat of bacteria in coastal waters can be scary and a challenge to understand. Here is information that helps clarify the threat to beach visitors and recreational users of marine waters. This is a good opportunity to think about bacteria exposure risks related to the coastal environment that we can control. It is important …

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Shark Week is over… so what do we know about shark attack?

Yep, each year cable TV broadcast their classic summer series SHARK WEEK. Actually there are several shark series running now.  It all began with Jaws in the early ‘70’s and ever since Americans have been enthralled with programs on these animals. We have learned a lot about sharks over the years, and have a better …

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