In this Issue:
  • Coastal Erosion–a problem with new solutions
  • Sea Turtles of the Panhandle: 2016 Nesting Numbers and Notes
  • Respecting the Rip
  • Transient Birds and Beach House Refuge
  • Sea Turtles in the Florida Panhandle
  • Oil Spill Science: Five years later, what have we learned?
  • Life’s a Beach! Practice Beach Safety and Etiquette
  • From Fear to Fascination: White Sharks in the Panhandle
  • Nature Tourism in the Panhandle – Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) – Pensacola Beach
  • Nature Tourism – The Intracoastal Waterway – Perdido Key
  • Barrier Islands

    Coastal Erosion–a problem with new solutions

    Life on the coast has tremendous benefits; steady sea breezes, gorgeous beaches, plentiful fishing and paddling opportunities. Nevertheless, there are definite downsides to living along it, too. Besides storms like Hurricane Harvey making semi-regular appearances, our proximity to the water can make us more vulnerable to flooding and waterborne hazards ranging from bacteria to jellyfish. …

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    Sea Turtles of the Panhandle: 2016 Nesting Numbers and Notes

    There are five species of sea turtles that nest from May through October on Florida beaches. The loggerhead, the green turtle and the leatherback all nest regularly in the Panhandle, with the loggerhead being the most frequent visitor.  Two other species, the hawksbill and Kemp’s Ridley nest infrequently.  All five species are listed as either …

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    Respecting the Rip

    It was disheartening to read that even with double red flags flying, 22 people had to be recused from the Gulf near Destin, FL recently, and one person lost their life.  In that spirit, I believe it is important to review information on the importance of respecting our sometimes-unforgiving gulf.   First of all, stay calm. …

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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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    Sea Turtles in the Florida Panhandle

      Florida has the highest number of sea turtles of any state in the continental US. Three species are common here including loggerhead, green and leatherback turtles. The Federal Endangered Species Act lists all of sea turtles in Florida as either threatened or endangered. Sea turtle nesting season for the area began May 1, 2016. …

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    Oil Spill Science: Five years later, what have we learned?

    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. This article addresses the five most common questions. QUESTION #1: Is Gulf seafood safe to eat? Ongoing …

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    Life’s a Beach! Practice Beach Safety and Etiquette

    It is that time of year again. Spring Break brings locals and visitors back to the beach for fun in the sun. It is important to remind folks that part of having fun is playing it safe. At the beach, this means knowing and following some pretty basic safety guidelines. Not all beaches have lifeguards …

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    From Fear to Fascination: White Sharks in the Panhandle

    From Fear to Fascination: White Sharks in the Florida Panhandle UF/IFAS Extension – Florida Sea Grant  By Rick O’Connor (Escambia County) and L. Scott Jackson (Bay County) Recently, I was walking on our local Gulf fishing pier checking fishing line recycle bins. You can’t walk on a Gulf pier without looking over to possibly catch …

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    Nature Tourism in the Panhandle – Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) – Pensacola Beach

      All Photos by Molly O’Connor We began our series on Nature Tourism along the ICW at the Alabama state line on Perdido Key and discussed the ICW itself.  This month we will continue in Escambia County with a visit to Pensacola Beach. BARRIER ISLANDS Pensacola Beach is on Santa Rosa Island.  The longest barrier …

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    Nature Tourism – The Intracoastal Waterway – Perdido Key

    All photos: Molly O’Connor   More and more visitors to the Gulf coast are seeking nature encounters when on vacation. Of course there are still the amusement park fans but there is an increasing number interested in visiting “The Real Florida” that our state park system promotes.  Actually, I have found that many lifelong residents …

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