In this Issue:
  • An Intimidating Fish They Call the Stingray
  • Camp Timpoochee: Marine Camps 2018
  • Septic systems: What should you do when a flood occurs?
  • Panhandle Ecotourism: Blackwater River State Park
  • “Ice Age” Tree in Peril: Florida Torreya
  • Meanwhile, Back at the Oyster Ranch…
  • Florida Master Naturalist Program
  • Deck the Halls With Boughs of Holly
  • Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail
  • Exploring the Economic, Environmental and Social Issues Impacting the Coastal Dune Lakes
  • Florida Panhandle

    An Intimidating Fish They Call the Stingray

    It is now late May and in recent weeks I, and several volunteers, have been surveying the area for terrapins, horseshoe crabs, and monitoring local seagrass beds. We see many creatures when we are out and about; one that has been quite common all over the bay has been the “stingray”. These are intimidating creatures… …

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    Camp Timpoochee: Marine Camps 2018

    Are you interested in learning about marine life, going fishing, or exploring the underwater world with a mask and snorkel? If so, this is the camp for you! This local education opportunity for budding marine scientists will be happening this summer at Camp Timpoochee in Niceville, FL.   The camps enable participants to explore the marine …

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    Septic systems: What should you do when a flood occurs?

    Approximately 30% of Florida’s population relies on septic systems, or onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems (OSTDS), to treat and dispose of household wastewater. This includes all water from bathrooms and kitchens, and laundry machines. When properly maintained, septic systems can last 25-30 years, and maintenance costs are relatively low. In a nutshell, the most …

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    Panhandle Ecotourism: Blackwater River State Park

    Spring has sprung and it is time to get outside and explore this great Florida Panhandle area.  In neighboring Santa Rosa County, a terrific destination for a variety of outdoor activities is Blackwater River State Park.  Visitors can canoe, kayak, tube, fish and swim the river.  Hikers can enjoy trails through nearly 600 acres of …

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    “Ice Age” Tree in Peril: Florida Torreya

    Having just completed the Okaloosa/Walton Uplands Master Naturalist course, I would like to share information from the project that was presented by Ann Foley.   The Florida Torreya is the most endangered tree in North America, and perhaps the world! Less than 1% of the historical population survives. Unless something is done soon, it may …

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    Meanwhile, Back at the Oyster Ranch…

    Photo: Erik Lovestrand There are a number of parallels than can be drawn between shellfish farming and traditional forms of agriculture that take place on the land. The most obvious similarities are the amount of hard work, grit and faith that are required of the farmer on land or sea. In spite of this there …

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    Florida Master Naturalist Program

    The Florida Master Naturalist Program is an adult education University of Florida/IFAS Extension program. Training will benefit persons interested in learning more about Florida’s environment or wishing to increase their knowledge for use in education programs as volunteers, employees, ecotourism guides, and others. Through classroom, field trip, and practical experience, each module provides instruction on the …

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    Deck the Halls With Boughs of Holly

    According to Druid lore, hanging the plant in homes would bring good luck and protection. Holly was considered sacred because it remained green and strong with brightly colored red berries no matter how harsh the winter.  Most other plants would wilt and die. Later, Christians adopted the holly tradition from Druid practices and developed symbolism …

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    Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail

    The typical image of a state park is that of a place where visitors enter through a front gate and enjoy the wonders of nature or some historic structure. The Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail, which is run by The Florida Division of Recreation and Parks, is truly an exception to the typical model. …

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    Exploring the Economic, Environmental and Social Issues Impacting the Coastal Dune Lakes

    On a beautiful October day, 35 people gathered at the Camp Helen State Park lodge to share information about the rare Coastal Dune Lakes (CDLs) that line the coast of Walton and Bay Counties. Organized by the University of Florida Extension Programs in Bay and Walton counties, the Water School included a morning seminar series …

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