In this Issue:
  • Celebrating Choctawhatchee Bay – National Estuaries Week
  • Florida Master Naturalist projects impact local communities
  • Springs of the Western Panhandle
  • National Estuaries Week! – What is an Estuary?
  • Invasive Species of the Day: Cuban Tree Frog and Hydrilla
  • National Invasive Species Awareness Week (NISAW) – February 22-28, 2015
  • Invasive Species of the Day (March 5th): Torpedo Grass & Hydrilla
  • New Year Brings New Fertilizer Regulations
  • Swamps: Watershed or Wasteland?
  • Improving Water Quality and Bringing Back the Bayous
  • Watershed

    Celebrating Choctawhatchee Bay – National Estuaries Week

    September 17-24, 2016 was the nation’s 28th time to celebrate America’s coasts and estuaries during National Estuaries Week.  This week helps us to remember to appreciate the challenges these coastal ecosystems face, along with their beauty and utility. Estuaries, semi-enclosed bodies of water with both fresh and saltwater, dot the Gulf Coast of the United …

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    Florida Master Naturalist projects impact local communities

    The Florida Master Naturalist Program is a 40-hour experiential learning course offered by UF IFAS Extension. While we spend time in class with presentations, by far everyone’s favorite aspects of the course are field trips and “project day.” As part of the course, each participant produces an educational tool—a display, presentation, skit, or lesson—that delves …

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    Springs of the Western Panhandle

    The Panhandle Outdoors LIVE team, with Extension Agents from eight counties, hosted an outdoor field day on August 26, 2015. Twenty-three participants from over eight counties in Florida attended the event and traveled to three local springs: Vortex, Ponce de Leon, and Morrison Springs. The goal of the day was to learn about spring characteristics, …

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    National Estuaries Week! – What is an Estuary?

    Welcome to National Estuaries Week! Each year in the fall NOAA and other agencies try to educate residents about estuaries. The vast majority of humans on our planet live on, or near, an estuary – many not realizing the importance those bodies of water have on our economy and quality of life. We live on …

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    Invasive Species of the Day: Cuban Tree Frog and Hydrilla

    Cuban Treefrog (Osteopilus septentrionalis): The Cuban Treefrog: was introduced into Florida as a stowaway on vehicles and plants in the 1920’s. As of 2013, breeding populations have been recorded as far north as Georgia. Cuban Treefrogs have larger toepads and eyes than any of the native species. Being larger in size, the Cuban Treefrog out-competes …

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    National Invasive Species Awareness Week (NISAW) – February 22-28, 2015

    Many plants and animals have been introduced to new regions for centuries, as people have discovered new lands.  These transient species are known as non-natives, and can become invasive. Invasive species occur throughout the world and may blend in, be nondescript or highly attractive; they can be plant or animal; terrestrial or aquatic; they may …

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    Invasive Species of the Day (March 5th): Torpedo Grass & Hydrilla

    March 5th: Torpedo Grass (Panicum repens) & Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata) Torpedo Grass: Torpedo grass (Panicum repens) is an invasive weed that invades lawns, flowerbeds, landscapes and wetlands. Even if introduced into a small area, this weed can rapidly spread to become a monoculture and crowd out native vegetation. Its name is derived from the hard, …

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    New Year Brings New Fertilizer Regulations

    Beginning New Year’s Day of 2014, a new law went into effect that state lawmakers, environmental advocates, and lawn care professionals hope will reduce Florida’s decades-long problem with stormwater runoff pollution.  The law states that all lawn care professionals applying fertilizer as part of their business must pass a Green Industries Best Management Practices (GI-BMP) …

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    Swamps: Watershed or Wasteland?

    Recent rains have left water standing on some panhandle Florida real estate which has been dry for several years.  Ponds, natural and dug, are brimming with water reflecting the generous outpouring from the slow and wet weather system which passed listlessly over the area. The rainwater excess is also filling the natural low points known …

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    Improving Water Quality and Bringing Back the Bayous

    Those who have lived in the Panhandle area for many years will remember the days when our local bayous were places people water skied, kids learned to swim, and fishermen brought home plenty of speckled trout.  But today we see little of this.  Water quality within our bayous has declined to a point that the …

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