SECTION B - News-y & Cruise-y Items
ANGLERS, BE AWARE – TAGGED COBIA IN FLORIDA WATERS
A cobia tagging project is underway along Florida’s east coast. Scientists with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Fish and Wildlife Research Institute are tagging cobia in order to track movement of the fish to learn more about the migration of the Gulf and Atlantic stocks. Researchers are using conventional dart tags and implanted acoustic transmitters to track mature fish. An array of acoustic receivers along the coast can detect the individual fish when they swim nearby. The movement patterns will provide more information to management to make informed decisions on the stocks and to provide a geographical location of the biological stock boundary. In addition, scientists are collecting genetic samples from tagged fish.
A total of 150 transmitters (50 each in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina) will be used for the one-year study.
“The transmitters, however, will last for up to four years allowing researchers to continue collecting information after the initial report is complete,” said Jim Whittington, FWRI Assistant Research Scientist.
The research will employ charter boat captains and recreational fishermen to assist with cobia capture, acoustic tag implantation and genetic sample collection. Researchers from NASA/Kennedy Space Center Ecological Program, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources are assisting in the project.
Cobia is a popular saltwater recreational fishery in the southeastern United States due to its ease of access, brute fighting strength and excellent culinary qualities. Although it is not illegal, scientists discourage the harvest of tagged cobia. If you catch a tagged cobia (two plastic tags should be visible on the back of the fish, one on each side) record the tag number, fork length, date and general location of the catch. Release the fish in good condition, and report it by calling 888-824-7472. If you accidentally harvest a tagged cobia, report all of the information above and return both the internal acoustic tag and plastic dart tag to:
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Attn: Jim Whittington
Tequesta Field Laboratory
19100 SE Federal Highway
Tequesta, FL 33469.
Anglers can also assist by collecting fin clips from cobia caught on the east coast of Florida. For more information on what to do if you catch a tagged fish in Florida waters, visit MyFWC.com/research, click on “Saltwater” then “Angler Tag Return.” For information on cobia regulations visit MyFWC.com/fishing, click on “Saltwater Fishing” “Recreational Regulations” and "Cobia."
FWC PARTNERSHIP TO SUPPORT HIGH SCHOOL FISHING
Grant-funded initiative focuses on increasing high school participation in fishing and conservation efforts
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), along with its partners the Fishing League Worldwide Foundation and The Bass Federation’s Student Angler Federation, strives to maximize the success of high school fishing teams and clubs in Florida with help from a grant by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation. This partnership is focused on increasing participation in high school fishing programs, with a particular emphasis placed on establishing new high school angling teams and supporting existing ones in schools with diverse student populations.
"We are committed to helping Florida's families and youth fully enjoy healthy outdoor activities such as fishing and boating," said Nick Wiley, executive director of the FWC. "Participating on a high school fishing team is a great way for teenagers to learn more about conservation and boating safety. We are grateful for this opportunity to expand high school fishing within our highly diverse communities of Florida."
This grant will allow the FWC, FLW Foundation and The Bass Federation to combine their efforts to not only increase high school student interest and participation in fishing teams and clubs, but to also provide students and families with important boating and angler safety education. Program participants and families will receive education on conservation programs with an emphasis on enhancing aquatic habitat and sustaining quality fisheries for future generations.
The program will support high school fishing teams and clubs by providing grants of up to $500 to assist with expenses related to club-sponsored tournaments, team jerseys and education for novice anglers. Supported teams and clubs will also partner with the FWC, FLW Foundation and The Bass Federation to complete a conservation project. Online applications should be submitted at www.FLWFishing.com/Foundation .
For more information about this program, email Amber Nabors at email@example.com . For more information about the Fishing League Worldwide Foundation, go to www.flwfishing.com . For information about The Bass Federation’s Student Angler Federation, go to www.highschoolfishing.org/ . Information on the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation is available at www.takemefishing.org/ , select “Corporate” at the bottom of the page.
2015 BOATING ACCIDENT STATISTICS PROVIDE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR BOATING SAFETY REMINDERS
With the release of the 2015 Boating Accident Statistical Report, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) encourages boaters to focus on simple, effective steps that make boating safer.
“Many of the accidents in this report could have been prevented if the boat operators had paid attention to everything going on around their vessel, maintained a proper lookout and if everyone had been wearing a life jacket,” said Capt. Tom Shipp, FWC Boating and Waterways Section.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is responsible for reviewing, analyzing and compiling boating accident data for the state. Its statistical report details boating accidents and their causes. The theme of accident-related messages from FWC staff is clear: officers want to help keep Florida’s beautiful waterways a safe place to boat.
“Often, accidents can be prevented by more careful operation,” said Lt. Seth Wagner, FWC Boating and Waterways Section. “It is critical for operators to maintain a proper lookout and focus on what is going on around their boat at all times.”
Nearly half of boating accidents in 2015 involved collisions and 34 percent of all collisions were due to inattention or the operator failing to maintain a proper look-out.
“The leading type of accident continues to be boaters colliding with other boats or objects,” Wagner said. “With the number of boaters in our beautiful state, it’s important to pay close attention to everything that’s going on around you.”
Florida had 737 boating accidents in 2015. That is 103 more accidents as compared to 2014, however, there was a 25 percent decrease in fatalities. A total of 55 people lost their lives last year in boating accidents. Falls overboard have been the leading type of fatal accident since 2003 with drowning as the leading cause of death and 87 percent of these victims were not wearing a life jacket.
Today’s boaters can choose from several models of light and comfortable, inflatable belt-pack or over-the-shoulder life jackets that can be worn while fishing or enjoying the sun. The message is clear, ‘Life Jackets Save Lives.’
For a copy of the 2015 Boating Accident Statistical Report, visit MyFWC.com/Boating and select “Safety and Education” and “Boating Accidents.”
NEASE ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION DAY: JULY 13TH.
St. Johns County Parks and Recreation and the St. Johns County Environmental Division will host a series of Environmental Education Days from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Nease Beachfront Park, 3171 Coastal Highway, on July 13th.This event is free and family friendly. Throughout the park and the historic Nease House, County staff will provide information and interactive activities on a variety of topics including native plant identification, right whale and sea turtle conservation, animal tracking, dune habitats, as well as wetland and coastal marsh habitats. For more information, please call Nathan at 904.209.0323.
MOONLIGHT BEACH WALKS AT VILANO: JULY 19th & JULY 26
Come explore the beach environment by the light of the moon! St. Johns County Parks and Recreation Department and Environmental Division have teamed up to bring you a new guided beach walk. Those who attend will get a chance to experience the beach at night and learn about the unique animals that utilize the beach after the sun goes down.
Grab the family and a flashlight (Red film for flashlights will be provided so we don’t disturb sea turtles) and join us on one of our next moonlight walks! Moonlight Beach Walks will be held at Vilano Beach, 2750 Anahma Dr., Vilano, FL 32084 at 8:00pm on June 29th, July 19th, and July 26th.
Space is limited so RSVP for the next Moonlight Beach Walk today, to make a reservation or for more information contact Kelly Ussia at 904-209-0335 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
KAYAK TRIPS: JULY 21ST & JULY 23RD
The St. Johns County Parks and Recreation is hosting a 2-3 hour guided kayak tour of the Intracoastal Waterway on Thursday July 21st and Saturday July 23rd. The trip will launch from Palm Valley Boat Ramp, which is located at 383 S Roscoe Blvd., St. Augustine, FL 32082.
Participants will have the opportunity to explore a unique Intracoastal Waterway and learn about the local flora and fauna. The fee for this guided trip is $20 per person for participants bringing their own kayak, and $40 per person for participants using a county kayak.
Spots are limited. To RSVP for a seat, or for additional information, please call 904.209.0335 or e-mail Kelly Ussia at email@example.com . When setting up a reservation please include a phone number, e-mail address, date of the trip you would like to attend, and if you would like to use a county kayak.
FLORIDA MASTER NATURALIST PROGRAM: AUGUST 2ND-16TH
St. Johns County Parks and Recreation and the Duval County IFAS Extension have partnered to offer you the Florida Master Naturalist Program’s Freshwater Systems Module. The classes will be offered August 2nd, 4th, 6th, 9th, 11th, and 16th from 9am-4pm at Trout Creek Park, 6795 Collier Rd, St. Augustine, FL 32092.
This program is for adults of all knowledge levels and affords them the opportunity to learn more about Florida’s freshwater environment. The class is comprised of classroom presentations, videos, field trips and practical interpretation. To get additional information regarding cost, content, and scheduling or to register for the class please visit the Florida Master Naturalist Program website at: http://www.masternaturalist.ifas.ufl.edu/ . For further questions contact AyoLane Halusky at 904-209-0348 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
8533 Malaga Avenue, Jacksonville, Fl. 32244
The Joel Shannon Summer Sailing Camp was founded in memory of Joel Shannon, a local sailor with an interest in seeing young people involved in the sport of sailing. We aim to introduce children to basic small boat sailing, safety and sportsmanship. A variety of boats offers advancement to greater challenges and an introduction to the international racing rules. The main goal is to be on the water, under sail, every day.
Parent Orientation Sessions 3, 4 and 5
July 10th, 1300
July 11th - 15th
July 18th - July 22nd
July 25th - July 29th
More Information and Forms Here
Rudder Club Beer Can Racing
SAFE HARBOR…A LIFELINE FOR TROUBLED BOYS
The dramatic story of how Safe Harbor Academy began 30 years ago was brought to television in 2009 by the Hallmark Channel movie Safe Harbor, which continues to be aired periodically today. The academy is similar to a therapeutic boarding school, but it uses disciplined maritime and seamanship training as a therapeutic framework for helping turn around at-risk teenage boys. Safe Harbor features a team of professionals who provide a secure, stable, and structured alternative to harsher juvenile programs or more expensive therapy. Boys in minor trouble with the law or who are exhibiting bad behavior or disrespect are taught responsibility, self-respect and respect for others through around the clock mentoring and counseling. The boys are also given spiritual instruction and character-building principles while also continuing or getting caught up on their formal education through our in-house accredited school.
Participate in Donations
Help enable us to accept more boys into the program. You can be a part of helping children and families through a tax-deductible gift to Safe Harbor. Click here for more details.
MEL FISHER DAYS TO CELEBRATE KEY WEST SHIPWRECK SALVAGER JULY 15-16
KEY WEST, Florida Keys -- Adventure lovers can celebrate the late Mel Fisher, who sought and salvaged the shipwrecked Spanish galleon Nuestra Seņora de Atocha, Friday and Saturday, July 15-16, during Mel Fisher Days in his longtime "home port."
Fisher and his crew uncovered a $450 million cache of Atocha treasure and artifacts in July 1985 after a 16-year search. The galleon sank about 35 miles southwest of Key West during a 1622 hurricane. Fisher's son Kim Fisher leads the ongoing search for Atocha artifacts and treasures that still remain undiscovered.
Festival attendees can explore the Fisher family's 90-foot working salvage boat J.B. Marauder, take behind-the-scenes tours of the family's private artifact conservation lab, meet some of the crew that found the Atocha's riches and rock at a block party that recalls Mel's exuberant spirit.
Friday's highlights include a 5-9 p.m. kick-off party with the Atocha's "golden crew" at the Schooner Wharf Bar, 202 William St., in Key West's Historic Seaport. The Marauder will be docked behind the bar and open for tours from 4:30 to 7 p.m. For tour registration, visit www.melfisherdays.com .
Among the evening's other attractions are a live auction, contests with prizes including an authentic Atocha coin, music and the presentation of the annual Mel Fisher Lifetime Achievement Award.
Exclusive guided tours of the conservation laboratory at Mel Fisher's Treasures, 200 Greene St., will be offered all day. For tour registration, visit www.melfisherdays.com .
The adventure moves to the 200 block of Key West's Front Street for Saturday's 6-10 p.m. Mel Fisher Days "Party Like a Local" Block Party. The fun includes a free concert, food and drink vendors, dancing and a silent auction with "bounty" ranging from treasure to travel.
One partygoer wearing a 2016 Mel Fisher Days T-shirt will win a treasure chest filled with $2,500 in silver dollars. T-shirts can be purchased starting July 11 at Mel Fisher’s 200 Greene St. or 613 Duval St. locations, or during the Friday and Saturday events.
All net proceeds from Mel Fisher Days festivities benefit the Florida Keys' Wesley House Family Services.
Event schedule, costs and registration: www.melfisherdays.com
Key West visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY
HEMINGWAY DAYS LITERARY EVENTS RECALL KEY WEST'S CREATIVE HERITAGE
KEY WEST, Florida Keys -- A rich roster of literary events awaits readers and writers during Hemingway Days 2016, set for Tuesday through Sunday, July 19-24.
The festival celebrates the literary accomplishments and exuberant Key West lifestyle of legendary writer Ernest Hemingway, who lived on the island throughout the 1930s.
Hemingway Days opens with a museum day Tuesday, July 19, honoring Key West's two most famous writers. Literary fans can view "Depicting Hemingway," featuring renowned artist Guy Harvey's original sketches illustrating Hemingway's "The Old Man and the Sea," at the Custom House Museum, 281 Front St. An exhibit exploring playwright Tennessee Williams' long residence in Key West can be seen at 513 Truman Ave. Both exhibitions continue throughout the festival and beyond.
Contemporary writers star in the "Voices, Places, Inspirations" readings set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 20, at the Key West Woman's Club, 319 Duval St. Scheduled participants include noted Irish novelist Denyse Woods, who recently bested 2,100 other writers to win the Florida Keys Flash Fiction Contest; Chuck Ball, author of "Hemingway's Heist" among others; Steven Hull, creator of the edgy Hunter Benson series; Mandy Bolen Miles, renowned for her "Tan Lines" books and columns; and Terry Schmida, whose "True Crime" series chronicles criminal deeds in the Florida Keys.
The event is presented by Literacy Volunteers of America–Monroe County and includes a "meet-the-authors" reception.
The spotlight returns to the Custom House Museum at 5 p.m. Thursday, July 21, for a presentation titled "People and Places That Influenced Ernest Hemingway" by Nancy Sindelar, Ph.D. An internationally acclaimed Hemingway scholar, Sindelar penned "Influencing Hemingway: The People and Places That Shaped His Life and Work." A reception follows at 6 p.m.
The next evening at 5 p.m., festival attendees can discover the little-known poetry that helped launch the literary legend's writing career. The Key West Poetry Guild presents "The Poetry of Ernest Hemingway," which also features guild members' work, at the Blue Heaven restaurant, 729 Thomas St. -- a site where Ernest refereed neighborhood boxing matches in the 1930s.
Held in conjunction with Hemingway Days is the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition. The contest recognizes the work of emerging writers and has been directed by author Lorian Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway's granddaughter, since its inception in 1981.
Hemingway Days information: www.hemingwaydays.net
Key West visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY
FIRST SEA TURTLES EXPECTED TO HATCH IN A FEW WEEKS ON BEACHES
Residents reminded to take precautions to protect sea turtle nests.
Residents and owners of beachfront properties are reminded of the “lights out” ban as the first group of sea turtle hatchlings is expected to make its way to shore in a few weeks.
Some of the first sea turtle eggs are expected to hatch in early July.
The 2016 Turtle Nesting Season officially began on May 1. Sea turtle eggs typically take just under two months to hatch. Most of the Pinellas County beach communities have ordinances in place prohibiting lighting that casts glare onto the beach during turtle nesting season, which ends on Oct. 31.
Florida’s beaches are essential for nesting loggerheads. The Pinellas County beachfront area averages about 120 nests per season and each nest can contain, on average, 100 to 110 eggs. The last nest is expected to hatch by the end of October.
This year, sea turtle nests have already faced challenges. Rangers at Fort De Soto Park have discovered at least 13 sea turtle nests in the park, two of which were damaged by Tropical Storm Colin earlier this month. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials believe several hundred sea turtle nests statewide were destroyed or impacted by the storm.
Each May and July, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium conducts a beach lighting survey to identify problem lighting that may not be in compliance with turtle protection ordinances. Properties with lights shining on the beach at night are reported to Pinellas County Coastal Management and the local code enforcement agency.
While conducting the lighting surveys, the aquarium staff provides educational posters and brochures to visitors and residents explaining the “lights out” policy during nesting and hatching season.
The aquarium monitors nearly 26 miles of coastline and reports on sea turtle nesting activity. The staff engages in early morning patrols to locate new nesting sites and late night patrols to check existing nests for hatchlings. They also watch the nests from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. to make sure that hatchlings make it to the water safely.
In addition to checking the beaches every morning for signs of nests, the aquarium marks the nests and accounts for false crawls – times when the female that comes ashore does not complete her nest. Successful nests are roped off to avoid human disturbance. As an endangered species, loggerhead turtles are protected under federal law. and bothering their nests is illegal.
By obeying the law and following some simple guidelines, residents and visitors can greatly improve the chances of sea turtle survival, while being given the opportunity to experience first-hand the wonder of their life cycle.
If residents encounter a turtle, eggs or hatchlings; they should:
Turn off outside lights, draw drapes and avoid using flashlights or fishing lamps on the beach. Turtle nesting season runs from May 1 to Oct. 31.
Do not approach or harass adult turtles as they make their way back to sea. If residents spot turtle tracks or what might be a nest, and it does not appear to be protected by stakes or ribbon, call the Clearwater Marina Aquarium at (727) 441-1790, ext. 224.
Do not pick up hatchlings heading toward the water, shine lights or use photo equipment with a flash. Hatchlings use starlight and moonlight reflecting off the water to find their way to the ocean, and if they become misled by artificial light, they can become disoriented and die.
Pinellas County provides these tips in support of its strategic goal of practicing superior environmental stewardship.
The Pinellas County “Doing Things for You” app is available for residents to report issues and access useful resources. Pinellas County can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. More information is available on the county website www.pinellascounty.org which features LiveChat for assistance. Pinellas County complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
CALL US TO MAKE A RESERVATION: 888-263-0912
LADIES, LET'S GO FISHING!
Following and attached is a release about the Northeast Florida regional fishing seminar and tournament designed for women. Below that is a brief release for those tight on space. Women are known to travel from a four hour radius or more to attend.
Two photos are attached - feel free to visit the link below to easily download more photos and higher res or contact us. We appreciate anything you can do to help spread the word! Thanks, Betty Bauman
Contact Betty Bauman email@example.com 954-475-9068
Link to high res photos https://app.box.com/s/uq5rjgamslt0if5fdln2nbu0ihmrhml1
WEEKEND OFFERS ANGLING EDUCATION AND TOURNAMENT IN ST. AUGUSTINE AUG. 13-14, 2016
Fort Lauderdale, FL – 5/2016 – Women are invited to tackle fishing skills and enter a fun fishing tournament at the Northeast Florida "Ladies, Let's Go Fishing!" University August 13-14. Held at the prestigious Northeast Florida Marlin Association private club house, the activities include classes, hands-on fishing skill practice and tournament kickoff party on Saturday. On Sunday is optional charter fishing and the “Anyone Can Win” tournament. It is hosted by the Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing nonprofit Foundation.
Activities launch on Saturday at 12:30 pm with classes on inshore and offshore fishing, followed by hands-on skill practice for knot tying, releasing/dehooking/conservation, lure rigging, spin casting, fly casting, gaffing grapefruits, cast netting, trailer backing, reel maintenance and more until 6pm. $300 of door prizes are offered. A reception, appetizer contest, auction and kickoff for the tournament follows from 6-8:30 pm.
On Sunday is an optional inshore or offshore charter fishing trip for sailfish, mahi mahi, mackerel, tuna, wahoo, snapper, amberjack, redfish, trout, snook and more, followed by awards. Participants who opt for the fishing portion are automatically entered into the “Anyone Can Win” tournament at no additional cost.
While the focus is on women, ladies have the option to register a male guest and/or teens to include the whole family. "Eight thousand women have graduated," commented Betty Bauman, Founder. "It has been since 2006 that we have been able to return to this excellent location. The Northeast Florida Marlin Club is showing its support to the community and offers an incredible opportunity for women to learn at the No-Yelling’School of Fishing."”
Featured on national network television and more, the series is supported by major partners including National Marine Manufacturers Association, Discover Boating, Recreational Fishing and Boating Foundation, Mercury, Ranger Boats, Magic Tilt trailers, Penn, Humminbird, Minn Kota and Fish Florida. Annual sponsors are Freedom Boat Club, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, Treasure Cay Beach, Marina & Golf Resort, Sunrise Resort & Marina, AFTCO/Guy Harvey, Future Angler Foundation and Harbor Financial Services. Local sponsors include the Northeast Florida Marlin Association.
Registration of $85 includes instruction, use of equipment, hands-on training, reception and fundraisers. Early entry discounts are on the website. Charter fishing is additional and includes a free tournament entry. No equipment or experience is necessary. The Northeast Florida Marlin Association clubhouse at Camachee Cove is at 3030 Harbor Dr, St Augustine, FL 32084 (Vilano Beach).
Other LLGF events include Bimini Bahamas Sept. 9-11, FL Keys/Tavernier/Islamorada Oct. 21-23 and Chokoloskee/Everglades National Park Nov. 19-20.
About“Ladies, Let's Go Fishing!"
The Ladies, Let's Go Fishing Foundation (LLGF) is a national charitable 501C3 organization dedicated to attracting women and families to fishing while encouraging conservation and responsible angling. LLGF promotes networking among and emphasizes mentorships. Founded in 1997 by Betty Bauman, of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, LLGF has over 8,000 graduates and is the largest organization in the world whose objective is to introduce women and families to fishing. Both Bauman and the University series - dubbed "The No-Yelling School of Fishing" - are known nationally in the fishing and marine industries. The organization has earned rave reviews from media including Inside Edition, The Early Show, NBC Nightly News, CBS, Good Morning America, Outdoor Life Network, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, Southern Living and more.
"Ladies, Let's Go Fishing!"
The No Yelling School of Fishing
Like Us On Facebook: “Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing!”
954.475.9068 o. | 954.474.7299 f.
CITY OF WEST PALM BEACH UPDATES & ONGOING EVENTS
Clematis by Night
Every Thursday from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. on the Waterfront. N. and S. Clematis St. between Narcissus Ave. and Flagler Dr. and Narcissus Ave. between Banyan Blvd. and Clematis St. will be closed from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
More details click here.
West Palm Beach Antique and Flea Market
Every Saturday from 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Narcissus Ave. between 2nd St. and Banyan Blvd. from 6 a.m. - 4 p.m.
For more information, click here.
West Palm Beach GreenMarket
Every Saturday from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. N. and S. Clematis St. closed, Narcissus Ave. between Banyan Blvd. and Clematis St., and Lantana Ave. between Banyan Blvd. and N. Clematis St. will be closed from 6 a.m. - 3 p.m.
All Aboard Florida Construction Updates
click here for details.
Flagler Memorial Bridge Replacement Project Update
click here for details.
Beach Star Gazing
Residents of the forgotten coast already know we have wonderful views of the night sky, but have you ever wondered what’s actually up there? Starting this month, the St. George Island State Park rangers will be presenting monthly night sky programs thanks to their recent acquisition of a Dobsonian telescope.
The telescope enables the park staff to host night-time events on such topics as constellations and the bright stars found within them, the visible planets and how to identify them, and the occasional meteor shower. The St. George Island State Park has been named Florida's first gold tier dark sky park - a designation granted by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA). Park officials say the astronomy programs will be available for campers initially but there are plans to expand the program to include all park visitors in the future.
About the Park
The Dr. Julian G. Bruce State Park on St. George Island offers nine miles of some of the most pristine beaches along the Gulf coast of Florida. Visitors can access four miles of beach along the park's main drive. The park has six large picnic shelters equipped with grills, tables and nearby restrooms. The last five miles to the East Pass are accessible only by special permit obtained at the Ranger Station. There are no charges for bicyclists or hikers to this area. Wheelchair accessibility to the water is enhanced by two Mobi-Mats installed at two pull-offs. Two standard beach wheelchairs and a floating wheelchair are available, please inquire at the Ranger Station about availability.
In addition to its beaches, the St. George Island State Park also offers ample opportunities for biking, boating, hiking, camping and nature study.
Boating - There are two natural, not paved or maintained, ramps for boat access to Apalachicola Bay. Anglers can fish for flounder, redfish, sea trout, pompano, whiting, Spanish mackerel and other fish off the beach or in the bay. One ramp is located at the Youth/Group Camp area and the other is 2.5 miles from the entrance station at East Slough. Both ramps are restricted to small craft less than 24 feet in length with shallow draft. Launch fees are applicable. Two natural ramps provide access to the bay for canoes and kayaks. Canoes and kayaks are available for rent at the ranger station.
Here are a few of the upcoming fishing tournaments scheduled throughout the county.
July 16 - C-Quarters Youth Fishing Tournament - C-Quarters Marina, Carrabelle. Kids from all over the South are invited to attend the 12th Annual Youth Fishing Tournament. Open to all kids 16 and younger.
August 6-7 - 13th Annual Kingfishing Tournament, C-Quarters Marina, Carrabelle. This weekend event gives everyone an opportunity to enjoy themselves while advocating a wonderful cause that helps so many. All proceeds go to the Leukemia Research Foundation.
Turtle Season Begins
Franklin County's beaches will soon be host to nesting sea turtles that make their way from the Gulf to nest among the shoreline dunes. It is the season when local volunteer turtlers begin walking the beach in order to find, mark and protect turtle nests and when homeowners and visitors are educated about turtle friendly house lighting. Visitors interested in learning about sea turtle nesting can visit the St. George Island Visitor’s Center (at the St. George Island Lighthouse Park) to see a turtle display and pick up turtle information.
Please note that Franklin County recently adopted a Leave No Trace Ordinance that requires chairs, umbrellas and equipment to removed nightly from the public beaches in order to help mama turtles more easily navigate the beaches to nest and allow hatchlings a clear path back to the water from their nests in the dunes.
Want to learn more? The Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve will host weekly "turtle talks" beginning in June at the ANERR's Eastpoint Visitor Center each Wednesday from 2-3 pm to educate visitors about the nesting sea turtles.
July 2016 Section B
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