SECTION B - News-y & Cruise-y Items




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, click on “Saltwater” then “Angler Tag Return.” For information on cobia regulations visit, click on “Saltwater Fishing” “Recreational Regulations” and "Cobia."





The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is hosting a Women’s Saltwater Fishing Clinic on St. George Island June 4.

The free, day-long clinic is from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the St. George Island State Park, 1900 E. Gulf Beach Drive, St. George Island.

Advance registration is required. To register or get more information, email Heather Sneed at , or call 850-487-0554.

Participants will take home a lifelong hobby and leave with a new appreciation for the marine environment. They will learn the basics of conservation stewardship, fishing ethics, angling skills, safety and the vulnerability of Florida’s marine ecosystems in a fun, laid-back atmosphere.

Lessons include knot tying, cast netting, rod and reel rigging, how to be a responsible marine resource steward, marine fish and habitat identification, catch-and-release techniques and more.

If conditions allow, women will have the opportunity to practice their newly learned skills by fishing from shore. This event is a catch-and-release activity. This event falls on a saltwater license-free fishing day, therefore a fishing license is not required to participate, but the FWC encourages all to purchase a fishing license so they are ready for their next fishing excursion. Saltwater fishing licenses can be purchased at your local tackle shop or online. Learn more by visiting .

Fishing equipment and bait are provided during the clinic but participants are encouraged to bring their own gear.




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 .

For more information about this program, email Amber Nabors at . For more information about the Fishing League Worldwide Foundation, go to . For information about The Bass Federation’s Student Angler Federation, go to . Information on the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation is available at , select “Corporate” at the bottom of the page.





Successful is too small of a word to describe the second annual Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day Festival May 14-15. In Pensacola alone, 8,089 lionfish were removed in only two days at the Gulf Coast Lionfish Coalition Tournament. More than 7,000 people (more than double last year’s numbers) attended the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) festival, where visitors got to taste lionfish, see filet demonstrations, check out art and conservation booths and much more. And if that wasn’t enough, Charles Meyling of Montgomery broke the state record for longest lionfish caught in Gulf waters when he brought in a 445 millimeter lionfish (previous record was 438 millimeters).

At FWC supported events statewide that weekend and leading up to that weekend, another 5,978 lionfish were removed for a total of 14,067 statewide (2,975 lionfish were removed statewide in 2015).

“These numbers are a great example of the agency’s efforts to get the public educated about and involved in lionfish removal,” said Jessica McCawley, Division of Marine Fisheries Management director. “Events like this one will encourage continued involvement in proactively and successfully removing lionfish.”

Thanks to the growing interest in lionfish as a food fish, many lionfish harvested around the state will be sold commercially in places like New Orleans, Atlanta, Destin, in Florida Whole Foods, and by Edible Invaders in Pensacola. Another selection will go to Wharton and Brandon high schools in Hillsborough County, where three students will be studying lionfish diet using DNA barcoding for an upcoming STEM fair project.

Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day (first Saturday after Mother’s Day) was created by FWC Commissioners to raise awareness about lionfish – nonnative, invasive species that have a potential negative impact on native species and habitat.

The FWC thanks all of the sponsors and organizations across the state that helped make this day possible.
Want to help remove lionfish? Participate in the 2016 Lionfish Challenge or the Panhandle Pilot Program. Remove lionfish and get rewarded. Visit for more.

Remember, lionfish and other exotic pets that can no longer be cared for should never be released into Florida waters or lands. To learn more about where to surrender an exotic pet for adoption, visit and click on “Nonnative Species” and “Exotic Pet Amnesty Program.”

Statewide Lionfish Event Removal Totals:

655 – FSDA Lionfish Calcutta – St. Petersburg
3,478 – Northeast Florida Lionfish Blast – Jacksonville
727 – Lion Tamer Tournament – Panama City Beach
25 – Reef Environmental Education Foundation – Key Largo
31 – Sebastian Lionfish Fest – Sebastian
1,062 – Gulf Coast Lionfish Coalition Pre-Tournament - Pensacola



NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)  is approving in part and denying in part Charlotte County’s request to approve a draft ordinance to establish a slow speed minimum wake boating-restricted area within Gasparilla Sound pursuant to Section 327.46(1)(c), Florida Statutes (F.S.) and Rule 68D-21.004(3)(a) – (e), Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.).

Pursuant to Rule 68D-21.002(5), F.A.C., any substantially affected person may request review of this denial; the request must be received by the Boating and Waterway Section within 21 days following this notice, as required in Rule 68D-21.003, F.A.C. If no request for review is timely received, this notice will constitute final agency action.

Following final agency action, a person whose substantial interests are affected by FWC’s action may petition for an administrative proceeding (hearing) under sections 120.569 and 120.57 of the Florida Statutes. A person seeking a hearing on FWC’s action shall file a petition for hearing with the agency within 21 days of receipt of written notice of the decision. The petition must comply with section 120.569, F.S., and the uniform rules of the Florida Division of Administration, chapter 28-106, F.A.C. The enclosed Explanation of Rights statement provides additional information as to the rights of parties whose substantial interests are or may be affected by this action.

Please submit any requests for additional information directly to or contact Boating and Waterways Section at (850) 488-5600.

•Gasparilla Pass - Final Agency Action-signed.pdf




Although Florida’s boating season never really ends, the traditional start is marked by National Safe Boating Week, May 21–27. The week is a time for boaters to focus on simple and effective steps that make boating safer. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) wants all boaters to remember to boat safely. As the boating capital of the world, Florida leads the nation with nearly 1 million registered vessels across the state and is known as a prime boating spot for residents and visitors. Each year, FWC officers respond to far too many tragic and preventable boating accidents.

“Florida is a great place to enjoy boating year-round,” said Maj. Richard Moore, leader of the FWC’s Boating and Waterways Section. “And even more people will be out on the water for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. Both the holiday and National Safe Boating Week, May 21¬–27, present an opportunity to emphasize the importance of remaining safe while boating.

“FWC officers are committed to keeping people as safe as possible, but we need the public’s help,” Moore continued. “We want to reach out to as many boaters as we can, to help them understand that most boating accidents are preventable.”

The FWC reminds boaters to enjoy their time on the water by taking a few safety precautions, such as wearing a life jacket, using an engine cut-off switch lanyard, designating a sober boat operator, paying attention and keeping a proper lookout, having an emergency locater beacon, filing a float plan, and taking a boating safety class.

According to the recently released FWC 2015 Boating Accident Statistical Report, there were 737 reportable boating accidents in Florida last year.

Many of those accidents 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. More than 64 percent of the 55 boating-related deaths confirmed last year were attributed to drowning, which life jackets are designed to prevent.
“A lot of people say they don’t wear life jackets because they are uncomfortable,” said Moore. “However with the inflatable models that are belt packs or suspenders, you hardly know you have one on. Our officers wear inflatable life jackets all the time while on the water.”

An engine cut-off switch lanyard is a safety device that attaches from the boat operator to the ignition. If it is disconnected, the engine will shut down, potentially preventing a boater who has fallen overboard from being injured by the moving propeller of a runaway boat.

Boating education is critical. In 2015, 72 percent of boat operators involved in fatal accidents had no formal boater education. Florida’s current boating safety education law applies to boaters born on or after Jan. 1, 1988, and who operate a vessel of 10 hp or greater.

“We live in a great boating state,” said Moore. “And we believe that safety truly is the key to enjoyment.”

FWC officers patrol our waterways in an effort to keep all boaters safe by checking that they have the required equipment and are operating safely. Ensure your encounters with FWC officers are positive ones by planning ahead and paying attention while on the water.

For a copy of the 2015 Boating Accident Statistical Report, visit and select “Safety and Education” and “Boating Accidents.”

To report people who are operating boats dangerously, call 888-404-FWCC (3922) or text . More information can be found by visiting You can even search there for the Florida Boat Ramp Finder to help you find a great place to launch your boat!




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 and select “Safety and Education” and “Boating Accidents.”




The recreational harvest of snook in Atlantic state and federal waters will close on June 1.

Snook will reopen for harvest in Atlantic state and federal waters, including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River, on Sept. 1. Snook is also closed for harvest in Gulf of Mexico state and federal waters, including Everglades National Park and Monroe County, through Aug. 31, reopening Sept. 1.

Unique to the region, snook are one of the many reasons Florida is the Fishing Capital of the World. Seasonal harvest closures help conserve Florida’s valuable snook populations and improve the fishery for the future.

Snook can be caught and released during the closed season, but anglers should use proper handling methods to ensure the species’ abundance for anglers today and generations to come. To learn more and see a video about catch and release fishing and the best way to handle a fish, visit and click on “Saltwater” then “Recreational Regulations” and “Fish Handling.”

Anglers can report their catch on the Snook & Gamefish Foundation’s website at by clicking on the “Angler Action” link in the bar at the top of the page.

Learn more about recreational fishing at by clicking on “Saltwater” and “Recreational Regulations.”




Have you ever caught a fish as big as you? Check out Charles Patchen’s new 63.8-pound State Record Flathead Catfish from the Chattahoochee River caught May 15!

The Flathead Catfish and other current State Records are listed at the link below: 



Date: 06/13/2016 - 9:00am to 06/17/2016 - 4:00pm

County Event
Northeast Region

For Girls & Boys 9-12. Join Bill Frederick Park Aquatic Adventure Camp to have fun, experience nature and explore ecology and conservation. Registration begins on March 1, 2016, and new price is $120 per week or $300 for all three weeks, per child. Children must dress for the outdoors- jeans, sneakers (no sandals or open-toed shoes), hat and t-shirt. They should bring an extra pair of shoes, sun screen, insect spray and snacks. Lunch provided • T-shirt included • Canoe trip included • Extended care available. For more information, call 407-246, 4486 • Bill Frederick Park at Turkey Lake • 3401 South Hiawasse Road • Orlando, FL 32835

Join Bill Frederick Park Aquatic Adventure Camp to have fun, experience nature and explore ecology and conservation. Activities include: Fishing • Canoeing • Kayaking • Aquatic Ecology • Wildlife Discovery


Bill Frederick Park at Turkey Lake
3401 South Hiawasse Road
Orlando, FL 32835
Phone: 407-246-4486

See map: Google Maps



Photo Caption: One mistake at the fuel pump this summer could be costly for boaters who misfuel and inadvertently dispense unapproved, high ethanol blends into the boat’s gas tank.


WASHINGTON, DC, May 26, 2016 – As the Memorial Day weekend kicks off the summer boating season, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) and National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) urge boaters to be mindful when selecting fuel for their boats, especially as the federal government’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is increasing the risk of consumer misfueling. Even one mistake at the pump can be the source of expensive, warranty voiding repairs and dangerous engine failure.

“Boaters can’t assume that every fuel sold at gas stations will work in marine engines,” said BoatUS President Margaret Podlich, “Boats can only run on 10% or less ethanol content (E10) fuel – and we know many boaters prefer to use ethanol-free (E0) when possible. Unfortunately, as a result of the federal ethanol fuel mandates (RFS), boaters may face a much harder time this summer finding the E0 fuel they want. And with more E15 (gasoline with 15% ethanol) forced into the fuel supply by the RFS, the threat of accidental misfueling—especially at gas stations with blender pumps—is growing.”

“Our priority is always to keep boaters safe,” said NMMA President Thom Dammrich. “By increasing the share of fuels in the marketplace that are unsafe for marine engines, the federal government’s RFS is putting boaters at risk. Research shows the costly price of accidentally misfueling a boat with E15 can include stalling, corrosion, fuel leaks, damaged valves and complete engine failure – each of which could put boaters and their safety in jeopardy. Now more than ever, with E15 on the rise, the threat of misfueling is real.”

An estimated Ninety-five percent of boats are filled at retail gas stations, but a 2016 Harris Poll commissioned by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute found a startling 60 percent of consumers believe any gas sold at retail stations is suitable for all engines and products. Further, only 36 percent know E15 is harmful to some engines – with just five percent aware that its use in those engines is also illegal.

The federal ethanol mandates, known as the RFS, require increasing amounts of biofuels—including corn ethanol—to be blended into the US fuel supply every year. This growing mandate forces higher quantities of fuels such as E15 into the marketplace, often at the expense of E0 ethanol-free fuel, and even though fuels with more than 10 percent ethanol are illegal to use in marine engines, motorcycles, outdoor power equipment and cars model year 2000 and older.
Though the government is aware that the RFS is changing the makeup of the fuel supply, it has undertaken no serious education campaign—beyond requiring small warning labels on fuel pumps—to inform boaters and other consumers about the problems they may face from improper or accidental fueling. The boating industry and others have sought to fill the gap and inform the public about the need to be vigilant when fueling and not assume that just because a gas station sells several fuel types from the same pump that each is suitable for marine engines.

For more information on proper marine fueling, fuel-related maintenance, and boating industry efforts to reform federal ethanol mandates and the supply of E0 fuel, visit BoatUS at and the National Marine Manufacturers Association at .


About Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS):

Celebrating 50 years in 2016, BoatUS is the nation’s largest organization of recreational boaters with over a half million members. We are the boat owners’ voice on Capitol Hill and fight for their rights. We help ensure a roadside breakdown doesn’t end a boating or fishing trip before it begins, and on the water, we bring boaters safely back to the launch ramp or dock when their boat won’t, day or night. The BoatUS Insurance Program gives boat owners the specialized coverage and superior service they need, and we help keep boaters safe and our waters clean with assistance from the non-profit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water. Visit .


About National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA):

The National Marine Manufacturers Association is the leading association representing the recreational boating industry in North America. NMMA member companies produce more than 80 percent of the boats, engines, trailers, accessories and gear used by boaters and anglers throughout the US and Canada. Find more information at .




Photo Caption: Inflatable life jackets make casting a line easy and are very comfortable to wear.



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 Wednesday June 1st, June 15th, and June 29th. 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



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 the St. Augustine Pier, 350 A1A Beach Blvd, St. Augustine, FL 32080 at 8:00pm on Thursday June 9th and June 23rd. 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



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 June 15th and 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.



The St. Johns County Parks and Recreation is hosting a 2-3 hour guided kayak tour of Guana Tolomato Matanzas Waterway at 10am on Thursday June 23rd, Saturday June 25th, and Sunday June 26th. The trip will launch from Six Mile Boat Ramp, which is located six miles north of the Guana Dam off A1A, GPS coordinates are: 30° 06'36.13" N 81° 20'42.74" W. Participants will have the opportunity to explore a unique water shed along our coast, learn about the local history, and discover the plants and animals of the Gauna Tolomato Matanzas Waterway. The fee for this guided trip is $20 per person for participants brining 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 . 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.

Thank you so much for helping us get the word out about these awesome programs. If you need anything from me please let me know.

Hope you have a beautiful day and take the time to get outside and explore!

Kelly Ussia

Environmental Education Instructor
St. Johns County Parks and Recreation
Office: 904-209-0335
Cell: 904-669-6109
Nease Beachfront Park
3171 Coastal Highway
St. Augustine, FL 32084




Three Tips for National Safe Boating Week and Beyond

ANNAPOLIS, Md., May 18, 2016 – With National Safe Boating Week (May 21-27) nearly upon us, many boaters will make extra effort to improve their on-water safety. But after the annual event is over, will they continue to stay vigilant? “Making boating safety easy to embrace means more boaters will continue to make the effort,” says BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water President Chris Edmonston. With that goal in mind, the BoatUS Foundation has three simple tips for boaters that will improve their boating safety game all summer long:

1. Select a life jacket that you will actually wear: Consistently wearing a life jacket may be a challenge for some boaters, but it doesn’t have to be. Inflatable life jackets can be as unobtrusive as a small, lightweight beltpack worn around the waist or suspenders style inflatable worn over the shoulders. They don’t trap body heat, and give full mobility needed to cast a line or trim a mainsheet. “The best life jacket is the one you’ll actually wear,” says Edmonston, “And inflatables make it easy to wear because they’re so comfortable that you forget you have it on.” For more, go to .

2. Take a boating safety education course that’s free and easy to get: Learning the rules of the road can be difficult for some boaters as they don’t always have the time to take a Boating Safety Course. But all you need is a comfortable chair in front of computer or tablet to take the free online Boating Safety Course from the BoatUS Foundation. Learning can be paused and picked up again as your schedule permits, and the courses meet boating safety education requirements in 34 states – and may even get you a discount on your boat insurance. For more, go to  and click on “State Boating Safety Course.”

3. File the uncomplicated float plan you’ll do all year: What kind of float plan do you need? Simpler may be better. For most boaters who boat on familiar home waters, a float plan can be as easy as a text message to a friend or relative telling them where you are going, who is aboard, and what time you expect to return. And don’t forget to close it out with a text message after you’ve returned. If you’re at a boat ramp, leaving the details of your trip on a piece of paper or on a float plan form and putting it in view on the dashboard of your tow vehicle is another simple way to do it. More detailed float plans such as the one offered by the US Coast Guard Auxiliary are also great if you have a need for more detail and coordination, such as for longer offshore passages.

For more information on National Safe Boating Week, go to .


Kids sailing

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.

One Week Sessions
Monday thru Friday,  8am - 4:30pm

Parent Orientation Sessions 1 and 2
June 19th, 1300

Session 1
June 20th - 24th

Session 2
June 27th - July 1st

Parent Orientation Sessions 3, 4 and 5
July 10th, 1300

Session 3
July 11th - 15th

Session 4
July 18th - July 22nd

Session 5
July 25th - July 29th

More Information and Forms Here



US Sailing


From the US Sailing/US Powerboating Regional Training Coordinator

Ahoy to the Region!

I have two ESC coaches who would like to take their Level 2 certification before the summer is out...

Is anyone else looking for this certification/training? Wondering if we can't create a cadre of instructors/coaches who would like to add this training to their skills lists!

Please let me know.

Level 2 is a two-day training - can get this done on a weekend. Hope your plans for summer are going well. Let us know what we can do to help you!!

US Sailing/US Powerboating Regional Training Coordinator
Project Reach National Faculty



Rudder Club Beer Can Racing

Next Race

June 11th


June 25th
July 9th
July 23rd
August 6th
August 13th



Green Cove Springs Marina




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.





By Barb Hansen
May 2016

Social media is really something.  We can now communicate almost instantly with anyone just about anywhere in the world in a matter of seconds.  It’s also possible to get information about anything in an instant, and all of that keeps getting better every day, but hold on for just a second. 

I have no argument with the ease of communications the web has brought to us as we stay in touch with friends, relatives and those who share common interests.  They are all just seconds away via tweet or post or even the “old fashioned” email.  Similarly, the web is your best friend for finding out anything about a product or service.  Thanks to Amazon and a host of other sites, you don’t even have to drive to the mall or a specialty store anymore.  You can shop from your smart phone and typically rest assured you got the best deal possible.  And, whatever you bought will be at your front door most often the next day.  I’m good with all of that.  In fact, I love lots of it.

However, when you go beyond the facts and seek opinions – be they reviews, rankings or commentary – be careful!  I have become suspicious of reviews of restaurants, hotels, resorts and the like.  Too often the source of these online opinions are those with a vested interest in the entity for which they are offering their opinions or evaluations.  They could be employees, owners or their agents or consultants. 

Too many of these are based on fiction, not fact.  You’ve seen this in different ways.  There are the so-called “reality” television shows.  Too often, the only reality that’s being depicted on these shows is the scripting which is designed to grow viewership.  I’m sure many of you have seen the countless and very high value items found as a result of the auction of contents in storage facilities when the owner of the goods has not paid the rent.  The amount paid for overdue rent is a mere pittance given the value of the goods acquired.  Right and I have some land you can buy for your dream home just a few miles east and south of here.  Don’t worry about the water on the land, it’s pretty to look at.  

My suspicions of web –based reviews come from an experience we had with a customer, and it’s taking all of what I have to simply refer to him as a “customer”.  This person took issue with the business practices that have evolved over the thirty-plus years Southwest Florida Yachts has been in business.  While those practices remain unchanged since they are good and proper for us, our customers and the people who place their boats in our charter fleet, take our courses or buy/sell yachts through us, this individual saw fit to comment by posting lies about the experience he had while a customer of our company.  Despite the fact that we have been victimized, our recourse is akin to the posting that occurred.  In other words, we fix this by posting or having others post favorable fabrications.  A lie is a lie, whether favorable or not.  That’s not social media, that’s social madness and it makes me angry and frustrated.

I’m happy to have you tweet me, friend me or do anything else you want via social media to communicate with me.  However, if you are thinking about using our services or those of any company or organization, check things out yourself and in person, if possible.  That may be “old school”, but it works.

Vic and I have worked very hard over the last three decades and more to provide our customers with good value for any service we provide.  We take genuine pride and appreciate the many repeat customers we have, and that tells us we are treating people the right way. 

Unless you know and trust the person responsible for the post, relying on that information is at best a shot in the dark. 

Barb Hansen manages Southwest Florida Yachts, yacht charters, and Florida Sailing & Cruising School, 6095 Silver Kind Blvd. Cape Coral, FL 33914. Email: , phone: 800-262-7939 or visit:  or .





(Office: 904-209-0335)


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 the following dates: May 7th, June 15th, and 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.






FLORIDA KEYS -- A Florida Keys angler caught a 33-pound dolphin fish to earn his Hooked Up 2 team first-place overall honors in the Florida Keys Dolphin Championship that ended Sunday, May 15.

John Sahagian of Little Torch Key scored the bull dolphin on the first of the tournament's two fishing days. Sahagian said his boat, Funyet, was in about 2,300 feet of water off Little Torch when the winning dolphin ate a live pinfish.

Sahagian's Hooked Up 2 teammates were Carol and Tom Herfort of Marathon, Florida, and Steve Nemeth and Terry Iaquinta of Naples, Florida. The team took home $17,280 for the victory.

Second place overall went to the Miss Ivory team, captained by Jason Johnson of Key West, Florida. Johnson led teammates Craig Peden, Chandler Peden, Paul Peden and Xander Peden, all of Fort Myers, Florida, to a prize of $14,197 for a 29.8-pound dolphin.

Fourteen-year-old Xander Peden was named the tournament's top junior angler after boating a 24.2-pound fish that was the junior division's largest.

Team Tails 2 Sails, skippered by Captain Chuck Donney of Stock Island, Florida, finished in third place overall, with a 28.4-pound dolphin caught by Ray Trevino of Sugarloaf Key, Florida. The team also consisted of Jarrod Mandozzi of Islamorada, Florida.

Entrants in the uniquely formatted tournament were challenged to pursue dolphin in the waters from Key West to Key Largo and report their catches at any of five weigh stations.

Organizers said the tournament, now in its fourth year, attracted a record field of 85 registered teams.



KEY WEST, Florida Keys -- For readers who delight in detecting quality mystery tales, it would be a crime to miss the third annual Mystery Writers Key West Fest. Some of America's top mystery authors are to discuss their books and creative techniques at the festival, set for Friday through Sunday, June 10-12.

Themed "Murder & Mayhem in Paradise," the sleuthfest is set at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel Grand Key, 3990 S. Roosevelt Blvd. The popular literary event includes discussions on aspects of mystery writing, meet-and-greets with presenting authors and social gatherings at suspiciously atmospheric Key West watering holes.

Only the truly clueless would skip Sloan's Ghost Tour guided by Heather Graham, author of more than 100 novels and novellas in genres from romantic suspense to the occult.

Acclaimed author Robert K. Tanenbaum, also a nationally renowned trial lawyer who has never lost a felony case, is the festival's keynote speaker. As well as three nonfiction volumes, he has penned 27 Butch Karp mysteries featuring two fictional New York district attorneys.

Other participating masters of mystery include forensic specialist and New York Times bestselling author Lisa Black; Timothy Hallinan, whose books include the award-winning Junior Bender series and the Poke Rafferty Bangkok thrillers; Florida author and former undercover agent James O. Born; Sandra Balzo, who writes the Maggy Thorsen coffee house books; Don Bruns, renowned for his Caribbean-spiced volumes; and Michael Haskins, author of the Mick Murphy Key West mystery series.

Readers and aspiring writers can savor a suspenseful schedule of afternoon workshops Friday, June 10, and panel discussions all day Saturday, June 11. Topics range from "Real Forensics and the Mystery Writer" to "Believable Dialogue."

Also planned is the announcement of the winner of the Whodunit Writing Competition and a "roast" for Randy Rawls, the recently inducted president of the Mystery Writers of America's Florida chapter.

Registration is $175 per person and includes all panels, presentations and four meals. Early registration is suggested, since space is limited.

Event information, schedule and registration: 

Key West visitor information:  or 1-800-LAST-KEY



KEY WEST, Florida Keys -- Endurance swimmers can celebrate Father's Day weekend with a one-of-a-kind, 12.5-mile open-water swim for solo participants and relay teams around the island of Key West. The athletic challenge is set for Saturday, June 18.

Newly added this year is a shorter 10k or 6.2-mile race to give swimmers a chance to test their open-water skills in the Atlantic Ocean.

The epic Florida Keys Community College Swim Around Key West competition annually attracts athletes from throughout the United States, Canada and abroad in age categories of 12 and under to 65 and over. Entrants can register as solo competitors or in teams of two to six swimmers, with or without fins.

The World Open Water Swimming Association-sanctioned swim begins at 7:30 a.m. Saturday at Key West’s Higgs Beach at 1000 Atlantic Blvd.

The clockwise swim follows a route past Key West landmarks that include the Southernmost Point buoy, marking the southernmost tip of land in the continental United States. Swimmers navigate both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.

Each long-distance swimmer and team must provide an accompanying support crew and kayak or boat. Swimmers can't touch the boat except when teams are making relay changes. Lifeguards and kayaks are positioned for safety throughout the course.

Swimmers opting for the shorter 10k challenge, starting at 8:30 a.m., aren't required to have a support crew. Additional short events include 800-yard, 1-mile and 2-mile races off of Higgs Beach.

Swimmers must be registered by Friday, June 17. Entry fees for the 12.5-mile race are $110 per solo swimmer, $180 per two-person relay team, $270 per three-person team, $360 per four-person team, $450 per five-person team and $540 per six-person team. The 10k race is $50 per person, while shorter races are $30 per swimmer. United States Masters Swimming and USA Swimming members get discounts.

The annual event benefits swim programs at Florida Keys Community College, Key West High School and the Keys’ Bone Island Swim Club.

Event information and registration:

Key West visitor information:  or 1-800-LAST-KEY



FLORIDA KEYS -- Classical and jazz guitar concerts are to take center stage during the Florida Keys' summer season, providing music lovers a melodious contrast to the island chain's more typical trop-rock soundtrack. The Florida Keys Guitar Festival is to present six guitar virtuosos in seven concerts between June 4 and Aug. 7.

The festival is the creation of internationally acclaimed classical guitarist Mateo Jampol, a longtime Florida Keys resident who performs as Mateo. As well as his own artistry, the concert series features the talents of classical master Steve Ramos and jazz greats Bob Hanni, Larry Baeder, Michael Gillis and Mike Emerson.

Initial performances are scheduled in Marathon and Key Largo, leading up to a three-day Key West schedule highlighted by a Guitar Summit featuring all six musicians.

The festival is to begin Saturday, June 4, with Mateo's 8 p.m. concert of classical guitar highlights and original works at the Florida Keys Country Club, 4000 Sombrero Blvd. The following evening he plans to present a 6-9 p.m. show at the amphitheater at Marathon Community Park, mile marker (MM) 49.

A maestro of the Spanish guitar, Mateo next will perform for Key Largo audiences in an evening exploring the musical heritage of Spain. The concert is set for 8 p.m. Saturday, July 2, at the Murray E. Nelson Government and Cultural Center, MM 102.

The festival's three-day Key West showcase begins with "Jazz Guitar Trio" celebrating the talents of Keys musical legends Baeder, Gillis and Emerson at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5, at the Little Room Jazz Club, 821 Duval St.

Mateo is to present a 3 p.m. Saturday matinee at Key West's Old Stone Church, 600 Eaton St.; while Ramos and Hanni are scheduled at 10 p.m. for a classical and jazz guitar medley at the Little Room Jazz Club.

The festival's climax is Sunday's Guitar Summit, presenting all six performers in a richly nuanced evening that blends individual musical stylings with dynamic collective artistry. Titled "Cool Jazz & Hot Summer Night," the concert is set for 6:30 p.m. in the shaded grounds of The Gardens Hotel, 526 Angela St.

Tickets for most Florida Keys Guitar Festival performances are $25 per person and can be purchased at .

Event information: 

Florida Keys visitor information:  or 1-800-FLA-KEYS



ISLAMORADA, Florida Keys -- The inaugural Blazing Mako Bonfire Tournament and Festival is to light up Islamorada Friday through Sunday, June 17-19, at the Islander Resort, A Guy Harvey Outpost, located at mile marker 82.1 oceanside.

Blending angling, art and conservation, the Father's Day weekend event is part of the Guy Harvey Bonfire Tournament series.

The weekend kicks off Friday, June 17, with the "Papa's Pilar Fishing Seminar," where attendees can hear fish tales and get tips and techniques from fishing all-stars. Registration for the inshore and offshore Blazing Mako fishing tournament follows, with a 7 p.m. captains meeting and party.

Fishing starts at 7 a.m. Saturday, June 18, and continues until 3 p.m. The day's attractions include dockside parties, barbecue and a 6 p.m. awards ceremony for both inshore and offshore categories.

Non-anglers can enjoy an Artist and "Conch-servation" Village, open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

The village spotlights research and education work currently underway to preserve ocean resources by groups that include the Everglades Foundation, Reef Environmental Education Foundation, Coral Restoration Foundation, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Turtle Hospital and Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center.

Festival-goers can browse fine art, sculpture, wood and metal pieces, jewels and treasures, landscape and undersea photography and re-purposed creations by 100 "Conch-servation" Village artists.

Saturday's culmination is to be a beach bonfire celebration, featuring the night-time torching of a natural flammables "blaze" inside a giant hollow metal mako shark sculpture, created by Islamorada artist Roberto "Pasta" Pantaleo. The "trash to treasure" sculpture is made of iron, reclaimed steel plates and cast-off alloys.

Other highlights include a pier fishing tournament for kids, Rum Village offering signature cocktails, rums and craft brews; paddleboard poker run and Bull and Oyster Roast on Sunday. The weekend also is to include a silent auction and live music performances

Events are to raise money for scholarships through the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation. This year's goal is $100,000 for marine science scholarships for Nova Southeastern University's Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography. The university's mascot inspired the celebration's "mako shark" theme.

Event information:  or 800-513-5257

Islamorada visitor information:  or 1-800-FAB-KEYS

Florida Keys fishing information:



KEY WEST, Florida Keys -- Tiny yellow Key limes have flavored Florida Keys cuisine since the 1800s. Contemporary lime lovers can celebrate the indigenous fruit and the dessert it inspired -- the island chain's signature Key lime pie -- during the Key Lime Festival set for Saturday through Monday, July 2-4.

Highlights of the tasty weekend are to include a Key lime pie–eating contest, culinary tasting stroll and samplings of Key lime rum, beer and cocktails.

Events kick off at 11 a.m. Saturday with a tour of the Key West First Legal Rum Distillery, 105 Simonton St. As well as tasting the distillery's Key lime rum, attendees can acquire signed copies of "The Key West Key Lime Pie Cookbook" and meet author David Sloan.

Believed to have originated in Key West in the late 1800s, Key lime pie was designated Florida's official pie in 2006 by the state legislature. Its primary ingredients are condensed milk, egg yolks and Key lime juice, with the creamy filling typically nestled in a graham cracker crust and topped with whipped cream or meringue.

Saturday's schedule also features the Key Lime Cocktail Sip & Stroll, where participants can sample Key lime martinis, margaritas and other limey libations at local watering holes.

For those who prefer cuisine to cocktails, Chef Paul Menta is to present a Key lime cooking class at Isle Cook, 218 Whitehead St., at 6 p.m. Saturday. Attractions include a three-course feast incorporating fresh local seafood, farm-fresh produce and the tiny limes. Reservations are required and space is limited; call 305-741-7443.

At 2 p.m. Sunday, July 3, Key lime pie fans can enjoy a leisurely sampling stroll that features five variations on the famed dessert -- including one spiced with jalapeρo. Stops include the pie’s presumed birthplace and a secret lair containing "the world’s smallest Key lime pie."

Competitive consumers step into the "limelight" at 11 a.m. Monday, July 4, for the Mile-High Key Lime Pie Eatin' Contest at the Waterfront Brewery, 201 William St. Contestants must outpace their rivals to devour an entire 9-inch pie, topped with mounds of whipped cream, without using their hands.

Festival information and complete schedule: 

Key West visitor information:  or 1-800-LAST-KEY




Top Chef Huynh


Bimini Tales





Cruising In Style for the Whole Family

Cape Coral, Florida – (April 27, 2016) – Southwest Florida Yachts has expanded its charter fleet based at Tarpon Point Marina here with the addition of “Southern Comfort” – a 38-foot Leopard sailing catamaran with four cabins and two heads.

“You’ll cruise in comfort aboard this southern gem,” said Southwest Florida Yachts co-owner Barb Hansen.  “With four cabins and two heads, “Southern Comfort” will take the whole family and more in style through the islands of Southwest Florida.” She is well-equipped with a generator, air conditioning, AM/FM stereo with CD player, refrigerator/freezer, stove with oven, full complement of Raymarine electronics, dinghy with motor and more.  

Summer rates for chartering “Southern Comfort” are $3,192 per week.  Winter charters are $3,989 weekly.  Southwest Florida Yachts is offering special summer charter discounts of 5% on June Charters, 10% off for charters in July, 12% off of August charters and September charters are reduced by 15%. All charters must be three days or longer and must begin and end in the month of promotion.

For more information, visit , email: , “like” us (Southwest Florida Yachts or Florida Sailing and Cruising School) on Facebook or call: 239/257-2788 or 800/262-7939.  The address is 6095 Silver King Boulevard, Cape Coral, Florida 33914.





To increase the quality of our service department and communications with our customers, a service management change has been made. Our new service manager is Robert Valdes, and Erik Hausch has moved to the boat yard as Supervisor, to oversee the day to day operations and work closer with our techs. The decision to have this management change was recommended by Erik Hausch, who believed he would be most effective for the Sailor’s Wharf working closer with our techs on a day to day basis. Erik is a graduate of the Landing School of Boatbuilding and Design, Kennebunk, Maine. His family did extensive cruising on the East Coast and Bahamas. Erik is an ABYC Master Technician (marine systems, marine electrical and marine corrosion), as a licensed USGC Captain served as captain of a large motor yacht, and managed Florida Yacht Charters & Sailing School.

Robert Valdes is a second generation boat builder; his father worked with Vince Lazzara, founder of Gulfstar, and was a co-founder of Endeavor Yachts. Rob grew up in the boat industry; he was born in Newport Beach, California. He started in the yachting industry at an early age.  His summer jobs included rigging and hull lamination then graduated into commissioning and boat delivery.  These experiences evolved into yacht manufacturing, from sailing vessels, both mono-hull and multi-hull, to sport fishers and 50 meter mega yachts.  He has honed his skills in all disciplines of marine construction. After many years in the industry, he landed at Sailor’s Wharf. He started first as a yacht ABCY repair technician, and then moved into a project management position that focused on new boat commissioning, custom interiors and customer satisfaction.

Robert Valdes, as our new Service  Manager,  and Erik Hausch, as our new Boat Yard Supervisor are both committed to providing the superior service that has made Sailor’s Wharf Yacht Yard the premier yacht yard it is today.

J. Jopie Helsen
Sailors Wharf Yacht Yard
1421 Bay Street SE
St. Petersburg FL 33701
TEL: 727-823-1155, ext. 206
FAX: 727-895-4305
CELL: 727-439-5460
Celebrating 38 Years 1978 - 2016




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   954-475-9068

Link to high res photos


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.

Contact: LLGF, phone 954-475-9068, fax 954-474-7299, email: , website: , Facebook: 

Contact: (954) 475-9068; email ; website ; Facebook .

 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.





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.



From Wednesday, April 20th at 9 a.m. – Wednesday, May 4th 6 p.m.:

Flagler Dr. Closed between Banyan Blvd. and Lakeview Ave. Narcissus Ave. between Evernia St. and Datura St. North Clematis St. between Lantana Ave. and Flagler Dr.

Evernia St. between Narcissus Ave. and Flagler Dr.

Sunday, May 1 from 9 p.m. – 11 p.m.:
(Limited Access) Australian Ave. to West Bound Okeechobee Blvd. will be closed.



June Fraklin County Events


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.


Full Moon Climb June 20 

Climb to the top of the Cape St. George Light to watch the sunset and the rise of the full moon. The Sunset/Full Moon Climb includes light hors d'oeuvres and a sparkling cider toast to the full moon.  Because space is limited, reservations are recommended.  Click here for more.


Fish Free In June 

You can fish free in state saltwater areas June 4-5. The State’s free fishing days in June for freshwater areas is June 11-12. Free fishing days provide an excellent opportunity for parents who don’t yet have licenses to take youth fishing, or avid anglers to introduce a friend to fishing without having to purchase a license. On these days, the fishing license requirement is waived for all recreational anglers (residents and non-residents).

Need more good fishing news? The recreational red snapper season in Gulf state waters is now open through July 10. The season opened for the popular recreational fish on May 28. The recreational season for gag grouper runs through June 30 in waters off of Franklin County.


Fishing Tourneys 

Here are a few of the upcoming fishing tournaments scheduled throughout the county.

June 11 - Fisherman's Choice Youth Fishing Tournament. Charles and Rex Pennycuff will host their 16th annual Fisherman's Choice Youth Fishing Tournament on June 11th. Kids 16 and under will fish for fresh and saltwater species. Each entry receives a t-shirt, and after the tournament, entrees are invited to attend a cookout at Fisherman's Choice in Eastpoint. Entry is free and generally about 200 kids sign up.

June 11-12 - Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce Bass Tournament 

Inaugural Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce Bass Tournament, this is a two day event with weigh–ins on both Saturday and Sunday. $60 per boat entry fee, boats can have up to two persons fishing. Cash Prizes going to the top three total weights.

June 17-19 - Annual Big Bend Saltwater Classic The Moorings of Carrabelle will host the 28th Annual Big Bend Classic on Father's Day Weekend, June 17th through the 19th, 2016   All of the proceeds from the Big Bend Saltwater Classic are used to develop artificial reefs in the Northeastern Gulf of Mexico.

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.

For a complete list of tournaments planned for later this summer as well as other events in the county, click here . For area marina, charter and general fishing information, click here.


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.

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June 2016 Section B

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