Environment

Hunter Safety Internet Completion Course Offered in Clay

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is offering a free hunter safety Internet completion course in Clay County.

The course will be at the Clay County Fairgrounds in Green Cove Springs. Instruction will take place Feb. 10 from 6 to 10 p.m. The range portion will be Feb. 12, from 8 a.m. until noon at the Bradford Sportsman Farm in Graham.

Bird Disease Detected in State

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is currently monitoring a Virulent Exotic Newcastle Disease diagnosis which occurred in Cormorants in Pinellas County last week.  Exotic Newcastle Disease is an extremely contagious and fatal foreign avian disease that affects most bird species but is not life threatening to humans.  Human contact with Exotic Newcastle Disease may cause minor irritations such as pink eye or skin irritations.

February 2nd Clay County Habitat for Humanity ReStore ReOpening

The ReStore of the Clay County Habitat for Humanity (CCHH) affiliate will celebrate a ReOpening on Groundhog Day, February 2nd, 2011, with a Clay County Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting to showcase store improvements, and new affordable housing initiatives being detailed. One of the many ReStore highlights we’ll be celebrating is the fact that because of 2010 donations from Clay
County residents and vendors to our ReStore, we’ve saved 3,579 cubic yards of materials (beds, doors, mattresses, TV’s, etc.) from landing in the landfill – the equivalent of 549 male African elephants!

High School Students: Time to Enter Manatee Art Contest

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) invites high school art students across the state to participate in a contest to create a piece of manatee artwork that will be used on the 2011-2012 manatee decal.

Students in grades 9-12 in Florida should coordinate with their school’s art teacher to submit the artwork, because each school may submit no more than five entries. Home-schooled students also are eligible to enter the contest. Contest details and forms are available online at MyFWC.com/Manatee.

Atlantic Snook Harvest Closes Dec. 15; Catch and Release Still OK

The recreational harvest of snook will close in all Atlantic coastal and inland waters, including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River, beginning on Dec. 15.  The annual winter harvest season closure of snook in these areas, which normally ends on Feb. 1, has been extended until Sept. 1, 2011, by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) due to the prolonged cold weather that impacted snook in Florida earlier this year.

Get to Know the “Five P’s” of Cold Weather Safety

Florida Division of Emergency Management officials are again urging all residents and visitors throughout Florida to prepare for temperatures near or below the freezing mark tonight through Wednesday morning. The National Weather Service has issued a Hard Freeze Warning for all of North and Central Florida, and also for Glades, Hendry and Palm Beach counties.  A Freeze Warning has also been issued for the rest of South Florida. The entire state is under either a Wind Chill Advisory or Warning, depending on the location.
 
According to Division of Emergency Management Director David Halstead. “It is vital that all residents and visitors remember the “Five P’s” of cold weather safety: Protect People, Protect Plants, Protect Pets, Protect Exposed Pipes, and Practice Fire Safety.”

Red Snapper Fishing is Prohibited in South Atlantic Federal Waters

NOAA Fisheries Service extended the prohibition of commercial and recreational fishing for red snapper in all federal waters of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and the Atlantic coast of Florida.  It is illegal to fish for, possess, or harvest red snapper from these waters.