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News Releases for DEP's Florida Coastal Office - 2014 Highlights
  • Rookery Bay Reserve Hosts Geographic Information System Symposium (10/17/14) - Today, more than 100 professionals attended the Fourth Annual GIS Symposium at the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center. This daylong event has grown over the years to become one of the top GIS events in southwest Florida.
     
  • GTM Research Reserve Marineland Offers Lecture on Invasive Lionfish (10/13/14) - The Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve invites the public to a free lecture, "Ecology, Impacts and Control of Invasive Lionfish," on Tuesday, Oct. 21 from 10 - 11 a.m. at the GTM Research Reserve Marineland field office.
     
  • Nearly $2 Million Investement Made in Indian River Lagoon Protection (10/13/14) - In an effort to continue reducing pollutants reaching the Indian River Lagoon system, the city of Rockledge has secured funding assistance from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the St. Johns River Water Management District to remove 143 septic tanks.
     
  • Mangroves, Docks and Shoreline Stabilization Workshop Comes to GTM Reserve (10/8/14) - The Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Northeast District is offering training for individuals interested in mangroves and preserving natural coastal resources. The training will be held at the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve on Oct. 15.
     
  • Gov. Scott: Florida Gulf Coast Restoration Moving Forward (10/7/14) - Governor Rick Scott announced the funding of the third and largest set of early restoration projects, as approved by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees. Nearly $88 million represents 28 projects, which will take place throughout many communities along the Panhandle. Additionally, two U.S. Department of the Interior projects will take place at Gulf Islands National Seashore in Escambia County and total approximately $15 million.
     
  • St. Joseph Bay Buffer Preserves Celebrates the Bay (10/6/14) - Community members celebrate the beauty of the bay at the St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve's Bay Day celebration by participating in tram tours through the heart of the preserve, shoreline and kayak excursions, birding and nature walks, and a traditional low country boil. More than 160 attendees enjoyed the Bay Day celebration on Oct. 4, 2014, at the St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve visitor's center.
     
  • Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserves Celebrate 40 Years of Protection (10/6/14) - A month-long celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserves continues to bring much-needed attention to one of the state's treasured natural resources. The "Soiree by the Bay," held Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014, at the Deering Estate at Cutler, featured the beauty and history of the aquatic preserves in pictures, art, video and storytelling.
     
  • Apalachicola Research Reserve Offers Panhandle Habitat Courses (10/2/14) - The Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve (ANERR) offers professional-level classes for coastal decision-makers, working professionals and concerned citizens throughout October and November. The Panhandle Habitat series of classes offers three different topics: estuaries, barrier islands, and rivers and floodplains.
     
  • GTM Research Reserve Celebrates National Estuaries Day (10/1/14) - Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard Jr. joined more than 365 community members for Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve's National Estuaries Day celebration, "FAMILY EcoMENTALITY," on Sept., 27.
     
  • St. Martins Marsh Aquatic Preserve Hosts National Estuaries Day Celebration (10/1/14) - More than 150 visitors celebrate National Estuaries Day by learning firsthand about the local estuarine community of St. Martins Marsh Aquatic Preserve. This event took place on Sept. 27 in partnership with the Citrus County School District's Marine Science Station.
     
  • Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Preserves Participates in 'Operation Safe Passage' (9/30/14) - The Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Preserves will take part in a multi-agency effort to remove fallen trees that have become navigational hazards in the North Fork of the St. Lucie River. "Operation Safe Passage" takes place Oct. 1-2 from 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
     
  • Apalachicola Research Reserve Celebrates the Estuary (9/30/14) - The Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve (ANERR) hosted its annual National Estuaries Day Celebration on Friday, Sept. 26, in Eastpoint. Approximately 618 visitors interacted with more than 25 staff from ANERR, along with 57 adult volunteers and 13 student volunteers.
     
  • Rookery Bay Reserve Hosts National Estuaries Day (9/30/14) - Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve welcomed 450 adults and 150 children for its annual celebration of estuaries, the special places where rivers meet the sea. The event engaged visitors in the enjoyment of coastal resources through staff-narrated boat tours, kayaking and paddle boarding on Henderson Creek, as well as food and live music.
     
  • GTM Research Reserve Participates in World's Largest Volunteer Beach Cleanup (9/26/14) - Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve is now free from 43 bags of waste thanks to the hard work of more than 78 volunteers. The trash was collected as part of the 29th annual International Coastal Cleanup.
     
  • Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserves Hosts International Coastal Cleanup (9/23/14) - The Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserves continues its efforts to keep Biscayne Bay clean through its annual participation in the Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup Day. Last Saturday, a total of 112 volunteers in 24 groups picked up 53 bags of trash along protected mangrove shorelines throughout the Pelican Harbor Marina site.
     
  • GTM Research Reserve Celebrates National Estuaries Day (9/23/14) - Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve hosts its National Estuaries Day celebration, "Family EcoMENTALITY," on Saturday, Sept. 27, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Environmental Education Center. Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard Jr. will attend the celebration and welcome guests to the event.
     
  • Celebrate National Estuaries Day at Florida's Research Reserves and Aquatic Preserves (9/18/14) - The celebration that recognizes the importance of estuaries - the habitat where rivers meet the sea - takes place the final weekend in September on National Estuaries Day at four locations in Florida: Guana Tolomato Matanzas NERR, Apalachicola NERR, Rookery Bay NERR and St. Martins Marsh Aquatic Preserve.
     
  • Charity Fishing Tournament to Benefit Rookery Bay Reserve (9/15/14) - The Friends of Rookery Bay and Coastal Conservation Association of Florida are jointly hosting the Guardian Anglers Charity Fishing Tournament on Nov. 7-8, 2014.
     
  • Rookery Bay Reserve Participates in World Shorebirds Day (9/12/14) - Rookery Bay Reserve staff and volunteers count more than 600 shorebirds for an online database as part of the inaugural World Shorebirds Day.
     
  • Rookery Bay Reserve Seeks Motivated Volunteers (9/4/14) - Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is seeking 10 to 15 new volunteers who are year-round Florida residents. Volunteering allows participants to learn about the local environment while helping the state of Florida preserve natural resources and cultural heritage for future generations. Volunteers at Rookery Bay Reserve have the opportunity to assist in many areas including research, education, resource management, facilities and administration.
     
  • Mangrove Restoration Study Underway in Rookery Bay Reserve (9/2/14) - Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve has entered into a research partnership with the U.S. Geological Service (USGS) to conduct a long-term study of a mangrove die-off area near Goodland. USGS awarded funding to this project for a minimum of three years to assess the 225-acre hydrologic restoration, partially underway, at Fruit Farm Creek.
     
  • GTM Research Reserve Announces Successful Derelict Crab Trab Removal (8/27/14) - Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve announced that the Northeast Florida Aquatic Preserves conducted their first derelict crab trap removal event from Aug. 21-23, 2014. This successful removal of 27 traps was a collaborative effort of the Northeast Florida Aquatic Preserves, the GTM Research Reserve, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and Neil Armingeon, Matanzas Riverkeeper.
     
  • GTM Research Reserve Marineland Hosts Mangrove Workshop (8/27/14) - Today, the GTM Research Reserve's Coastal Training Program and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Northeast District educated more than 25 people during the free workshop, "Living with Mangroves," held at the Marineland Field Office.
     
  • Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve Management Plan Approved by Acquisition and Restoration Council (8/15/14) - The Acquisition and Restoration Council today approved the 10-year management plan for Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve located in Lee County and encompassing 11,000 acres of exceptionally beautiful sovereign submerged lands.
     
  • GTM Research Reserve Seeking Volunteers (8/14/14) - Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve will host a volunteer orientation meeting on Saturday, Aug. 23 at the GTM Environmental Education Center. Anyone interested in volunteering in a natural setting with a focus on conservation is encouraged to attend.
     
  • Keewaydin Island Ranked as One of the World's Top 10 Secret Beaches (8/13/14) - Keewaydin Island, located within the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, was recently named by CNN online as one of the world's "Top Ten Secret Beaches."
     
  • Invasive Lionfish Focus of Upcoming Apalachicola Reserve Workshop (8/12/14) - Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Lionfish Action Control Team are partnering to raise awareness about the invasive lionfish. Local fishing guide, Grayson Shepard, will talk with the public about the recent increase in population of the invasive lionfish during a Sci-Cafe Aug. 14 at Tamara's Tapas Bar and Grill in Apalachicola. Free, cooked lionfish samples will be offered, with sides and drinks available for purchase.
     
  • Celebrate National Wildlife Day with Local Artist at Rookery Bay (8/11/14) - Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center will offer buy one, get one free admission in honor of National Wildlife Day on Sept. 4. Events include a live painting demonstration and guided tour of wildlife artwork in the art gallery with local artist Linda Soderquist.
     
  • Rookery Bay to Host Mangroves Trimming Regulations Workshop (8/4/14) - Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve will host a learning opportunity for landscape professionals focusing on responsible mangrove maintenance on August 14.
     
  • Celebrate Smokey Bear's Birthday at Rookery Bay Reserve (8/4/14) - Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve will offer buy one, get one free admission in honor of Smokey Bear's 70th birthday on August 8. Since 1944, this legendary bear has reminded us of the dangers of forest fires and how we can do our part to prevent them.
     
  • Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Making Progress (7/25/14) - Approval of this process means council members can begin submitting projects as early as next month, with project-vetting activities taking place later this fall. The Council will invest in specific actions, projects and programs that can be carried out in the near-term to help ensure on-the-ground results to restore the overall health of the ecosystem.
     
  • DEP Invites Residents, Visitors to "Discover Florida Wild" (7/16/14) - State agencies, VISIT Florida launched an online recreation gateway. The portal allows visitors to link to state agencies managing more than 700 natural springs, 825 miles of beaches and 10,000 miles of hiking, paddling, equestrian and biking trails.
     
  • Residents from Across the State Create Support Organization for Aquatic Preserves (6/27/14) - A new statewide citizen support organization (CSO), the Aquatic Preserve Society, has been formed to promote the protection of Florida's 41 aquatic preserves.
     
  • Summer Means Science for DEP's Coral Reef Program and Southeast Florida Community (6/25/14) - This summer the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) will gather valuable scientific information about southeast Florida's coral reefs through citizen science programs, as well as staff research dives.
     
  • Rare Plant Species Blossom After Prescribed Burn (6/23/14) - Several new sites of five rare plants were recently discovered at St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve after a prescribed burn.
     
  • Famous Diver Partners to Increase Coral Reef Awareness (6/23/14) - Philippe Cousteau Jr, the grandson of legendary Jacques Cousteau, recorded a 30-second public service announcement promoting the importance of Florida's coral reefs and advocated support for the "Our Florida Reefs" community planning process.
     
  • Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserves to Celebrate 40 Years of Protection (6/20/14) - In October, Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserves will celebrate its 40th anniversary, and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Florida Coastal Office invites you to join in on the festivities.
     
  • State Approved Purchase of 155 Acres for Conservation (6/17/14) - The Florida Cabinet approved the purchase of more than 155 acres of property adjacent to Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park which helps protect Wekiva River Aquatic Preserve.
     
  • Active Duty Military and their Families Receive Free Admission to GTM Research Reserve this Summer (6/16/14) - Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve will participate this summer in Blue Star Museums. Free admission will be offered to the nation's activy duty military personnel from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2014.
     
  • Summer Science Camp Bridges Learning Gap - GTM Research Reserve (6/6/14) - The Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve is hosting numerous science-based activities and events for students. Events include summer camps, engaging educational lectures and exhibits.
     
  • Summer Science Camp Bridges Learning Gap - Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (6/6/14) - Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is hosting numerous science-based activities and events for students. Events include engaging educational lectures, a watercolor exhibit and free admission for several events.
     
  • Florida Sea Turtle Nesting Season is Here (5/22/14) - Sea turtle nesting has begun in Florida and will continue through the end of October.
     
  • Guy Harvey Brings Awareness to Florida Reefs (5/8/14) - The DEP's Coral Reef Conservation Program premiered a series of six 30-second public service announcements (PSAs) today focusing on southeast Florida coral reefs and the Our Florida Reefs Community Planning Process. Among the diverse group of talent featured in the PSAs was world-renowned marine life artist Guy Harvey, as well as local celebrities and reef users.
     
  • Rookery Bay Research Reserve, Discovery Channel Honor Students for Film Projects (5/1/14) - DEP's Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve hosted the Second Annual Lely High School Marine Science Student Film Premiere.With the reserve as the backdrop, 30 teams of students interviewed scientists and educators to learn about local environmental issues. In partnership with Discovery Education, the students also worked with the Discovery Channel's associate producers on the mechanics of making a film.
     
  • DEP's Northwest District and Aquatic Preserves Host Shoreline Cleanup in Celebration of Earth Day (4/22/14) - DEP's Northwest District and Northwest Florida Aquatic Preserves hosted a shoreline cleanup at "Project GreenShores" in celebration of Earth Day. More than 60 volunteers collected 39 bags of trash during the three hour event.
     
  • Big Bend Seagrasses Aquatic Preserve Management Plan Approved by Acquisition and Restoration Council (4/11/14) - The Big Bend Seagrasses Aquatic Preserve Management Plan was approved by the Acquisition and Restoration Council. The Council is responsible for reviewing the management plans and land use for all state-owned conservation lands, as well as the selection and ranking of land acquisition projects on the Florida Forever priority list.
     
  • DEP Participates in the 14th Annual Oceans Day at the Capitol (4/9/14) - The DEP participated in the 14th annual celebration of Florida Oceans Day at the Capitol. This year's theme, "Tomorrow's Ocean Workforce," highlighted the contributions of the ocean and coastal economy for job creation in the Sunshine State.
     
  • Coral Reef Conservation Program Community Working Group Meetings Begin (3/17/14) - The Our Florida Reefs community planning process for Florida's coral reefs focuses on the northern third of the Florida reef tract stretching more than 100 miles from Key Biscayne to the St. Lucie Inlet. The working group members will meet monthly for a year to review the latest science on Southeast Florida's coral reefs and work together to make management recommendations.
     
  • Governor Scott, Cabinet Approve Rookery Bay Reserve Management Plan (3/6/14) - Governor Scott and the Florida Cabinet approved the ten year plan for Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, a 110,000-acre site of forests, uplands and waters in Southwest Florida.
     
  • GTM Research Reserve Hosts State of the Reserve (2/20/14) - The Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve hosted its third annual State of the Reserve Friday at the Environmental Education Center in Ponte Vedra Beach, focusing on research that examined water quality, habitats and species within estuarine and marine environments.
     
  • Apalachicola NERR Staff, Volunteers Help Rescue 127 Cold-Stunned Turtles (1/31/14) - Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve staff members, along with staff from the University of Florida, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission staff, and volunteers patrolled the southwest corner of St. Joe Bay on shore and by boat on Thursday and Friday to search and rescue cold-stunned sea turtles.

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Last updated: October 17, 2014

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