Environment

N. Florida Spotted Seatrout Season Reopens March 1

The recreational harvest season for spotted seatrout in northern Florida reopens on March 1.  This means all Florida waters will be open to the sport harvest of spotted seatrout beginning in March.

Spotted seatrout harvest is prohibited in February in Atlantic Ocean waters north of the Flagler-Volusia county line to the Florida-Georgia border and in Gulf of Mexico waters north of a line running due west from the westernmost point of Fred Howard Park Causeway, which is about 1.17 miles south of the Pinellas/Pasco county line, to the Florida-Alabama border.  This one-month closure helps maintain spotted seatrout abundance.

FWC Proposes Catch-and-Release Only for Bonefish

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) proposed draft rules on Wednesday that would allow only catch-and-release fishing for bonefish, a premier saltwater game fish in Florida.  The proposed rules would also establish new provisions regarding the possession of bonefish by anglers and the possession and transport of bonefish during bonefish fishing tournaments.

Greenscape's Flowering Tree Sale

Twenty four years of providing quality plant material will be celebrated as the Greenscape Flowering Tree Sale gets underway at 7am. The sale will take place in a parking lot located in the southeast quadrant of the intersection of Emerson Street and Phillips Highway (US 1). Plan to come early as past years often sell out. This annual event provides deeply discounted trees to the public and serves as a fundraiser for Greenscape of Jacksonville, the local non-profit tree planting volunteer organization. By Mayoral Proclamation, the Flowering Tree Sale is Jacksonville’s official Arbor Day.

FWC Proposes Increase to Red Drum Bag Limit in Northern Florida

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) on Wednesday proposed a draft rule that would raise the recreational daily red drum bag limit from one fish to two per person in northern Florida.  In addition, the FWC is proposing to create three regional management areas for red drum and establish a statewide eight-fish red drum daily vessel limit.  The Commission also intends to develop ways to modify the red drum off-the-water possession limit.

‘Climate Change and Human Health: An Evening with Experts’ at UNF

The University of North Florida Environmental Center, Duval County Medical Society and the Florida Medical Association, in partnership with the American Medical Association and the Center for Health and Global Environment at Harvard Medical School, invite the public to a free health forum “Climate Change and Human Health: An Evening with Experts” from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23, at the UNF University Center on campus.
 
The public health forum helps physicians, health professionals and citizens better understand the science of climate change, the link between global climate change and local health issues, and the mitigating actions that can be taken in our daily lives and in public health policy. This program is open to the medical community, students and the general public.

Mandarin Rabies Alert

Duval County’s first rabies alert for the year has been issued for the Mandarin area. The alert is in effect through May 14, 2011.

The rabies alert area is bordered on the north by San Jose Boulevard at Claire Lane, on the south by Julington Creek at Longview Drive South, on the east by Hood Landing Road at Old St. Augustine Road, and on the west by Orange Picker Road at Brady Road.

St. Johns Riverkeeper Releases Results of GP Pipeline Review

Recently, St. Johns RIVERKEEPER® hired a team of water quality and engineering experts to conduct a technical peer review of a key Georgia-Pacific (GP) study that is being used to validate the need for a pipeline to the St. Johns River. The results of this independent engineering analysis indicate that the Georgia-Pacific study is incomplete and does not adequately address important questions regarding GP’s wastewater effluent and treatment ponds.  The peer review recommends that a final decision regarding the proposed pipeline should be immediately put on hold until a more comprehensive and independent technical-economic analysis can be performed.