Bay scallops (Argopecten irradians) may have a short life, typically only living for about a year, but they play a big role in the economies of many coastal, Floridian towns, like Steinhatchee and Port St. Joe. In 2016, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (MyFWC) biologists began a 10-year project to restore bay scallops in Florida’s Panhandle. The initial effort for this restoration project is focused in St. Joseph and St. Andrew Bays. If you are a member of the community surrounding St. Joseph or St. Andrew Bay, you can help by volunteering to become a ‘scallop-sitter’ and maintain your own cage with scallops in your bay!
Project Goal: To increase depleted scallop populations in some bays and reintroduce scallops in other suitable areas from which scallops have disappeared.
How we restore scallops
FWC biologists place wild and hatchery-raised scallops in cages in the bay.
Cages protect scallops from predation.
Cages likely increase the number of offspring produced, increasing the population size over time.
Volunteers will maintain scallops in cages from April 2018 – Jan 2019.
Cages will be placed either on your own private dock or in the bay using a boat or kayak.
FWC will provide cages, scallops, and training during our workshop in April 2018.
Together, we will help restore scallops in these bays.
What does it take to be a volunteer?
1) Live near St. Andrew or St. Joseph Bay from April 2018 – January 2019.
2) Access to the Bay: either a private dock, boat or kayak.
3) Willing and able to clean scallop shells once a month.
4) Attend or view via webinar FWC’s Scallop Restoration Workshop in April 2018.
If you are interested in becoming a scallop sitter in Gulf or Bay county please email us.
Gulf County, in cooperation with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (MyFWC) and Waste Pro, has developed a plan to install bear resistant clips to existing trash receptacles, in order to reduce human-bear conflicts. The following information is available on this pilot program:
Gulf County will purchase a kit (set of 2 metal gate hasps and installation hardware) to be installed on either side of a regular 96-gallon tote, which will be attached to both the lid and the can. Residents can obtain the kits as follows:
1. Residents can pick them up at Gulf County EDC/Grants at 1000 Cecil G Costin Sr Blvd, Port St. Joe, Monday-Thursday from 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., E.T.
2. Each resident will be required to fill out a form stating their name, address and the number of kits received, along with their signature verifying their correct information and receipt of the product. (Application)
3. Applications must be returned to Gulf County BOCC, Administration, Attention: Lianna Sagins, 1000 Cecil G. Costin Sr., Blvd., Room 312, Port St. Joe, FL 32456. (850) 229-6144, Monday-Thursday, 7:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m., E.T.
4. Residents are responsible for installing the equipment on the cans. The procedure on trash day will be that the resident will unlock the can(s) on the morning of trash pick-up. This program will only work if everyone works together in order to create a smooth transition.
First, the public has an unique opportunity to really enjoy a variety of amenities at Salinas Park because of the funding being brought to this area from the Gulf Spill Restoration program. This opportunity to have a say in what amenities should be included in upgrading Salinas Park is discussed a little further down.
But first, there are some exciting amenities being added to the Salinas Park. One such new feature is an impressive elevated boardwalk which will extend along the new 6.6 acres of land that will be added to Salinas Park. This boardwalk will be a great attraction to the park. A description of the boardwalk is as follows:
Three trail heads near the adjacent road comprised of a 450-square foot concrete pad and a few amenities such as a trash receptacle, bike rack and repair stand, bike pump, water misting station, and water fountain. The trailheads are to be strategically located to support access from the adjacent paved trail.
Elevated boardwalk of 10 feet x 1,200 lineal feet (12,000 square feet), including:
10-foot wide elevated wood boardwalk at 1percent grade, rising to 13 feet above grade.
300 square-foot observation platform at 13.6 feet above grade.
300 square-foot observation platform at 14feet above grade.
A peak 400 square-foot observation platform at 15 feet above grade with seating.
A 140 square-foot platform for maintenance vehicle turn around.
Trail extension from the existing parking area in Salinas Park to the trailhead (made of shell). See photo below.
We are so excited about this new park feature!
Second, which is a very important part of this project and kind of like the elephant in the room, are the courts that will be added to Salinas Park. As is shown in the photo, the courts that are currently but tentatively included in the draft plans are pickleball courts. There is a push being made for adding pickleball courts but not really including any other type of court to the park through this funding. However, other courts can most certainly be included in the new amenities of the park. For this to be accomplished though, the public needs to submit their recommendations to the National Park Service. This can be done here:
When giving your recommendation(s), you do not have to provide your name–just what amenity you would prefer to see or what you would think is the best amenity or amenities for Salinas Park.
For example, do you think a basketball court, a tennis court, a full ecotourism playground (see photo), a pickleball court, all of the above, remove one from the list, etc, etc would be great to include in the upgrading of Salinas Park? Then, by all means, send that recommendation to the National Park Service. THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTING RECOMMENDATIONS IS DECEMBER 8TH.
By having a variety of court options, locals will have a variety of amenities to enjoy throughout the year with their family and friends in a beautiful location. What courts would appeal to the locals who are here full-time? If you are a local, what appeals to you?
Something else to keep in mind is this: Demographics. By far, the largest demographic of people who visit our beautiful peninsula are family units between Spring and Fall. These families consists of parents with younger children and parents on vacation with their older children who are in their 20s and 30s but they fill up Cape San Blas. No other time is Cape San Blas filled up like it is in season. What would be some of the amenities that would appeal to the largest group of people–the families–who visit the area? What would your family enjoy the most?
One suggestion at the meeting was to build a tennis court and then include the lines for a pickleball court inside the tennis court. This is done at other parks and it is easy to do because a tennis court is considerably larger than a pickleball court.
At the end of the day, it is important to think about what options will appeal to the most people: having only one type of court or a variety of courts? It is up to the people who would like to see a variety of courts brought to Salinas Park to make that known by submitting their recommendation to the National Park Service. Because the deadline for submitting recommendations is December 8th, we are going to keep our poll going concerning Salinas Park’s enhancement until December 8th. You can participate in the poll here:
Atlantis, El Dorado, etc. These are popular lost cities as part of legends. Some of these lost cities disappearances were said to be caused by usually strong natural disasters. For example, a huge earthquake was said to sink Atlantis to the bottom of the ocean.
However, what people are not so acquainted with is Gulf County’s, in particularly Port St Joe’s, perplexing history in the 1800s and how some of the events that took place almost 200 years ago still effect Gulf County today. We are referring to a real place that has come to be called The Lost City—St. Joseph.
The Largest City in Florida—For Real?!
In 1838, St. Joseph, now called Port St. Joe, was the largest city in Florida with some 12,000 people—Port St. Joe was larger in 1838 than today even 179 years later! Wealthy businessmen from Apalachicola moved to establish St. Joseph. Unlike Apalachicola, since a major river did not empty into St. Joseph Bay, these men built a railroad to support the economy. In fact, Port St. Joe was home to the first railroad in Florida.
In 1838, because of its prominence, Florida’s constitution was drafted, not at the capital of Florida-Tallahassee, but in Port St. Joe. Six years later, Florida officially became the 27th state. The city had wealth, a beautiful environment, magnificent homes, thriving businesses, etc. How could it get any better?
When Yellow Was The New Black
As soon as Port St. Joe began to bask in its success and prominence, an unexpected turn of events followed. The economy sank. In just a few years the population dropped from 12,000 in 1838 to around 5,000-6,000 in 1841.
Then, in 1841, Yellow Fever blanketed the city. The illness spared no one—rich, poor, white, black, men, women, farmer, politician, child, elder, etc. After Yellow Fever struck in 1841, Port St. Joe was left with a population of only about 400 or so in 1842. While humans at this time in history seemed to thrive off of separating each other based on race, gender, etc, nature, via Yellow Fever, powerfully demonstrated and reminded everyone that all humans are equal.
Bet You Didn’t Know: To this day, Port St. Joe currently maintains segregated cemeteries—Forest Hill is used for black people and Holly Hill used for white people. Though, technically and legally, anyone today can purchase a lot in either cemetery—in practice physically, socially and culturally, the cemeteries do not mix races. The practice of segregation at death is very much alive…no pun intended.
There is also a historical cemetery in Port St. Joe that was designated for those who died due to the grievous Yellow Fever.
To make matters worse, in the Fall of 1841, a fire ravaged the town and forest in St. Joseph.
Hurricane and “Tidal Wave”
In 1844, a hurricane swept through Port St. Joe. This devastated what was remaining of the city. After this, Port St. Joe basically became non-existent. The storm surge was so powerful, that many people describe what happened as a “tidal wave”.
Natural Disasters or Divine Retribution?
Though most people today would say that Port St. Joe was the victim of an unprecedented sequence of natural events with no divine hand attached to it, to many in the 1800s, the intense and unusual series of events that resulted in the demise of Port St. Joe was on the level of Biblical proportions—as if God was pushing the city for corruption of all kinds. As a wealthy port city, it encompassed all the vices that come with that designation. St. Joseph was known as “sin city”. Clergymen from around the country preached that God had destroyed the city.
A Chicago newspaperman wrote: “The sun shone brightly over the wrecked ambitious work of man. Death’s Angel, the hurricane, had completed the work begun by its brother, Pestilence (yellow fever), and buried beneath the sands of the sea, or swept to the four winds of Heaven, all that remained of the proud young city of St. Joseph.” (George Mortimer West in his story published in 1922 entitled, “Old St. Jo.”)
Port St. Joe now stands as a popular small town in which scores of people travel through, especially going to Cape San Blas, FL. It has bounced back in many ways, in particularly with respect to tourism. While it in no way is close to the largest city in Florida, it maintains unique charm that large cities cannot touch.
It is hoped that history will not repeat itself when it comes to the previous series of natural disasters that destroyed The Lost City.
Turtle Season, Red Snapper Season, Scallop Season, etc all of these are seasons people look forward to, get excited about and are happy to experience. However, there is another season that has just the opposite affect on people: Hurricane Season.
Hurricane Season runs from June 1 to November 30. Unlike some natural disasters, though, people can have a good game plan, in which, if a strong enough hurricane does strike, people can be reasonably prepared to function if power and water are not immediately made available after the storm.
With that in mind, attached is a simple Hurricane Preparedness Checklist. This basic checklist can prove to be invaluable if or when a hurricane makes landfall. Here are 5 tips to help reduce stress in the event of a hurricane (See Infographic Below):
Medical Supplies: Have at least 30 days worth of medicine and medical supplies set aside. Prescriptions should be filled well before the storm hits.
Money: Have cash on hand. With no electricity or power, ATMs and credit cards will not work.
Car & Gasoline: Fill up your vehicle and possibly a gas can. If the power goes out, you will be unable to get gas. Also, if you have a generator, fill it up with gas.
Batteries & Communication: Make sure that cell phones, tablets, radios, etc are all fully charged and that there are backups of batteries.
Food & Water: There should be enough food and water to last each person for a week.
There are also other factors that you may wish to consider and become familiar with such as the evacuation routes, the contact information of various emergency or law enforcement establishments, etc. Pertaining to Gulf County, FL, important local contact information would include:
#1: Are there Sharks in the water on Cape San Blas, FL?
Now, unless Cape San Blas has a magical forcefield that keeps all the sharks that are in the Gulf of Mexico away from the water surrounding Cape San Blas with all of its yummy fish and other marine life to eat, then the answer to the question is: Yes, there are sharks in the water around Cape San Blas.
#2: Can Scallops bite you?
Scallops have insanely large teeth that protrude outside their…yeah, we can’t do this…No, scallops cannot bite you! At least, not in the sense of biting in the form of attacking someone. Of course, scallops use jet propulsion to move from point A to point B. So, in that case, if a person were to stick his or her finger in the scallop’s mouth as it is swimming away…then, yes, it might just clamp down and “bite” you!
#3: What do I do if I see an Alligator?
Here is what you do. Ready? Nothing. You do nothing… Unless you wake up next to an alligator in your tent or bed…in that case you scream!
#4: How do you handle the heat from June to August?
That’s simple: We become a nudist colony.
#5: Why are there so many for sale signs?
That’s just our version of Survivor.
#6: How do I get off the island?
Well, how did you get on the “island”????
#7: Can I drive through the State Park to get pack to Port St Joe?
Of course, if your vehicle is a transformer in disguise!
#8: Why are there so many bugs in the Summer?
To help filter your blood…duh!
#9: Do you get hurricanes?
No, we are too north and landlocked to be hit by hurricanes.
#10: What is the Stump Hole?
In a land far far away exist a place where there are many tree stumps in the water.
Since 30E draft beer was a introduced in the Spring of 2016, it has been so well received, that Cone Heads 8020 decided to expand 30E beer a little. So, this year, Cone Heads 8020 will be making 30E beer available in Cans! That’s right! Soon, guests can enjoy the refreshing taste of 30E while they are on the beach, on the boat, at a picnic, camping, back at home, etc etc.
30E represents the beautiful, unspoiled and untouched world of Cape San Blas, FL. 30E is not just Old Florida but it is Original Florida. Because of this, we endeavored to captured the spirit or life force of Cape San Blas, FL in the design of the 30E beer can label.
Among the many natural features that make Cape San Blas, FL unique, one amazing facet is that the sun rises out of the water (the Bay) and sets back into the water (the Gulf). Thus, the slogan for 30E beer is: The Sun Rises & Sets on This Beer.
The description of the beer is: This laid-back ale pairs perfectly with life on Cape San Blas, FL. Pale yellow, the smooth malt profile and mild hop bitterness lingers like the Sun’s stroll from the Bay to the Beach.
The hashtag for 30E beer is #UnsurpassedCapeSanBlas. Why not include that hashtag in your future posts when visiting Cape San Blas, FL but especially when you are drinking 30E.
We truly hope that everyone will enjoy this relaxing taste of 30E! Below are images of the label. What do you think?
There is a field of study called Biomimetics. This is when scientists, engineers and others look to nature with the goal of copying or mimicking some of nature’s ingenious designs in order to develop products that are much more efficient, safe and environmentally responsible. Interestingly enough, some of the very animals found in nature that scientists, engineers and others have observed, studied and then created and designed machines or other products in imitation of these animals are found on and around Cape San Blas, FL. Take the Seagull for example.
Copying the Seagull’s Wings
Most people know that aircraft wings mimic that of birds, but did you know that researchers at the University of Florida “have built a prototype remote-controlled drone with a seagull’s ability to hover, dive and climb rapidly”? If a person stands or sits on the shore while on Cape San Blas, he or she will notice that Seagulls perform incredible flying maneuvers. Their aerobatic ability is the result of how they flex their wings at the elbows and shoulder joints. (New Scientist, Technology, “Is It a Bird, Is It a Plane . . . ,” September 3, 2005, p. 21.)
Seagulls have incredible aerobatic maneuvering abilities.
This 24-inch small prototype drone has the ability to hover and dive between tall buildings. It has such maneuvering capabilities that military personnel are interested in using technology like this drone in searching for chemical and biological weapons in large cities. Looking To The Seagull’s Feet
Did You Know: If a Seagull stands on ice, it will not freeze and that engineers have copied this amazing design? Seagulls are equipped with a neat feature: the Countercurrent Heat Exchanger.
How does this work?
When a Seagull stands on ice, the heat exchangers in its legs warm the blood as it returns from the bird’s cold feet.
When a Seagull stands on ice, the heat exchangers in its legs warm the blood as it returns from the bird’s cold feet.
Countercurrent Heat Exchange is when there are two pipes or tubes in close proximity to each other but warm fluid is running through a pipe or tube in one direction and at the same time a cool fluid is running through the different pipe or tube in a different direction.
Why is it important for the warm fluid and the cool fluid to run in opposite directions?
Because, if the warm and cool fluids run in the same direction, only about 50% of the heat from the warm fluid will transmit to the cool fluid to warm it. However, if the warm fluid and the cool fluid runs in the opposite directions, nearly all of the heat from the warm fluid will transmit to the cool fluid. When a Seagull stands on ice, the heat exchangers in its legs warm the blood as the cold blood from the Seagull’s feet circulate back to it body. This keeps the Seagull from freezing.
Ornithologist Gary Ritchison writes: “The principle of countercurrent heat exchange is so effective and ingenious that it has also been adapted in human engineering projects to avoid energy waste.” Arthur P. Fraas, a mechanical and aeronautical engineer, described this design as “one of the world’s most effective regenerative heat exchangers.”
Who knew mankind could learn so much from a Seagull!