Perdido Key news for April

April 2019 World Oceans Day Event Friday, June 7, 2019 PKA, along with the Friends of Pensacola State Parks, Florida State Park personnel, and the Perdido Key Area Chamber of Commerce are sponsoring a World Oceans Day Event at the West Use Area of the Perdido Key State Park on Friday, June 7, 2019, from 10 AM until 2 PM. Numerous ocean-related exhibits and presentations, including the Discovery Depot touch tank from the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station, will be on display along with sand sculpture by a local artist and sand sculpture contest for children. Please plan to support this environmentally focused PKA event.

Pensacola Bay Ferry Service to begin Easter Weekend Hornblower Maritime Services, the new operator of the two National Park Service Pensacola Bay ferries, hopes to begin service on Friday, April 19, 2019 following an aggressive training schedule. As in 2018, the ferries will operated between downtown Pensacola, Pensacola Beach, and Ft. Pickens. Ride prices will be $18 for adults all day with hop on, hop off tickets; $15 for active duty and retired military and senior citizens; and, $10 for students with college ID and children between 3 and 17. Group discounts will also be available. For more on the renewed ferry service, see the March 29, 2019 Pensacola News Journal article “Pensacola Bay Ferry operator announces new prices, schedule and start date for 2019 season” by Melissa Nelson Gabriel at https://www.pnj.com/story/news/2019/03/27/pensacola-ferries-2019-schedule-andprices-released/3291128002/.

Kayaking the Perdido River The Nature Conservancy plans to use $1 million of BP restitution money to create shelters and launches along the Perdido River. The river feeds Perdido Bay and “Our rivers are the lifeblood of the Gulf of Mexico,” said Daryl Boudreau of the Conservancy. To highlight the value and potential for enjoyment by visitors of the river systems in northern Escambia County, over 60 kayakers were making their way down the Perdido River to the Gulf of Mexico during the week of March 11. For more on this issue, see the March 13, 2019 Pensacola News Journal article “Paddling on Perdido River? Group pushes for kayak trail to highlight ‘unique and rare gem’” by Melissa Nelson Gabriel at https://www.pnj.com/story/news/local/pensacola/beaches/2019/03/13/perdido-riverkayak-trail-works-paddle-florida-trip-highlights-rare-gem/3139300002/.

Earthquakes on the Panhandle? Five small earthquakes were reported during March 2019 in the vicinity of the FloridaAlabama border, typically east of Flomaton, Alabama and not far from Jay, Florida. They are the first earthquakes reported in the region since 1997 and could be a naturally occurring “swarm” of small quakes or possibly related to local oil drilling operations. In response, the Florida Geological Survey and US Geological Survey are installing seismic stations to gather more data. For more on the issue, see the March 29, 2019 Pensacola News Journal article “After 5 earthquakes in one month, seismic stations will be installed in Jay” by Annie Blanks at https://www.pnj.com/story/news/2019/03/29/florida-earthquakes-rare-jay-seismicstations-installed/3313799002/.

Airborne Danger from Algae Blooms Florida Gulf Coast University reported that “airborne cyanobacteria toxins can travel more than a mile inland,” suggesting possible additional health hazards from last year’s blue-green algae blooms. For more on the issue, see the March 18, 2019 TC Palm article “Algae crisis: Airborne particles of toxic cyanobacteria can travel more than a mile inland, new FGCU study shows” by Amy Bennett Williams at https://www.tcpalm.com/story/news/local/indian-river-lagoon/health/2019/03/18/newhealth-questions-raised-fgcu-research-toxic-algae-dust/3199881002/.

Great White Shark at Navarre Beach In February 26, 2019, the True Blue shark fishing team caught a 10 foot, 650 pound great white shark off the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier. After an hour and a half struggle to reel in the shark, the team “put a tag on it, got all the measurements, and got a safe, clean release.” For more on the catch, see the February 26, 2019 Pensacola News Journal article “Caught on camera: Great white shark caught off Navarre Beach Fishing Pier” by Annie Blanks at https://www.pnj.com/story/news/2019/02/26/great-white-sharkcaught-off-navarre-beach-fishing-pier/2995297002/.

Community Notes An ECUA representative recently told a Perdido Key Area Chamber gathering that our area discards a large percentage of items not suitable for recycling into recycling bins, requiring extra time and money to correct. Adding unauthorized waste to recycling containers on days when other waste is not collected is likely part of the problem.

A Surf Style beach store is being constructed on the north side of Perdido Key Drive just west of the Eden Condominium.

“Autism OdysSea” is scheduled for April 13, 2019 at the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station for children with autism and their parents. It will provide activities such as touch tanks, sensory stations, crafts, and kayaking for children on the spectrum.

The “2019 Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day” will be held in Destin May 18-19, 2019. It had been held in the Pensacola area the last four years.

The Alabama Marine Resources Division is looking for volunteers to help with a “derelict crab trap cleanup” in Mobile Bay on April 19-20, 2019. Both kayakers and shallow-draft power vessels are required for the effort. If interested, contact Jason Herrmann at 251 861-2882 or Jason.herrmann@dcnr.alabama.gov.

April Calendar

Apr 01: Naval Outlying Landing Field Site 8 Transfer Ceremony Apr 01-04: Spanish Royal Navy tall ship Juan Sebastian de Elcano at NAS Pensacola Apr 05-06: Pensacola Ice Flyers at Pensacola Bay Center Apr 06-07,13-14,19-20: Easter Bunny photos at The Wharf Apr 06-13: Alabama Coast Operation ReConnect for post-deployment military personnel Apr 07: Gulf Coast Half Marathon at Pensacola Beach Apr 10-14, 20-24: Blue Wahoos at Blue Wahoo Stadium Apr 11: Science Hour on “Water Safety” at Escambia County Central Office Complex Apr 13: Paws in the Park at Big Lagoon State Park Apr 19-21: Annual Crab Festival at Pensacola Beach Apr 20: Easter Egg Hunt at the Flora-Bama Apr 20: Earth Day Pensacola celebration at Seville Square Park Apr 21: Easter services and events Apr 23: Jimmy Buffett at The Wharf Apr 26: Flicks on the Field by Perdido Key Chamber at Pensacola Greyhound Track Apr 26-27: Mullet Toss at the Flora-Bama Apr 26-28: Pensacola Crawfish Festival at Community Maritime Park Blue Angels practice on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at NAS Pensacola Bands on the Beach Tuesdays at Gulfside Pavilion Pensacola Beach

The following websites provide additional information about events taking place in our great Gulf Coast region: https://www.visitpensacola.com/ http://mygulfcoastchamber.com/ http://www.visitperdido.com/ http://mulletwrapper.net/ https://myescambia.com/ http://www.emeraldcoastfl.com// http://alabama.travel/festivals-and-events http://www.cityofmobile.org/calendar/ Perdido Key Association Board of Direct

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