Environment

FWC set to meet June 8-9 in St. Augustine

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will meet June 8 and 9 in St. Augustine to discuss staff recommendations to identify state threatened species; marine fisheries issues of concern to anglers, commercial fishermen and specimen collectors; hunting issues for deer and alligators; and other wildlife-related issues.

Wildfire Danger High this Memorial Day Weekend

Wildfire Danger High this Memorial Day Weekend

The Florida Division of Forestry at the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, issued a warning today about the wildfire danger leading in to Memorial Day weekend.  The danger of wildfire is very high throughout Florida due to lack of rain, low humidity and windy conditions.

Florida Residents Encouraged To Include Pets In Family Disaster Plans

Florida Residents Encouraged To Include Pets In Family Disaster Plans

As a part of Florida Hurricane Preparedness Week, state emergency management officials are encouraging every pet owner in Florida to include their animals in their family disaster preparedness plan before the start of the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season. By planning for the needs of your pets, it will greatly increase the chances of their survival during disasters.

Writer Calls for Ban on St. Augustine Grass

Writer Calls for Ban on St. Augustine Grass

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - The tough talk about turf is back.

Monday a columnist for the Orlando Sentinel wrote an article arguing that St. Augustine grass should be banned in Florida because of its environmental impact.

"Grass is destroying Florida," Mike Thomas wrote.

Many people think the fertilizers and pesticides needed to keep the grass alive cause too much damage to our waterways.

Multi-county Horticulture Agent for the Putnam and St. Johns County Extension Office Joe Sewards said the debate is not new. However, Sewards said a ban on the grass would be too much.  Instead, he believes landscapers and homeowners should regulate themselves with a simple rule: use the right plant in the right place.

Hatchling Sea Turtles Take Enlightened Path to Survive

Hatchling Sea Turtles Take Enlightened Path to Survive

Some of the most routine habits we engage in on a daily basis can occasionally have some serious, unintended consequences for wildlife, and that is especially so for imperiled species. Beachcombers out for a relaxing walk with the family dog may not recognize the signs that their presence has become a threat to nesting shorebirds and that they should detour around the area.  Homeowners who leave a dirty barbecue grill in the backyard overnight, or unsecured trash or foodstuffs where wildlife can access it, can inadvertently create the catalyst for nuisance wildlife behaviors – with solutions that are palatable to no one. 

Super Termites Attack Boat in St. Augustine

Super Termites Attack Boat in St. Augustine

 

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- An aggressive type of termites has been found in St. Augustine.

Smith Brothers Pest Control found nests of Formosan termites on a boat in a boatyard near downtown St. Augustine.

"I was shocked. I was thinking this is unbelievable because these guys were so bad. They're mean," Mike Smith, owner of Smith Brothers Pest Control.

Last week, Smith and his son were told about a swarm of insects around a boat which is dry docked at a boatyard.

Upon inspection, Smith and his son found several of their nests on a 60 foot trawler from Miami. His description of the incident sounded like something from a science fiction movie.

"They started rattling their heads, sounded like Rice Krispies. Then the secretion of the stuff coming out of their heads it's like a deterrent for the ants and stuff. We got the sticky stuff all over us."

‘Take a Hike with Danny’ Event Announced

International Society of Arborist (ISA) certified Arborist and UF Master Naturalist instructor Danny Lippi will lead a nature hike at Vaill Point Park on Sunday, May 22nd at 9 am. Vaill Point Park is located at 630 Vaill Point Road in St. Augustine. Pre-registration is not required for this free event.