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NBLRA Board

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navarrebeach.org

Gary Buroker President

Teresa Pack Vice President Phyllis Kinzie Secretary

Kathy Boulton Treasurer

Tim Keohane Past President Linda Coley Past President

New hotel to jump-start county bed-tax growth

All Meetings are held at 10 a.m. on the 3rd Saturday of each month at Juana’s Pagodas unless otherwise specified. September meeting at Navarre Beach Fire Station

NBLRA

2016 Meetings

October 15 November 12

(Second Saturday due to Thanksgiving.)

December - no meeting

All Meetings will be held on the 3rd Saturday of each month beginning at 10:00 am unless specified otherwise at Juana’s Pagoda

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Submitted renderings

When it opens in the spring of 2017, SpringHill Suites will feature resort-style amenities including the indoor and outdoor pools, full-service restaurant, bar and lounge and numerous beach side activities. By Rob Johnson general manager of Springhill. She told a reporter that cuseditor@NBnews.us tomer traffic between early Although growth in Santa March and June 2017 will Rosa’s tourist tax collections likely show “lower occupanslowed this summer com- cies than subsequent years pared to last year, leisure would produce.” The hotel, with rooms industry leaders say the new Springhill Suites on Navarre priced from $269 to $350 a Beach will provide a needed night, is expected to open in March. That means the counboost. The 161-room hotel is pro- ty will miss two months of bed jected to add $250,000 to the taxes from her property next county’s 2017-2018 revenue year, Iverson explained. So from bed taxes - the 5 per- although Iverson projects the cent fees on hotel bills that hotel will eventually bring in The hotel will have a 4,000-square foot meeting tourists must pay here - more than $300,000 a year space with sweeping views of the Gulf designed to accommodate social gatherings, receptions, according to Kristin Iversen, Hotel page 2 business meetings and weddings.

ReefCam installation stalled again By Jamie Gentry editor@NBnews.us

The Navarre Beach Marine Science Station received their underwater reef camera Aug. 30, but it will still be months until a live feed of Navarre’s reef ecosystem will be available to visitors. WTR-TV, or Watch the Reef TV, will provide a continuous live stream of Navarre Beach’s reef system to a monitor setup at the station as well as the website. Though installation was initially planned for as early as the end of July, NBMSS Director Charlene Mauro said they were waiting until the end of turtle season. The final installation will occur between Nov. 1-4, depending on weather. “We waited almost two years to get the Army Corps of Engineers to approve the permit,” she said. “That was a lengthy process. We would have to do a modification to the permit if we were to try and install during turtle season, and we don’t want to bother with that so we waited.” Mauro said the camera expands her ability to educate students. “For me as an educator, educating the public and getting the locals invested in what we have out there…

Submitted photo

Divers install a similar ReefCam to the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station’s model. The $60,000 camera is provided by View into the Blue and has a self-cleaning feature that sweeps away biofouling organisms that would normally accumulate on the glass. The camera will still require yearly maintenance by specialized divers and will collect real-time data on water quality, salinity and pH. there is so much opportunity for research and citizen science for monitoring the reefs,” she said. “I want to make it accessible for all students. We are booked as far as our school groups, and there are kids in Jay, Milton and Cantonment that want to learn about the ocean. Let’s say they can’t get down here. At least we can get out there and educate them about it.” Viewers will be able to see a wide array of fish and even larg-

er animals such as sea turtles. Mauro explained this provides a great opportunity for outreach to people who may not be able to snorkel. “You have to be a pretty good swimmer to snorkel out there. This gives them the opportunity to see what’s going on,” she said. She said the camera could also promote tourism. “I was more interested in the science aspect of it and the education side of it, but then on the flip side the

tourism development office they are looking at it as far as an out-of-town guest who loves to snorkel or scuba dive that they would consider Navarre Beach as a destination,” she said. “People from like Ohio can see the awesome fish we have on our reefs.” The camera cost the station roughly $60,000 and includes data-collection probes for water quality, salinity and pH.

ReefCam page 2


IS SU E IV • OC T. 2 0 1 6

Hotel

from page 1

Navarre Beach News is published monthly by Sandpaper Publishing Inc.. Navarre Beach News and its entire contents and style are fully protected by copyright and registered according to copyright laws. Navarre Beach News cannot be reproduced in any form for any purpose without the expressed written permission of Sandpaper Publishing Inc. and Navarre Beach News. To Contact Us: Navarre Beach News 7502 Harvest Village Court Navarre, FL 32566 Phone: (850) 939-8040 Fax: (850) 939-4575 Web: navarrebeachnews.com Email: editor@NBnews.us

ReefCam from page 1

Publisher Sandi Kemp editor@NBnews.us

Production Manager Dickie Williams editor@NBnews.us Advertising Gail Acosta editor@NBnews.us

in bed taxes, the missing two months next year along with a ramp-up period of 60 to 90 days before occupancy hits its planned stride of about 60 percent - will limit the county’s revenue until next summer. Yet even $250,000 is equivalent to nearly 10 percent of the record $2.65 million that bed taxes were on pace to total in fiscal 2016, which ended on Sept. 30. The final figures for August and September haven’t been finalized yet by county officials. Tourist tonic County tourism leaders have become accustomed to double-digit growth in

bed taxes but that hasn’t been true during some months this year. For example, in April, despite the two-day Tough Mudder event in Milton, tourist tax collections rose only 8 percent from the same month a year earlier to $181,368--slackening from a 54 percent increase in April 2015 over that period in 2014. Further, the May bedtax figures show a drop of 1.56 percent to $229,637 from the same month a year earlier. In May 2015, tourist tax collections surged by 43 percent from the same period in 2014. County Director of

Tourism Julie Morgan blames the slowdown partly on the lack of added room capacity. “If we don't have enough rooms to sell and are full, we can't increase bed tax double digits.” The new Springhill Suites will raise the number of Santa Rosa hotel rooms by 23 percent to 856. Success for the hotel would bump the county’s total tourism taxes near the $3 million mark for the first time. But while the ceiling for visitor revenue will be raised, it will take more than Springhill Suites to increase annual bed taxes to the $3 to 4 million set as a goal

recently by District 4 Commissioner Rob Williamson. It would take the equivalent of three more new hotels - each garnering at least $300,000 a year in bed taxes - to reach Williamson’s objective. But be careful what you wish for, said Laurie Gallup, owner of Navarre Properties Inc., a lodging reservations company that manages beach condominium rentals. “I don’t think we want the kind of development on the beach it would take to get to $4 million in bed taxes. Navarre Beach is special because it isn’t overdeveloped.”

It will take an engineer, several divers and students four hours to install. The cost of the camera came out of grant money awarded to the NBMSS, including RESTORE funds from the BP oil spill. Cabling will run from the camera on the reef up to shore where the signal will be sent to the viewing area at the NBMSS and websites. “There is a lot of logistics that needs to be worked out because the camera itself weighs about 300 pounds and there is also additional cabling and that is going to weigh a couple of hundred pounds,” Mauro said. “We’ve got to coordinate getting it out there. The camera itself isn’t very large, but it’s the cabling that takes up quite a bit of room.” The camera is a selfcleaning model provided by company View into the

Blue. It is housed within a glass dome that is continuously cleaned by a wiper arm that rotates along its surface. Though this prevents biofouling, or the accumulation of small organisms on the glass, the camera will need a yearly checkup and wiper cleaning.

“That involves a specialist that deals with the cameras, so it’s not just a random scuba diver going to check on the camera,” Mauro said. “We are going to get sponsors where they can add it on to their website, so it will link to the video.” Mauro said the camera

will raise awareness of Navarre’s “gem.” “I think that a lot of the students that come out here or even the tourists don’t realize the reefs are there, so I want to make it accessible,” she said. “I’m excited for it to finally happen. People are excited about it.”

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‘Heart of Navarre’ to get face-lift

By Jamie Gentry editor@NBnews.us

Navarre Beach visitors trying to access Gulf Boulevard from Navarre Bridge will have a dedicated rightturn lane by November 2017 County Commissioner Rob Williamson said Tuesday, Sept. 27 during his Heart of Navarre Tourism Corridor presentation at the Navarre Visitor Information Center. Construction of the turn lane would begin in February or March if the Board of County Commissioners votes to approve seeking a contractor at their Nov. 1 meeting. Though previous discussions had leaned toward a roundabout being placed at the intersection, Williamson said that is not as cost effective as the turn lane. “I love the idea of a roundabout,” he said. “Aesthetically I think it would be a pretty neat look…I think it would be a great thing, but bottom line we are looking at $1 million because you have to purchase right of way and do the roundabout. I think the preliminary projections are around $250,000 to $300,000 to do a dedicated right-turn lane.” The $1 million figure Williamson is referring to is the estimate provided by Volkert Engineering back in 2013. The turn lane would not require the county to make any right of way purchases whereas a roundabout would need space according to the presentation. “We could still do a roundabout later, but for right now, let’s solve the problem that we have in front of us which is trying to help with that back up,” he said. “It’s not going to get any better. We are a little popular.” The turn lane was one of five project areas Williamson presented to a packed conference room. The Heart of Navarre Tourism Corridor is the area between Ortega and Andorra streets on the mainland and the entire-

Photos by Jamie Gentry

It was standing room only at the Navarre Visitor Information Center Tuesday, Sept. 27 for the Heart of Navarre Tourism Corridor presentation. County Commissioner Rob Williamson presented a series of improvement projects planned for the Navarre area in the coming year.

ty of Navarre Beach. It is an area designated for special attention due to its importance to tourism for Santa Rosa County allowing bedtax funds to be used for projects in the area. Bed taxes can only be used for things that promote tourism in the county. Williamson said the planned improvements for the area revolve around five projects: ■ Adding a dedicated right-turn lane onto Gulf Boulevard ■ Renovations of Navarre Park ■ Renovations to the Santa Rosa Island entrances ■ Improvements to the Navarre Beach Public Restrooms ■ Resurfacing and improvements to the Navarre Beach multiuse path

Park Parking An update to Navarre Park’s facilities is fast approaching as the county is paying Genesis Planning $57,000 to create a

master site plan for park improvements by March 2017 with construction beginning as early as November 2017. The county has been awarded a $50,000 Land and Water Conservation Fund grant for the project. Changes to the park that were discussed included replacing the play equipment, updates to the Panhandle Butterfly House and reworking the parking lot. “We have two- to fiveyear-old children’s playground equipment that we had to remove because it’s just no longer safe,” he said. “Being this close to the salt water things just wear out.” Williamson said closing one or two of the entry points for the parking lot would also need to be part of the site plan. “I don’t need to tell you the number of accidents that we have here out in front,” Williamson said. “We have three openings here and three median openings. We are going to close some of those median openings. Try to make it a little bit safer…we will take

Commissioner Williamson explains what signage has been approved to be removed from Navarre Beach during his presentation. Reducing the number of signs was indicated as a priority project for the area.

the recommendation from the consultant, but we may go from three entrances down to one.” One citizen asked about the potential construction of an amphitheater at the park. Williamson said that was not in the plans, but he said he felt there was a need for a new venue for Thursday in the Park because of the success the event has had. “To their credit the chamber has done everything that has been asked of them

in bringing in additional law enforcement officers to try and make it as safe as possible, but like I said we are a product of our own success,” he said. “At this point we are trying to look at alternate venues. Some would be on the island. Some are here on the mainland.” Beach Betterment Leaving the mainland, the discussion turned toward the reduction of signage on the island.

Examples of signs that could be removed include Adopt a Spot, No Motor Vehicle, Share the Road, and No Sexual Offenders May Enter Park. The signs at the entrances to the county boat launch, Navarre Marine Park, Navarre Beach public parking and pier parking would also be made uniform to match the blue and white Navarre Beach sign at the foot of the bridge. Pedestrian crossings would be updated with lighting and safety features. The 25-year-old Navarre Beach public restrooms were also discussed. The restrooms are currently out of compliance with the elevation code and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. “I didn’t even know how bad that situation was there,” Williamson said. For the multiuse path that runs along Gulf Boulevard, Williamson said the county would resurface the walkway, add measurements of lengths for runners and provide water fountains for humans and dogs.

Money matters The cost of each of the projects is still up in the air, however. For the Navarre Park renovations, funds would come from the county recreation fund and the grant monies. Williamson pointed to the county’s nearly $30 million in reserve and additional $2.5 million in bed-tax reserves as potential pots for the projects; however, these accounts tend to fluctuate and the bed-tax funds are restricted to tourismpromotion projects potentially excluding them from some of the tourism-corridor projects. Timelines as well as funding options are the next steps for the beachimprovement projects on the list. Funding and final approval for each of the projects will have to go before the Board of County Commissioners.

SAMPLE OF EVENTS

(many are free or low cost) • Three fun mazes • Pumpkin Patches • Hay Rides • Holley Hill Pottery Open House • Plein Air Art • Navarre Fishing Rodeo • Free Kid’s Pier Fishing • St. Rose of Lima Fall Festival • Juana’s Octoberfest • Juana’s Chili Cookoff • Jay Peanut Festival • Butterfly Festival • Coastal Encounters • Sea Turtle Extravaganza • Fall Zipline Tour • Riverwalk Run 5k • Run for the Reef • Fenner Bike Ride • Antiquing • Farmer’s Market • Navarre Women’s Expo • Dead Pirate Color Run 5k • Navarre Car, Truck, Bike Show • Pinktoberfest • Boo at the Zoo • Bands on the Blackwater • Ghostwalk Visit our website for more details.


Monthly Update CONTENT PROVIDED BY NAVARRE BEACH LEASEHOLDERS & RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION

October 2016

BEACH BEAUTIFICATION

LIAISON

PROVIDED BY PETER BIRCKHEAD

The following is a monthly update on the activities of the Beach Beautification Liaison Committee. I HOLIDAY DECORATIONS FOR NAVARRE BEACH ENTRANCE SIGN AREA WILL BE FUNDED BY Santa Rosa COUNTY We have summited a complete plan for holiday and seasonal decorations for the Navarre Beach Entrance Sign on Highway 98 to Julie Morgan, Director of the Santa Rosa County Tourism Development Council. Julie will roll this up with the Navarre Chamber of Commerce plan for approval by our County Commissioner. Once approved the BBLC will proceed with purchasing all necessary supplies and setting actual decorating dates. If anyone is interest in assisting us with decorating please let me know.

II TOP 5 CAPITAL IMPROVEMEMT PROJECTS FOR NAVARRE BEACH AND NAVARRE PARK HAVE BEEN ANNOUCED After receiving and reviewing Capital Project wish lists from Navarre Beach Stakeholders throughout the county the following 5 projects have been selected:

The following is an update as a result of the “Heart of Navarre” Capital Improvement Public Hearing that was held Tuesday, September 27 with Commissioner Williamson. A. Renovation of Navarre Park – to include the Butterfly House, Kayak Launch, New Playground Equipment and enhanced water feature. UPDATE – CONSTRUCTION PLANS AND SCOPE OF WORK IS BEING FINALIZED AND IT IS ANTICIPATED THAT CONSTRUCTION WILL COMMENCE BY MID TO LATE 2017. B. Reduced Signage Along Gulf Blvd – all current signs are being reviewed and determined necessary or not and a new signage package will be developed with a goal of reduced and consolidated signage. UPDATE – RECOMMENDATIONS HAVE BEEN FORMULATED AND SHOULD BE DISTRIBUTED TO NBLRA FOR COMMENT VERY SHORTLY. C. Dedicated Right Turn Lane at 4 Way Stop – a dedicated right turn lane will be added in front of the Tom Thumb on Navarre Causeway to help reduce

President’s Message NBLRA Members,

We are appreciative of the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) for picking up all the local cost of for the Navarre Beach renourishment project this year. At our September meeting we all agreed that we now need to respectfully ask the BOCC to set aside current residential lease fees in a reserve account for the next renourishment project. The BOCC just approved their budget for the 2016-2017 period which will begin October 1, 2016. The process for the 20172018 budget will begin in January 2017. The NBLRA will need to request, in that budget period, that collections from residential lease fees be put into a beach renourishment reserve. Residential lease fees currently exceed $450,000 per year or $4.5 million over the next ten years. We need to stay strong together so that lease fees will be set aside for the next project. We also discussed at the meeting the process to clean up the sound. We need to support our County Commissioners in their effort to use funds from BP to make a generational difference in our community to clean up the sound. Projects are being identified and are still in conceptual phase. There are not current funds side aside therefore getting BP funds is critical from a financial perspective. Included in this newsletter is the initial 5 projects the BOCC has approved to provide some funding out of the $12 million that has been allocated to Santa Rosa County from Pot 3 of the BP funding. One of the projects is to eliminate the effluent from the Navarre Beach Water and Treatment Plant from being pumped into the sound. Katie DeCoste has agreed to attend the Bay Area Resource Council (BARC) meeting for the NBLRA. The Florida Regional Planning Council serves as staff to BARC, with the main objective of assisting in improving the area’s quality of life and improving the waters of the Pensacola Bay System through community participation and coordination with local governments, citizens, academia, and the private sector. This objective is achieved primarily through the activities of BARC and its subcommittees. Finally, you can review the power point presentation Commissioner, Rob Williamson presented on September 27, 2016, on the capital projects for the Heart of Navarre Tourism Corridor by going to www.navarrebeach.org. It is exciting to see these projects coming to fruition. We need to thank Commissioner Williamson for providing a process to identify projects and finding funds to complete them. Best Regards, Gary E Buroker President, NBLRA 8499 Gulf Blvd Apt 606 Navarre,Florida 32566 geburoker@yahoo.com Phone 937-205-2990

traffic back-ups at this intersection. UPDATE – PLANS ARE BEING FINALIZED AND THE PROJECT IS SLATED TO BE COMPLETED BY MARCH 2017. D. New Public Restrooms and Showers at Navarre Fishing Pier – new restrooms and shower facilities will be added in the Navarre Pier area. – UPDATE – SCOPE OF WORK AND CONSTRUCTION PLANS ARE STILL BE DEVELOPED. E. Multi-Use Path Along Gulf Blvd. Improvements – various improvements will be considered for the multiuse walking and bike path along Gulf Blvd including water fountains for people and dogs. UPDATE – PLANS NOW INCLUDE RESURFACE AND STRIPE WITH NEW DISTANCE MARKERS, ADDED WATER FOUNTAINS FOR HUMANS AND PETS AND THE STRONG POSSIBILITY OF IRRIGATION FOR WATERING EVENTUAL NEW LANDSCAPING AND PALM TREES ALONG GULF BLVD. SCOPE OF WORK AND CONSTRUCTION PLANS STILL BEING DISCUSSED.

COMMITTEE (BBLC)

III LOCAL ADOPT A SPOT PROGRAM ANNOUCED FOR NAVARRE BEACH Lisa Cichy and Joni Johnson will be joining me in the establishment of the Navarre Beach Adopt a Spot Program for Gulf and White Sands Blvd. from the Navarre Causeway Bridge to the National Seashore. Each of us will be responsible for monitoring cleanliness and orderliness of one third of the distance on each roadway between the two points. Watch for more details on this program. UPDATE – This program has been fully implemented by Lisa Cichy, Joni Johnson and I. Throughout each month the three of us patrol our assigned one third of Navarre Beach between the Highway 98 Entrance Sign and the National Seashore to the West. When maintenance or cleanliness issues are identified they are rolled up to either the Santa Rose County Navarre Beach Supervisor, Terry Wallace or Julie Morgan, Director of the Santa Rosa County Tourism Council. Should you notice any issues on the island please bring them to my attention. If you are interested in serving on this committee please let me know. We can always use the extra help.

ADDITIONAL UPDATES: A. WELCOMING COMMITTEE We are still seeking a Welcoming Committee Chairman to welcome all new comers to Navarre Beach to introduce and educate them on the Navarre Beach Leaseholders and Residence Association. Please contact me if you are interested. B. BENCHES AND PALM TREE ISLANDS ON THE BEACH Benches and palm tree islands are available for donation and dedication. If you would like to know more please contact me directly.

Thank you. Beach Beautification Liaison Committee Peter Birckhead, Chair

Gary Buroker, Member

Dave McPherson, Member James Calkins, Member Lisa Cichy, Member

Joni Johnson, Member

peterbirckhead@gmail.com 713-819-1980.

Navarre Beach Leaseholders and Residents Association The September 17, 2016 meeting of Navarre Beach Leaseholders and Residents Association was held at the Navarre Beach Fire Station located at 1413 Utility Drive. Meeting was called to order by President, Gary Buroker, at 10:01. Twenty seven people and 5 board members were present. The regular meeting venue, Juana’s, was not available so the Fire Department graciously offered its facility for this community meeting. Pledge of Allegiance was the first agenda item. Minutes were approved as presented. Kathy Boulton presented the treasurer’s report. Current checking account balance was $7511.77 as of September 12th and money market account total was $11,640.79. Total assets are $19,152.56. There are 248 paid memberships. Captain Danny Fureigh, of the Navarre Beach Fire Department, gave the August report for the Navarre Beach station. There were 44 responses for the month, 32 were in the district and 12 were mutual aid. The department held training for high rise fires at Beach Colony. They had wave runner and water rescue training with lifeguards, two CPR classes, and ten station tours. Captain Gary Diamond retired from the department. Peter Birckhead, chairman of Beach Beautification Liaison Committee, gave report of recent committee activities. They have been working with members of the tourism council to establish a plan for holiday decorations for the beach entrance. They are currently working to set up an “adopt a spot” program for the island. Currently there are 3 people, each responsible for one mile of beach, who monitor that area and notify Terry Wallace if things need attention or repairs. Peter expressed that the BBLC would prefer to know of issues before they become problems or eyesores, such as a broken bench, burned out street lamp, etc. BBLC still need people for a welcoming committee to welcome newcomers, to let them know about us, our function, our meetings, etc. There are questions now about replacing benches. Peter is working with county to determine who will pay for the benches that need to be replaced. They were initially given as donations and now some need to be replaced. There is a meeting scheduled on Tuesday, September 27 at Navarre Visitor Center. Commissioner Williamson will be there to discuss the five capital projects for our area the county wants to implement and

Minutes of September 17, 2016

fund. He urged members to attend and express their opinions. Mr. Birckhead presented a motion to be adopted and added to NBLRA bylaws. His motion was approved as written. It reads as follows: The acknowledgement of persons currently holding or have held political and public positions in the past, whether elected or appointed, is permitted at meetings of NBLRA with the explicit understanding that all that is to be said in the acknowledgement is the individual’s name, position they hold or held, and area they serve or served. An example of this would be “Please welcome Florida Representative Bob Smith, serving District 4 who is joining us for today’s meeting.” An acknowledgement is NOT an introduction or an opportunity for a political servant to address the meeting. Following the acknowledgement, and at the desire of the public servant, it may be further announced that the individual will be available to speak with at the conclusion of the meeting and not in the meeting room itself. The motion clarifies our procedure since NBLRA does not want to be a political arm. Our organization is designed to benefit all Leaseholders and Residents for the benefit of our community, regardless of political views. There were comments from floor regarding a continuous right turn lane on to Gulf Blvd. and the proposed water treatment plant. They were referred to County Commissioners. A suggestion was made that we ask the sheriff’s office to help with traffic going over the bridge during high volume periods. Mr. Birckhead said we may need to hire, i.e. pay for that service, but recognized that this is a method used at sports games to provide good traffic flow. He will pursue this with Commissioners. President Gary Buroker reported on recent County Commission vote, of 4 to 0, that beach leaseholders do not have an MSBU to pay for the 2016 beach renourishment project. Gary said that our next step would be to get County Commissioners to be set aside our present residential lease fees in a special reserve fund that would be used for the next renourishment in approximately 8 – 10 years. We, the NBLRA, need to bring this up in January of 2017 for inclusion in the 2018 budget. Gary noted that $485,000 is raised per year if all leaseholders pay their assessments. We currently fund the water department

and the fire department on the island 100%. In the past our lease fees went into general fund. We want the lease fees to go into a separate account and not the 0662 account which is for general beach expenses. President Buroker explained to the members present about cleaning up the sound. There is a plan in the conceptual stage to work with University of Florida to determine what the water quality really is. He explained that runoff from Highway 98 dumps toxins into the sound, as well as chemicals and sediments from farming and septic fields. When the rains come all the run off from the highways, farms and private residents carrying debris, oil, car residue, etc., into the sound. The runoff also contains sediment and nutrients that kills the plant life that keeps the sound clean. There is a suggestion to build culverts to contain this water but that is a 10 year project. Meanwhile the highway runoff continues. Gary made a suggestion that we have someone attend the BARC (Bay Area Resource Council) meetings held at University of West Florida once a month to discuss the water issues of the sound. Buroker reported on recent zoning changes in the county. Now there is a 60 day period before commercial leases can be changed and residents must be notified. This is result of recent incident when there was only a 4 day period between a proposed major change being put on agenda and the public hearing. Gary said that the County Commissioner staff has determined there could be an RV park on the beach based on current zoning even though his review of the zoning regulations does not specifically state such use. Also island residents have consistently expressed their objection to an RV park anywhere on the island. A Motion was made, seconded, and approved to hire an attorney to review the master zoning plan and see if it allows for an RV park on the island and to advise what measures we can undertake in dealing with the zoning board. The motion sets fees not to exceed $3,000. Gary noted that the island has 800 registered voters and we need to reach them all and encourage them to let their voices be heard on issues that can impact the beach. Meeting was adjourned by President Buroker at 11:04. Respectfully submitted, Phyllis Kinzle, Secretary

Reminder: The meeting on October 15 is at 10 a.m. at Juana’s.

4

NAVARRE BEACH NEWS


County absorbs part of bench-replacement cost By Jamie Gentry editor@NBnews.us

Replacing rusting out public benches along Navarre Beach’s walkways and bike paths is one step closer to becoming a reality as four of the replacements have already been funded. The former Beach Beautification Committee installed the 35 benches on the beach over several years. Half were made with sturdy salt-resistant composite material, but 17 of the benches were constructed of metal that has started to rust out, and in one case, even rusted in half. That is where the Beach Beautification Liaison Committee comes in. The BBLC followed behind the BBC and created the Adopt a Mile program. “When the former group disbanded there was no one or nothing to continue on the work they were doing,” BBLC Chairman Peter Birckhead said. “We still wanted to make sure that we were monitoring and helping wherever we could. We took the island and carved it up a mile each and now we have a mile that each of us is responsible for, walking up and down one or twice a month.” It was one of these walks that led to the discovery of the broken bench. Birckhead said the BBC realized they were going to have this problem. “The BBC foresaw that problem, so they switched to the composite ones, which is basically all plastic,” he said. “Composite will be fine for years to come, but the metal ones will eventually rust in half.” Replacing the benches with their rustproof cousins costs

Photo by Jamie Gentry

Composite benches installed along Navarre Beach by the former Beach Beautification Committee have held up against the elements better than their rusting metal counterparts. The majority of these benches bare inscriptions, paid for by donors, dedicating them to people, places and organizations. about $500. Birckhead said the first bench, the one that rusted in half, will be replaced by the County Commission. “[Commissioner Rob] Williamson is going to pay for one of them, and we are going to do that one in honor of the former BBC,” he said. “We are honoring the former BBC for their 10 years of service out of the county rec funds.”

It will be engraved on the seat back “Beach Beautification Committee 2006-2016.” Former BBC member Gary Buroker has also put in $500 toward the next bench replacement. The BBLC hopes to pay for rest through donations, but they ran into a bit of a snag BBLC Chair Peter Birckhead said. He explained the original

benches were almost all dedicated to people, places or organizations by the original donors, and the BBC had requested that the replacements still bare the original dedications. “We are trying to honor the request of the former BBC and not asking the donors to donate again,” he said. “I am honoring their request.” But new donors also want

to have dedications, so Birckhead met with Navarre Beach Utilities Supervisor Terry Wallace and County Engineer Roger Blaylock to formulate a plan. Their solution: put those new dedications somewhere else. “Eight of the current composite benches are blank,” Birckhead said. “I am going to call the donors and have

them come look at these eight locations and say ‘you can have your name put on one of these.’” But making two inscriptions will likely cost twice as much. That is where the county has stepped up. By agreeing to do the installation of the benches for free, the county allowed the BBLC to keep the donation cost at the $500 estimate. Four donors have thrown in to replace these benches, leaving five more that can be done with the dedication on an existing bench. But the inscription solution only accounts for those benches, leaving the BBLC to figure out how to appease potential donors of the other benches assuming donors come forward. If donors cannot be found, Birckhead said the county will foot the bill for the rest, and that money would have to come out of the District 4 funds he said. Donations can be made by check addressed to Navarre Beach Leaseholders and Residents Assoc. and mailed to P.O. Box 5003 Navarre, FL 32566. A note must be made on the check specifying for BBLC Bench Replacement.

Help make Navarre Beach

the best and recognize a loved one or a business. We are replacing all metal benches with composite benches. For more information and specifics, contact Peter Birckhead at 713-819-1980 or peterbirckhead@gmail.com

Navarre Beach Leaseholders and Residents Association, Inc. Treasurer’s Report for September 12, 2016 Checking Balance (8/15/2016) ................$6,842.47 Income Dues – .......................................................$ 245.00 BBLC Donations w/ Dues ..........................$ 500.00

Total .........................................................$ 7,587.47 Debits Newsletter, Postage & Website ...........................$ 0 The UPS Store..............................................$ 71.15 PayPal Service Fee........................................$ 4.55

Total ............................................................$ 75.70

Current Checking Balance (9/12/2016) ..$ 7,511.77 (Of which $820 is BBLC Donations)

Money Market Account – Issue Date 3/27/12 Interest Rate 0.03% Interest August YTD 2016 = $2.35 Total ........................................................$11,640.79

Total Assets ............................................$19,152.56

Paid Memberships for 2016 – 248 (Plus 4 from previous month)

NBLRA

Welcoming Committee

Seeking a Welcoming Committee Chairman to welcome all new comers to Navarre Beach to introduce and educate them on the Navarre Beach Leaseholders and Residence Association. Contact Peter Birckhead 713-819-1980 • peterbirckhead@gmail.com

Santa Rosa holds household hazardous waste Amnesty Day Dispose of HHW at South End Service Center October 8, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Santa Rosa County will host Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Amnesty Day on Sat., Oct. 8 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Santa Rosa County South Service Center, 5819 Gulf Breeze Parkway in Midway. This event offers residents the opportunity to dispose of HHW at no charge without having to drive to the Central Landfill in Milton. Additionally, up to five regular car or truck tires per vehicle are being accepted for the first time at the event.

Residents will be required to remove items from their vehicles. Remember, HHW items can cause injury if handled improperly. These items will usually have a warning or cautionary statement on their labels, such as flammable, corrosive, poison or toxic. The following items will be accepted and should never be disposed of with household garbage: • up to five gallons each of: • antifreeze, oil and gasoline • paint and solvents • lubricants and grease • pesticides and fertilizers • pool cleaners and household cleaners • oil filters • batteries and battery backups • five-gallon propane bottles • computers and typewriters • printers, copiers, fax machines, and DVD/DVR players • fluorescent light bulbs • fire extinguishers "At our Amnesty Day in March, we collected almost 40,000 pounds of waste products with close to 2,500 pounds of it returned to our 'free' shelf which is disbursed back to the public for reuse," said Ron Hixon, director of environmental operations at Santa Rosa County. "The cost of providing HHW amnesty service to the citizens would have been $18,086, but fortunately a 75 percent grant co-op combined with a rebate on electronics recycling brought our payment down to $3,862." Conditionally exempt small quantity generators (small businesses, schools and growers, etc.) may dispose of hazardous waste at a reduced rate. CESQG waste is accepted by appointment only. Call (850) 981-7135 by 12:00 p.m. on Friday, October 7 to schedule a drop-off time. Santa Rosa residents can dispose of HHW and up to five regular tires per vehicle at no charge year-round, Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the HHW center at the entrance to the Central Landfill, 6337 Da Lisa Road in Milton. Amnesty Day is made possible by Santa Rosa County in cooperation with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Okaloosa County Environmental Office. For more information, contact (850) 981-7135.

5

NAVARRE BEACH NEWS


18

Navarre Press wins

Breaking News Story Entry: Black Hawk Crash Coverage Credits: NP Staff Comments: My jaw dropped looking at this coverage – just incredible. The Navarre Press went above and beyond reporting this tragic event.

Editorial Award Entry: Rains, drains and pains Credits: NP Staff Comments: Editorial really grabs reader’s attention. Nice Job.

Sports Spot News Story Entry: Raiders cap unbeaten regular season with win over Eagles Credits: Brian Lester Comments: Clear and concise writing style in good coverage of the Raiders unbeaten regular season finale.

Website Excellence Entry: navarrepress.com Credits: NP Staff

Health-Medical & Science Reporting Entry: Cottonmouth bite scares Navarre family Credits: Rob Johnson Comments: A great read, made all the more so by the unusual subject matter. A great layout of photos and the “Facts & Myths” section added spice.

Sports Picture Entry: Serious Air Credits: John Richardson Comments: This photographer caught an amazing athletic feat at exactly the right time.

Sports Column Entry: Extra Point Credits: Brian Lester Comments: The writer makes an effort to take readers beyond the scoreboard to sum up an end of the season game.

Florida

Original Local Editorial Cartoon Entry: ‘Bear Season?’ Credits: Dickie Williams Comments: Absolutely on target. The cartoon makes fun at a situation while also being informative for those who weren’t in the know.

General Excellence Entry: General Excellence Submissions Credits: NP Staff Comments: This is a great community newspaper. The paper seems to understand the community it serves – relevant content, chock full of good ads, good layout, story count, photos – this paper has it all. Wish more community newspapers were this good.

Front Page Makeup Entry: Front Page Makeup Credits: NP Staff Comments: Bold, loud, colorful, these front pages definitely demand attention from the reader. I appreciate the innovation and eye of the designer, but at times it was a little hard to determine which stories went with the graphic element and which did not.

Photo Series in One Issue Entry: Two are better than on Credits: Sandi Kemp Comments: Emotion, moveme people. These photos and layou had it all.

Portfolio Photog Entry: Sandi Kemp Credits: Sandi K Comments: Nice mix of ne photography. Particularly en and angle of a group of gi friend getting her head and the strategically place iP Sinead O’Conno

Spot News Photo (Spot news of an actual local event) Entry: Weekend wildfires Credits: Sandi Kemp Comments: A technically challenging photo. You can almost feel the heat!

Entr

C air

As seen in September 22, 2016 Navarre


a Press Awards

e ne

ent, uts

Sports Page or Section Sports Feature Story Entry: Aug. 20 & Aug.27 Sport Section Entry: Awareness vital to concussion prevention Credits: NP Staff Credits: Brian Lester Comments: Far and away, the strongest entry Comments: A well-researched and easy to in the category. Super powerful page layouts – follow story on an important topic. We have love the over the top photos played large. Solid seen lots of NFL concussion stories, but for a headlines, good writing. This is quality stuff. weekly paper to bring the subject down to the local high school level was a great public service. The football helmet graphic was an added bonus.

8th Annual

graphy portfolio Kemp ews and feature njoyed the image irls watching a d shaved – Phone image of or.

Education Reporting Entry: Milton coach pushes for middle school sports Credits: Brian Lester Comments: A well-reported look at a coach’s efforts to bring middle school sports to Santa Rosa County. The report included specific data about each sport. Nicely done.

5K & 10K Races 1 Mile Fun Run SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2016 @ 7:30 am Sponsored by NAVARRE PRESS RACE INFO

Informational Graphic ry: Blue Angels 2015 Pensacola Beach Air Show Credits: Dickie Williams Comments: Easy to follow breakdown of an rshow made for interesting reading and certainly held readers’ attention!

Editorial Award Entry: Williamson’s one-sided Facebook accounts don’t cut it Credits: NP Staff Comments: An interesting editorial on a big issue. Good work.

Race day activities start and finish at the Navarre Beach Pier Course: Beautiful Out and Back 5K (3.1 miles) or 10K (6.2 miles) along Gulf Blvd One mile fun run at the Sea Turtle Conservation Center after 5K. Post race refreshments at Lagerheads on Navarre Pier Deck. Scored by Run Results Timing

Benefiting: The Navarre Chamber Foundation, Navarre Beach Marine Sanctuary and Artificial Reef Register online at www.active.com or download a registration form at www.navarrebeachmarinesanctuary.com Or pick up a registration form at the Navarre Visitors Information Center or at the pier

Press

To See the Reef or for more information contact us at www.navarrebeachmarinesanctuary.com


Commission focuses on cleaning up Santa Rosa Sound By Rob Johnson editor@NBnews.us

“It does,” answered Commission Chairman Lane Lynchard. Salter later told the Navarre The county’s Press that his concerns are: commitment to “Primarily roads and ditches. cleaning up But, we need to look upstream Santa Rosa and downstream.” He recomSound where mended that the commission unhealthy levgradually create a list of speels of bacteria cific projects aimed at improvhave been dis- Lynchard ing and maintaining the Sound’s covered will include pursuing the sources water quality. of that pollution, commisThe challenge sioners have declared. That action probably can’t Their decision came while setting priorities to spend come fast enough. Water qualroughly $28 million in BP oil ity specialists have cautioned spill compensation monies that pollution of the Sound is that the county is expected to likely to become a bigger threat receive in the next 15 years. as the area continues to grow They settled on putting the with more residential and comSound at the top of their list mercial construction. To be sure, plenty of damafter being advised by an engineering consultant that estab- age has already been done. lishing a clear focus for the The Florida Department of Envifunds may ensure that the ronmental Protection lists sevFlorida Legislature actually eral areas of the Sound as curdisburses the money it has rently “impaired” by bacteria tentatively allocated to Santa for shellfish harvesting and propagation: Woodlawn Beach, Rosa County. District 3 Commissioner Navarre Park, Liza Jackson Park Don Salter asked his col- and Marler Park. But those relatively low levleagues at last Thursday’s meeting if their definition of els of pollution represent the “restoration” for the Sound proverbial “canary in the coal includes clamping down on mine” as a warning of what run-off and other pollution now could get worse if not sucand in the future, rather than cessfully addressed. Designation as “impaired” just addressing what’s already water means there have been there.

findings of such organisms as fecal coliform, an indicator of recent contamination by sewage or other waste that “may result in human illness,” according to the University of South Florida Water Institute’s website. Sources can include stormwater runoff, sewage overflows and feces from both wild and domestic animals.

Spending sales-tax revenue Although voters don’t have their say on the proposed half-cent sales tax until Aug. 30, the commission decided to create an advisory panel to help guide the county on spending the roughly $35 million that such a levy is expected to produce over its planned five-year duration. The ballot language states that the half-cent for infrastructure can fund law enforcement, fire and public safety facilities, among several other possible expenditures. That halfcent tax is a separate ballot measure from another tax of equal amount that’s designated to pay for a new county courthouse in Milton. The advisory committee is supposed to reassure residents

that proceeds of the infrastructure tax won’t go to commissioners’ pet projects or be lavished on any particular district. Members will be appointed by commissioners from each of their five districts.

Meanwhile, the volunteer group of business leaders that has stepped forward to promote the sales tax has now garnered more than $22,000 in donations for advertising. The

“Moving Santa Rosa Forward” organization is expected to begin distributing yard signs and fliers in support of the infrastructure tax measure this week or next.

Turtle rescue thwarted by line cutting By Jamie Gentry editor@NBnews.us

If you hook a sea turtle while fishing on the pier, do not cut the line. That’s what Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Patroller Jim Holmes begged of fishermen Friday, Sept. 9 after a fishing “novice” cut the line on an entangled turtle off Navarre Pier before rescuers could arrive. When the turtle was spotted, pier staff jumped into action retrieving the net used for collecting and freeing smaller turtles, but the 60-80 pound sea turtle was too big to use that method. Holmes was contacted and the fishermen were instructed to try to bring the turtle ashore, but the line was cut before that happened as the turtle got further tangled in the pylons and line. Witnesses said the turtle had a hook in one of its flippers and was thoroughly tangled in fishing line.

Hook a sea turtle while fishing here? ■ Stop, don’t unhook. Call 850-499-6774. ■ Trained turtle rescuers will respond. ■ The turtle will be checked out thoroughly to ensure it can live and thrive.

By the time Holmes arrived it was too late to rescue the turtle. He said the animal’s life is now likely in danger. “Will it survive with the hook in the flipper? Probably,” he said. “The line is the danger-

ous part because they can get entangled, but if the hook gets in their mouth that will give them problems eating and they can possibly ingest the hook. You just don’t know. If you just let them go, cut the

lines, there is a good chance they are going to be sick or not make it due to the hooks.” Had the rescue gone properly, the turtle, likely an endangered loggerhead, would have been transported to the

Gulfarium for a checkup and treatment of any wounds. Holmes stressed that although it can be frustrating when the turtles interfere with fishing, the men and women on the pier need to be patient with them. “Our local fishermen are usually very good, but sometimes they also get aggravated with people that might have hooked into a turtle because now it interferes with their fishing. And it takes so long to walk a big sea turtle down to the beach,” he said. “The pier did everything they were supposed to do. It’s just that the other people out there just said ‘cut the line.’” Holmes said he hopes the turtle beaches itself so the team will be able to give it

flood emergency plans. They seek grant funding for improvement projects and track properties with repeat damage. All land within the county has a flood zone code based upon the elevation of a property and its proximity to potential rising waters. Rankings of A, AE and VE are the most common high-risk properties. These codes require the purchase of flood insurance for any federally backed mortgage. Codes X and 0.2 are low risk and do not require the insurance, but County Floodplain Manager Karen Thornhill warns that owners should purchase flood insurance in addition to standard home insurance regardless of being listed as low risk. “The maps are a minimum standard,” she said. “Just because it says you aren’t in a flood zone does not mean that you should not take every precaution to elevate your structure, purchase flood insurance and protect your

life, property and your investment in your property.” During the 2014 floods, approximately 98 percent of properties damaged by floodwaters did not have flood insurance and an average of 30 percent of flood claims come out of properties listed as low risk Thornhill said. In the coming days the proposed updates will become available through the county Geographic Information System website. Residents will be able to search using their address or by zooming in and clicking on a parcel to see its current code listing as well as the proposed listing. The changes are not scheduled to become effective until winter 2017. Two informational meetings will be held with county officials and Federal Emergency Management Agency to answer why certain changes have been proposed and to allow residents to contest the changes. A meeting in the North end will

be held Sept. 28 from 4-7 p.m. at the county offices at 6050 Old Bagdad Highway in Milton. The South end meeting will be held the following day, Sept. 29, from 47 p.m. at the Tiger Point Community Center. Thornhill advised all property owners to check their listings on the GIS map and attend one of the meetings. “There are a lot of changes, some for the good and some for the not so good,” Thornhill said. “I would highly recommend that every citizen that has either a house or vacant land in our county check the maps and see what is proposed for their location…If they don’t understand it and they’re not too sure about it or they want to appeal it, they can show up to this meeting and talk to the engineers and the federal government folks that are already responsible for this. “Until you actually look you don’t know, and I can’t begin to tell you all the places that

all the changes are being made.” Though parts of the county have been periodically updated, there has not been a countywide review of the flood codes and elevations since 1985 Thornhill said. “The fact that it hasn’t been updated in so long brings into question the viability of the data,” she said. “We have a whole lot more technology now, and things can go from very straight lines to really, really curvy following the appropriate contours of the land. It follows the topography a whole lot better.” New technology used includes new innovations in traditional surveying and the use of Lidar, a laser-based measuring device mounted on planes to get detailed information on the topography of the land. The county’s ranking with the National Flood Insurance Program was also discussed during the meeting. In 2011, the FMTF’s efforts brought the county down to a Class

Photo by Jamie Gentry

Signs posted on Navarre Pier clearly instruct fishermen about how to deal with hooked sea turtles. A turtle hooked Friday, Sept. 9 was cut loose before rescuers could arrive. If entangled in fishing lines, sea turtles can drown from impeded movement or die from ingesting fish hooks.

the proper medical attention, but there is no telling how likely that is to happen. In the event of hooking a sea turtle on Navarre Beach or the pier please contact trained turtle rescuers at 850499-6774. “When we go and respond we want to capture and rescue every sea turtle that has been hooked because we never know if they have ingested hooks and things like that,” Holmes said. “If they see a hook in the flipper or the jaw they say ‘oh, we’ll just unhook it ourselves.’ And that’s not what we want them to do. We want them to call us to transport because there are times they have other hooks and injuries that need to be attended to.”

5 which reduced flood insurance premiums for high-risk flood zones by 25 percent. Thornhill explained though Santa Rosa met the point requirements, they lacked one prerequisite, a Storm Water Master Plan for the entire county, to reach the Class 4 ranking that would reduce costs by another 5 percent. “That is an expensive venture,” she said. “It’s not that we don’t want to do it. It’s going to be something that has to be looked at by the board. It’s not something that I can just do.” Parts of Holley by the Sea were completed by Baskerville Donovan, Inc. for roughly $400,000. A countywide survey would cost more. For additional information and any questions about the flood zone code changes, contact Thornhill Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. -3:30 p.m.at 850-9817029 or email karent@santarosa.fl.gov.

Santa Rosa County remaps flood zones By Jamie Gentry info@NBnews.us

Many Santa Rosa property owners will have to change or upgrade their flood insurance thanks to Thornhill updates to the county’s flood mitigation maps. Nearly 7 percent or roughly 6,500 of all properties in the county will experience some type of flood code change either up to a higher risk level or down to a lower level. Several properties along Navarre Beach will be seeing a lower risk listing. The Flood Mitigation Task Force reviewed these changes at their Thursday, Sept. 8, meeting. The Flood Mitigation Task Force is a group of community members and county staff focused on reducing and managing flood risk for the county and maintaining

8

NAVARRE BEACH NEWS


Ready, set, swim

Sea turtle rescued by trawler returns to Gulf By Jamie Gentry editor@NBnews.us

Photos by Jamie Gentry

Gulfarium senior aquarists Terra Throgmorton and Graham Northup hoist the 106-pound loggerhead sea turtle toward the water during its official release back into the wild after trawlers involved in the beach renourishment brought the sick turtle to the Gulfarium for treatment.

The origins of Navarre Beach News

You are holding in your hands the second edition of Navarre Beach News or NBNews. Navarre Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and has its own unique characteristics and needs. One of the most unique aspects of the island is that it is part of an unincorporated area of Santa Rosa County. There is not a government entity with the charge to promote the best interests of Navarre Beach. Fortunately, the Navarre Beach Leaseholders and Residents Association (NBLRA) fills that void. The NBLRA exists to advocate for what is best for Navarre Beach and the leaseholders. The association is made up of members and an executive board; people that have a vested interested in the success of Navarre Beach. NB News is a collaborative effort between the NBLRA and the newspaper of record for the Navarre area for the past sixteen years, Navarre Press. The goal of NBNews is to inform all that have a vested interest in the island. NBNews is mailed each month to everyone that lives on Navarre Beach and will occasionally be mailed to everyone that owns property on Navarre Beach. NBNews is available online just as you see it in print at navarrebeachnews.com. Please go to that website to sign up for news alerts. If you aren’t already a member of the NBLRA, visit the website to join! Sandi Kemp, Publisher Navarre Beach News www.navarrebeachnews.com

NOW IN EFFECT!!! “Leave No Trace Ordinance” on Navarre Beach

It is unlawful to leave any items on the beach overnight.This includes tents, or tent frames, chairs, floats, umbrellas, etc.Any items left on the beach overnight will be Removed. To report violations of the beach ordinances such as no glass & walking on the dunes Call 983-1100 or 983-1162 If you see animals on the beach call Animal Control 983-4680

Find local events and answers to common questions about Navarre Beach

Navarre Be ch Therapy .co m

“It was a mild infection which isn’t major,” he said. “What happens is the turtle stops eating because it doesn’t want to dive Dozens of beach visitors gathered down. They hang out by the surface where around to watch Harriet the rehabilitated they can breathe. It’s just like when you’re sea turtle’s return to the Gulf of Mexico weak, you don’t want to move around a whole lot when you’re sick either.” Thursday, July 14 on Opal Beach. It was lucky that the turtle was found by Harriet, as the loggerhead sea turtle has been nicknamed, is the sea turtle the trawlers and brought in for treatment McDowell said. equivalent of a “We do not norteenager, still too mally get them this young to begin early,” he said. “If breeding. Although the trawler had not the gender of the turpulled that turtle tle is a little unclear up, it would have at this age, the length washed up on the of the tail indicates it beach either dead is most likely a or much worse female. than it was.” Harriet was one The loggerhead of 209 sea turtles was entrusted to relocated by turtle the care of the Gultrawlers during the farium Sea Turtle beach renourishCARE Program. ment. Crew aboard Staff gave Harriet the turtle trawling fluids, iron, vitamin vessel Reva Rose B and antibiotics. noticed this particShe began eatular loggerhead ing again on May behaved lethargi17, and after carecally, swimming ful observation of close to the surface. her swimming, She looked emacishe was cleared ated with large for release. amounts of algae At her release, and barnacle build Beach visitors Addyson Hatfield, as Gulfarium up on her shell. aquarists hoistThe crew called it 8, and her sister Ava, 6, sneak a ed the turtle, she in and were referred peek at Harriet the loggerhead sea turtle during preparations for began to flick her to the Gulfarium Sea Thursday’s release into the Gulf flippers trying to Turtle CARE Pro- of Mexico on Opal Beach. “He’s make a beeline gram. huge,” Addyson shouted. for the water. Gulfarium CuraOnce she hit the tor of Fish and Invertebrates Allen McDowell said an infection was the like- sand, she was in the water within secly cause of Harriet’s poor health when onds as beach visitors clapped and cheered. she arrived for treatment.

You’ve got questions,

we’ve got answers.


Science station adds new learning modules By Jamie Gentry editor@NBnews.us

The Navarre Beach Marine Science Station welcomed its first class field trip of the school year Thursday, Sept. 1, to participate in data collection and education about marine populations in the Santa Rosa Sound.

Submitted photos

Navarre Beach Marine Science Station dual-enrollment student Teasia Tosta learns about plankton and assists in collecting data about the microorganisms of Navarre Beach.

This is the first of 50 student groups scheduled to visit the station. Director Charlene Mauro said this year’s curriculum has added several new learning experiences that teachers can chose from including examining the skeletal structure of marine mammals with an actual manatee skeleton, collecting data on biodiversity and applying math to the real world. “We have one called ‘Math in the Sea’ where they do quadrants, which is another way to calculate populations. That is one that teachers like because we are integrating math,” Mauro said. For the younger students, the station will offer scavenger hunts to find different birds and fish as well as relay-style activities. One of the classes teaches students about the environmental impact of lionfish and then has them participate in a race to collect fake lionfish off the beach using trash collector spikes in place of spear guns. “We are trying to do more things with the little kids that are more active like having them run to rescue an animal on the beach,” Mauro said. “We put conservation messages into that like run your trash to the trash can. It’s pretty cute.” The education is led by the high schoolers in Mauro’s dual-enrollment marine science class. Mauro said she

$10 GiFT cARD

Second-year student of the program Zandra Nicely teaches Zach Gonzalez how to use the seine, a type of net, to gather organisms in Santa Rosa Sound behind the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station. The students count the types of organisms gathered to make data projections about the biodiversity of the area. has 45 Navarre High School students in her class this year with five of them returning from the previous year to lead special projects aimed at giving a better picture of Navarre’s marine life. Projects will include cataloging the species that can be found in the Sound and on the reefs, measuring water quality and more. Mauro said the data are crucial to establishing a baseline for RESTORE improvement projects and a broader understanding of Navarre’s marine health. “We are unlike other areas; they have a university or environmental agency. There is

no science that has been done long term in Santa Rosa Sound,” she said. “What is the point in seeing changes over time if we don’t collect the initial data? We are working with the Gulf Coast Ocean Observation System to create a database for water quality and biodiversity of the Sound.” The high-school students will also receive their SCUBA certification and participate in a dive trip to the Florida Keys and travel to Florida State University to assist in their marine lab. But Mauro said the education was the top priority. “Two days a week, we have

the field trips,” she said. “It’s about me teaching my students and them knowing their information well enough to teach others. Studies have shown that is the highest form of learning.” Kaylee Christopher will be participating in her second year of the class. Christopher has focused on studying sea turtles and has received an internship through the U.S. National Park Service thanks to the science station. She said she loves to share her knowledge. “The younger ones are still learning what they like to do. I remember at that age I learned that I wanted to do marine science from other people teaching me,” Christopher said. “When they come in and you are able share that with them and you see some of the kids’ faces light up, it’s amazing. They get so excited to learn.” The high-schoolers also participate in education outside the classroom. They are required to finish 20 hours of community outreach, but Mauro said they often do more. Christopher has more than 100 hours of service under her belt. “We have reached over 100,000 people with the different events,” Mauro said. “It’s about integrating meaningful science that showcases our local habitats which is important. People email us ‘what is this, what is that?’ People want to know.” And this year the science station will once again answer their questions.

Growth of volleyball tournament spikes interest in Navarre Beach By Brian Lester editor@NBnews.us

to first 30 to sign up in September/October.

visit NavarreBeach.org to register DUES ARE: $25.00 PER PERSON $40.00 BOTH SPOUSES via Paypal OR Fill OUT AND MAil FORM BElOW

MEMBERSHiP REGiSTRATiON/RENEWAl FORM Navarre Beach Leaseholders and Residents Association, Inc. P.O. Box 5003 • Navarre, FL 32566 NAME:__________________________________________________ ADDRESS:_______________________________________________ CITY:___________________________________________________ STATE:__________________________________ ZIP:____________ PHONE:________________________________________________ BEACH ADDRESS:_________________________________________ EMAIL:__________________________________________________ DUES ARE: $25.00 PER PERSON $40.00 BOTH SPOUSES

MAil TO ADDRESS ABOvE

Navarre Beach is known as Florida’s best-kept secret but volleyball enthusiast and former pro Judd Smith is changing that reputation to a degree with his efforts to make the beach a volleyball destination. “We have a diamond in the rough here and it’s turned out to be awesome,” Smith said. “I love it. It definitely puts us on the map with volleyball. A lot of people used to just drive by. Now people stop.” They will have another reason to stop next weekend when Bulldog Beach Volleyball and Lagerheads on the Gulf plays host to a Southeast Volleyball Tour tournament. The effort is aided by a $5,000 grant provided to Lagerheads on the Gulf from the Tourism Development Council. A $1,000 portion of the grant will be used for the tournament and the rest divided up for future events. The Southeast Tour is in its second year, originating in Navarre and now features stops in New Orleans, Panama City and Pensacola. Three events were hosted in Navarre last year and the teams will be playing for a top prize of $8,000. The winners move on to play for $10,000 in Clearwater later this year. About a 100 men’s and women’s players are expected to compete in the twoday double-elimination twoman tournament. “They added four more stops this year,” Smith said. “It keeps getting bigger. It started here in Navarre and Volley America now spon-

Photo by Brian Lester

Beach volleyball has become a popular sport at Lagerheads on the Gulf. sors it. The great thing is there fall, with the first weekend of are no age divisions. It’s a action slated for Sept. 24-25. true open. I love that about The league will include socit.” cer, dodgeball, flag football Smith’s ultimate hope is and six-man volleyball. He to bring AVP Next events to expects the league to run for Navarre Beach, though he about five weeks. notes that will take some time “There aren’t a lot of sports to make it a reality. options for kids until they get “We are shooting for that to high school. This gives next but it will be awhile them something to do, and because of the contracts you adults, too. I just wanted to have to sign,” Smith said. “To find something to bring the even be considered for it is community together with and a big deal. It’s a process to have fun. I love having fun make it happen but it’s a fun through sports and everyride.” one else does, too.” And the athletic excitement Smith is excited about the on the beach doesn’t end opportunities ahead for with the tournament. That Navarre Beach, even if it same weekend there will be means the beach is no longer a four-man tournament for a secret. the public. The entry fee is “It’s such a blast doing $60 per team. things like this,” Smith said. “It’s very exciting and “I’m very blessed to have another way to help grow the the support of the commusport around here,” Smith nity. There are great athsaid. letes around here and you Smith also has a plan in can have fun at the same place to have several sports time. It’s awesome to be a leagues on the beach this part of this.”


Study tracks turtle hatchling gender

By Jamie Gentry editor@NBnews.us

Boy or girl? It is the first question many expectant parents have on the brain. For the hundreds of loggerhead sea turtle babies waiting to hatch on Navarre Beach, answering that question depends on the weather, specifically the temperature of the sand. “Boys are cool. Girls are hot,” Cathy Holmes of the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center (NBSTCC) said. “The warmer the sand, the more females are produced.” The NBSTCC joined the Birmingham Audubon Society in a multiyear study tracking the turtle population’s gender. Started in 2015, the study measures the temperature of the sand along the shore line during sea turtle nesting season to determine how many of the Florida Panhandle’s baby turtles are boys or girls. Andrew Coleman of the Birmingham Audubon Society is leading the study. “The aim of the research is to build a long-term data

set of beach temperatures at Navarre Beach to monitor how they change over time, if at all,” he said. “With the threat of climate change, having a large data set can provide insight on how the nesting environment has changed over time.” Holmes added that Panhandle research data was lacking. “I’m not sure that there’s ever been any research like this done in the Panhandle,” she said. “I think a lot of that stuff just focuses on central and south Florida.”

equal probability of being either gender, is 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Coleman said the Panhandle’s cooler sands do lean toward more boys, but last year was a mix. “The data show that, overall, a mixed sex ratio was produced on Navarre Beach last year,” he said. “Research has shown that although the Florida Panhandle supports fewer loggerhead sea turtle nests than peninsular Florida, it produces more males so

this region does have importance to the future conservation of the nesting population.” As for this year’s batch of hatchlings, there is no way to tell for certain. Holmes said hotter temperatures this year could mean more girls from the four loggerhead turtle nests currently located. One of these nests has been relocated in conjunction with renourishment activities. The renourishment may also play a role in making

Data loggers the size of a golf ball are buried in the sand along the Navarre and Fort Walton beaches. The pivotal temperature, or the sand temperature at which turtle hatchlings have

more girls Coleman said. “We will analyze the temperature data once we retrieve the loggers in the fall to document how the renourished sand influenced beach temperatures,” he said. “Previous studies have shown the renourished sand has led to higher beach temperatures, but that also depends on the type of sand used.” The renourishment may have had other effects on the turtle study. Placing the data loggers was delayed until the sand dredging was complete.

Holmes said the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told her to prepare for lower nest numbers after a renourishment. As record-breaking numbers of nests are being reported across parts of South Carolina and Florida, Holmes said their numbers are slightly less than usual. Last year’s total between May and October was 15 nests she said. But she said she wanted to emphasize how turtle friendly the renourishment process was sighting quick work and conscience behavior. “The company Weeks Marine and Coastal Tech, I have nothing but good things to say about them and the coordinating they did with us sea turtle people,” she said. “They were great. I was a little nervous about it because I had never done it, but these people made our jobs very easy.” Holmes estimates hatching will begin in August, but she cannot be sure of the exact date. “They hatch when they want to hatch,” she said. Submitted photo

Data loggers are buried in the sand of Navarre Beach to measure the average temperatures of the sand throughout sea turtle nesting season. Sand temperature can be a deciding factor in the gender of hatchlings.

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