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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Upcoming Public Meetings for proposed changes to Florida Fishing Regulations

All hearings will begin at 6 p.m. local time and will conclude no later than 9 p.m.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Generic Amendment for Annual Catch Limits and Accountability Measures

Hilton St. Petersburg Carillon Parkway
950 Lake Carillon Drive
St. Petersburg, FL

Tuesday May 3, 2011

Reef Fish Amendment 32 (Gag & Red Grouper)

Hilton St. Petersburg Carillon Parkway
950 Lake Carillon Drive
St. Petersburg, FL

Monday May 9, 2011

Mackerel/Spiny Lobster

Sirata Beach Resort
5300 Gulf Blvd
St. Pete Beach, FL

Current Fishing Regulations for Florida can be found at

More information, as well as links to proposed regulations, can be found at

Friday, April 29, 2011

Fitting in Fitness at Work

By: Nan Jensen, FCS Agent

While those 30 to 40 minutes of exercise each day are important, studies are beginning to show that even if you engage in regular exercise daily, it may not be enough to counteract the effects of too much sitting during the rest of the day. Steven Blair, a professor of public health at the University of South Carolina has spent 40 years investigating physical activity and health. One of his studies found that men who reported more than 23 hours a week of sedentary activity had a 64 percent greater risk of dying from heart disease than those who reported less than 11hours a week of sedentary activity. And many of the men in this study routinely exercised.

Most of us have sedentary jobs and when we arrive home we sit some more. While we may get in some physical activity throughout the day, work takes up a significant part of the day. There are things many of us can do at work to get us moving and break up a day of inactivity.

  • When the weather cooperates take a walk while brainstorming project ideas with a co-worker.

  • Stand while talking on the telephone.

  • Walk down the hall to speak with someone rather than using the telephone or email.

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Or get off a few floors early and take the stairs the rest of the way.

  • Schedule an activity break on your calendar and treat it as any other important appointment.

  • If you take public transportation, get off a few blocks early and walk the rest of the way to work or home.

  • Walk around during the work day at break or during lunch.

For more ideas on how to build activity into your work day, on the web check out Exercise at your Desk and the book Instant Recess .

Saturday, April 23, 2011

What will You be doing 10 years from Now?

A planning process that will shape Extension programs in Florida for the next decade has begun.

This is a joint effort between the University of Florida (UF) and the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) that will allow us to have a clear path of action as an educational organization. Our goal is to create a strategic plan that will support Florida's economy, environment, and people. We want it to be relevant today and flexible enough to meet the needs of Florida's communities as they change.
Listening is at the core of Extension's long range planning effort. One way we can hear your ideas is by having you take a survey.

So please spend your next 10 minutes completing this survey. When you are done, take a minute more and share this blog with others who may be interested in contributing ideas about the future of Extension.

Mary Campbell
County Extension Director
UF/IFAS Pinellas County Extension

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Calling All Wildlife Enthusiasts!

The Friends of Brooker Creek Preserve are hosting a Wildlife Safari this Saturday , April 16th, from 9 am – 3 pm.

Bring your children (4-12) and purchase a Safari Passport for $5 (parents and younger children are free). After receiving your passport you will join a hike group and you will walk the Brooker Creek Education Center trail. Along the trail, you will encounter five wildlife stations where live native animals will be on display. Each station will have a guide to talk about the animal and answer questions.

At the end of the trail, children with a completed passport, get to choose a nature gift from the Treasure Tent.

What animals will be at the Wildlife Stations?
Owls - from Boyd Hill Nature Center
Baby raccoons - from Wildlife Haven
Alligator - from Florida Wildlife Commission
Snakes - either from the Suncoast Herpetological Society or Pinellas County Schools
Bats and/or box turtles

A canteen tent will be selling snacks and t-shirts.

See you there!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Is Your School Going Green?

If so, the school can apply for a Florida Green School Award. There are five award categories:

1) students
2) classes
3) teachers
4) schools
5) school districts.

Applicants should select the award category that most accurately reflects the level at which the project was undertaken. For example, if a student initiates a recycling program at school and is responsible for organizing and managing the program, the most appropriate category would be ‘student.’ However, if a school pursues a recycling program and involves students, teachers from multiple classrooms and grades in all aspects of the program, it would be more appropriate to apply for the ’school’ award.

In some cases large projects can be broken down into smaller components with each component submitting an application for recognition. For example, a school may have initiated a green school program involving schoolyard improvements, Earth Day events and energy conservation programs. One part of that program may include one particular class that initiated an energy audit for the school. In this case, both the school and the class could apply for recognition. It is important to remember that each application should focus only on the activities, outputs, and outcomes that result from efforts at the particular level.

The Florida Green School Awards Program includes a number of themes that projects should be aligned with:

1) Green Learning Environments
2) Exemplary Curriculum or Teacher Professional Development
3) Service Learning
4) Policy and Partnerships
5) Recycling.

These themes are broad enough to capture just about any green school project. If the project does not fit neatly into one of these categories, please choose ’Green Learning Environments.’

To apply for this year's awards your project must have started no earlier than June 1, 2010 and has to be completed by May 31, 2011.

The online application must be completed by June 21, 2011.

For more information visit:

Florida Green Schools

Florida Green Schools FAQs

Last Year's Finalists

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


When: Monday, April 11, 2011
10:00 am to noon

Where: Seminole Community Library Program Room
9200 113th St. N., Seminole, Florida 33722

Topic: Residential Solar Energy Use

Speaker: Frank Cassarino, licensed electrician

Frank Cassarino became interested in lowering his carbon footprint. This interest led him to want to use renewable energy. He obtained resource materials concerning residential solar power systems. His prior knowledge of DC (direct current) electrical equipment had been gained through technical manuals and the servicing he had performed on mobile electrical equipment.

Come hear Frank, and his wife, Eleanor, describe how they now utilize solar energy to lower their consumption and costs related to using electric power. Bring along a friend or two, as well!

For more information, call Mary, 631-838-2272.

Monday, April 4, 2011

It’s Easy to Recycle Rechargeable Batteries

By: Greg Plantamura, Energy Efficiency Grant Worker

Rechargeable batteries are a great way to save money and it is easy to recycle them. They are hazardous waste. Do NOT dispose with regular trash! Under Florida law, it is illegal to dispose of nickel-cadmium or small sealed lead acid rechargeable batteries in the trash.

You can drop off old rechargeable batteries for free recycling at businesses in cooperation with Call2Recycle, like Home Depot, Lowe's, Radio Shack, Target, Best Buy, Office Depot, and Staples. You can find a drop-off location near you at

You can also drop off batteries at a Pinellas County scheduled mobile collection or at the HEC3 facility for recycling. This service is free for Pinellas County residents, and businesses are charged a reduced fee. To prevent short-circuits, please cover terminals with heavy tape or place individual batteries in separate plastic bags.

To learn more about Batteries for Home Electronics, click here to download this pdf fact sheet from the Florida Energy Systems Consortium.

For more options and information on disposal of batteries (and other household items) consult Pinellas County Utilities' A to Z Guide for Recycling & Disposal.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Celebrate Water Conservation Month!

April is Water Conservation Month. Join your fellow Floridians and pledge to conserve water. It’s our water and it’s worth saving.

Pledge now and be entered to win a free water conservation kit!

Southwest Florida Water Management Water Pledge