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Tag: franklin county

Forgotten Coast Paddle Jam 2014, Franklin County, FL

by on Mar.25, 2014, under Apalachicola, Carrabelle and St. George Island

Visit Franklin County Florida - St. George Island, Carrabelle and Apalachicola
Visit St. George Island

Forgotten Coast Paddle Jam 2014

When
Friday, May 16, 2014 through Sunday, May 18, 2014

Website
www.paddle2love.com

Email
missy@fumcapalach.com

Forgotten Coast Paddle Jam 2014

Forgotten Coast Paddle Jam 2014
May 16, 17 and 18th – Franklin County Florida
love2paddle… paddle2love!

Paddle Jam is a festival celebrating the Forgotten Coast through paddle sports, music & food.  Paddle Jam is a “fluid festival” with events happening at various locations in Apalachicola and St. George Island.  If you love2paddle we invite you to join with us and paddle2love as we help those in need! Click here to register to attend.

WORLD RECORD: Largest Floating KAYAK RAFT

During Paddle Jam we will attempt to set a new Guinness Book World Record for the largest floating gathering of kayaks .
The current Guinness World Record was set September 24, 2011 when 1,902 kayaks and canoes assembled on Fourth Lake in Inlet, N.Y. On Saturday May 17th, 2014 we attempt to set a World Record on the Apalachicola River aiming to involve “raft up” over 2100+ kayaks.
The event will take place at the confluence of the Apalachicola River and the Apalachicola Bay (100 yards north of the Apalachicola Bridge toward the junction of Scipio Creek and Apalachicola River.)  Put-in locations will be spaced out at public landing and private marinas along the Apalachicola River.  2100+ Kayaks will gather and be linked by boaters arm in arm or paddle to paddle and assembled for 30 seconds.

Paddle: Races and activities
Kayak Races – Registration

SUP Races – Registration
During Paddle Jam you can also register with local outfitters and non-profit organizations for activities such as:
Eco tours into the Apalachicola River system
Paddling adventures in the Gulf or bay to the barrier islands
SUP yoga

Jam: Music & Food
Paddle Jam will also showcase live local music and local food.  You can also attend lectures, visit local museums and parks, shop with the local vendors and stroll the historic district. Paddle Jam offers something for everyone and is for people who are passionate about life on the Forgotten Coast.

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Interested in Oysters? Head to Ouzt’s Too in Newport, FL

by on Jan.29, 2014, under Recipes and Food, Shell Point to Lanark, Ochlockonee Bay, St. Marks, Aucilla and Econfina

I’m “old school” and only eat oysters in months whose spelling includes an “R”.  Yes, I realize we now have cleaner waters flowing over oyster beds these days and have excellent refrigeration technology, but I’m still not a fan of oysters taken from warm water.  Warmer conditions mean an increased danger of contamination, and oysters are filter feeders with the potential for concentrating harmful bacteria, like Vibrio vulnificus, in warm water. For that reason, I consider February to be the peak of oyster season here in Florida.

I don’t get many arguments when I say that the nation’s best oysters come from Wakulla and Franklin counties in Florida’s Big Bend.  Oystermen in places like Panacea and Apalachicola have carefully protected their “crops” for generations, and those “fields” produce some of the tastiest oysters available.  Salty and fat, these oysters are best savored either “raw” or with just a touch of horseradish or cocktail sauce.  And they’re certainly not the oysters you let slide down the back of your throat without chewing.   However, many folks like to eat oysters “dressed” and complex recipes like Oysters Rockefeller and Oysters Bienville headline menus from Florida to Texas.  And every so often, something simple just jumps up off the table, begging you to take a bite.

That’s the story behind the Oysters Supreme and the Oysters Nacho at Ouzts’ Too Oyster Bar, located on the west side of the St. Marks River in Newport.  This Wakulla County watering hole has been there for over three-quarters of a century, and is going strong, attracting an array of characters eager to chow down on fresh-shucked oysters and smoked local mullet.   Owner Dorthy White and her crew pride themselves in oysters shucked “as they’re ordered” and a relaxed atmosphere that includes live music, karaoke and even guitar pickin’ in the “toilet garden” out back.  And while oysters “on the half shell” headline the Outzs’ Too menu, they offer these two simple twists for patrons who enjoy their oysters warm or spicy.  These variations are easy to make and will certainly please even the least adventurous guest at your table or happy hour.

Oysters Supreme/Oysters Nacho

Arrange a dozen or so small or medium shucked oysters (Save the large ones to eat raw!) on a microwaveable plate or platter.  Take care to free the oyster from the bottom shell when you’re shucking as that makes eating easier.  Put about a half-teaspoon of butter on each oyster, and then add either a teaspoon of chopped cooked bacon or a slice of pickled jalapeño pepper.  Top with some shredded Cheddar cheese and microwave on high power for 2 to 4 minutes, depending on how well done you like your oysters.  Serve with cold beer—of course!

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Florida Seafood Festival Nov. 1-2, 2013 at Apalachicola

by on Sep.24, 2013, under Apalachicola, Carrabelle and St. George Island

The 50th Annual Florida Seafood Festival kicks off in Apalachicola November 1-2. Heralded as the State’s oldest maritime event, this annual fall classic is a celebration of the Franklin County commercial seafood industry. This is the 50th year of the Florida Seafood Festival that promises to feature delicious seafood, arts and crafts exhibits, seafood related events and musical entertainment including recording artist Kellie Pickler.

For more information, click here.

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MBARA Goes After Big Reefs in 2013

by on Jan.01, 2013, under Apalachicola, Carrabelle and St. George Island, Destin and Ft. Walton Beach, Navarre, Pensacola and Perdido, Port St. Joe, Mexico Beach and St. Joseph Bay

The Board of Directors of the Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association are moving ahead full steam for 2013 to try and obtain fabulous new reefs like Coast Guard Cutters, bridge spans, and pre-fabricated concrete structures.   These will all be placed in currently permitted sites off the shores of Port St. Joe and Mexico Beach, Florida.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Grant

Twelve (12) new reefs are on the drawing board with a value of $80,000 which will be completed in early Spring.   The grant money will combine with matching funds raised by the MBARA from the Kingfish Tournament, sales of t-shirts, and donations.  The grant has been approved and is currently out for bids to come in on specifications of the project.

St. George Island Bridge Spans
We are working to raise three (3) bridge spans damaged by Tropical Storm Debby back in June of 2012.  We will raise them off of the floor of the bay, and then transport them to permitted sites in the Gulf of Mexico.  These spans are 55 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 7 feet tall.

Teaming with Bay and Gulf Counties
The MBARA is working diligently with officials from Bay and Gulf counties to try and build some significant artificial reefs using some of the NRDA (Natural Response Damage Assessment) and RESTORE ACT funds coming from monies paid out by BP due to the oil spill and its damaging effects on the environment and subsequent economic decline.  The funds in NRDA and RESTORE are different and will require different applications and priorities as established by local and state governmental agencies.

These plans include 4 Coast Guard Cutters, some underwater sculpture designs, and massive pre-fabricated concrete structures.

Artificial Reefs Have Million Dollar Impact
The economic impact will be substantial.  Building artificial reefs will bring millions to our local economy and thousands of jobs.

Who says so?  There are numerous studies that have been done in Florida that very vividly show how a local economy can benefit greatly from a well developed artificial reef program that will bring in thousands of visitors for fishing and diving.

In l998 Professors Bell, Bonn, and Leeworthy did a study on Northwest Florida to study the effect of the artificial reefs on the local economies.   They studied the five counties of Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, and Bay.   They found 414 million dollars in expenditures for fishing and diving related to artificial reefs.   That meant 8,136 jobs, 84 million in wages, with 359 million attributed to visitors.

In 2001 Johns, Leeworthy, Bell, and Bonn published a study of five counties if Southeast Florida including Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe.   What they found was that visitors spent l.7 billion dollars on fishing and diving related activities on artificial reefs which meant 27,000 jobs and 782 million in wages.

After the 2006 sinking of the USS Oriskany off of Pensacola,  over 4,200 dive trips were taken the first year.  In the two local counties of Escambia and Baldwin there were 3.6 million dollars in diving related expenditdures which meant 67 new full time jobs and l.4 million in local wages.

In 2006 the USS Vandenburg was sunk off of Key West.  This was found to produce 6.5 million in diving and fishing related expenditures, l05 full time jobs, and 3.2 million in income for local workers.

With so much money coming to our area in NRDA and RESTORE ACT funds, surely a part of that money can go to build large artificial reefs like 4 Coast Guard Cutters which will bring tourists to dive and fish which will translate to local wages, jobs, and and an increased tax base.  With millions of dollars coming soon to our area, it is essential that we use part of that money on projects that will produce jobs, boost our local economy, and grow our tax base.   Artificial reefs will do that.

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