Monday, January 31, 2011

Gulf Coast chamber names Island Spirit winner for January - Baldwin County NOW - A Gulf Coast Information Source for South Alabama

Gulf Coast chamber names Island Spirit winner for January - Baldwin County NOW - A Gulf Coast Information Source for South Alabama: "Gulf Coast chamber names Island Spirit winner for January"

JOE BARNETT The Best Surfer in all of ALABAMA!
GULF SHORES, Ala. —The Alabama Gulf Coast Area Chamber of Commerce Catch the Island Spirit Committee presented its Award for the month of January to Joe Barnett with Barnett Wood Working. At the ceremony, from left, are, Jan Umphrey, Deborah Pineda, AGCACC; Steve Jones, Kaiser Realty; Judy Smith, Vision Bank; Nora Mandoki, Island Spirit Chairwoman; Joe Barnett, Island Spirit Recipient; Linda Whitlock, Ann Motes, AGCACC; Allen McElroy. In addition to a plaque, Joe received an ‘Island Spirit’ lapel pin, a cash award, and a Shrimp Festival gift bag. The Catch the Island Spirit Award is presented each month to an individual who works on our island and offers great customer service to our guests or residents. Do you know someone who deserves this recognition? Contact the Alabama Gulf Coast Area Chamber of Commerce so that your nominee can be considered. Written nominations are necessary. Contact Vicki Stillings at 968-7200 for more information or to download an application, visit

Monday, January 24, 2011

Press Release: N. Gunter Guy Jr. Appointed Alabama Conservation Commissioner

N. Gunter Guy Jr. Appointed Alabama Conservation Commissioner

January 21, 2011

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley has appointed N. Gunter Guy Jr. as Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Guy is a graduate of Auburn University and the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. Most recently he practiced law with the firm of Ball, Ball, Mathews & Novak, P.A. in Montgomery.

Guy is a native of Alabama and lives on a family farm near Pintlala, Ala. He is an avid hunter and angler and looks forward to serving as Conservation Commissioner. “I am honored to have been selected by Governor Bentley for this position,” he said. “I have a lifelong love of the outdoors and am looking forward to overseeing the agency that is responsible for managing much of Alabama’s natural resources.”

One priority Guy will have is helping fulfill Gov. Bentley’s directive to state agencies to create jobs. Rebuilding the hotel and convention center at Gulf State Park will be a priority. “We need to get a first class facility built on the Gulf Coast so that in-state and out-of-state groups will have a place to meet in Alabama,” Guy said.

Guy is married to the former Patsy Lynn Wright of Montgomery. They have two children: Catherine, who attends Auburn University, and Ashley, who is a student at Hooper Academy.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit .

Friday, January 21, 2011

242 sea turtles released into the Gulf of Mexico

242 sea turtles released into the Gulf of Mexico

Posted from Fri Jan 21 2011

January 20, 2011 - Orange Beach, AL (OBA) - Gulf of Mexico (GOM) - Two hundred forty-two cold-stunned sea turtles removed from St. Joseph Bay this winter were released Wednesday into the Gulf of Mexico off Cape San Blas in Gulf County. All were green turtles. Twenty-five Kemp’s ridleys, also rescued from the cold, will be released at a later date, along with green turtles that need additional rehabilitation.

Dedicated volunteers fanned out around the southern end of St. Joseph Bay Jan. 13-16 when a frigid cold front enveloped the South, triggering the third sea turtle cold-stunning event in the bay this winter. Local residents, University of Florida turtle researchers, and volunteers from the St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve braved the cold to search marshy shorelines and inshore waters and to bring the immobile animals to safety. Rescuers took the turtles to Gulf World Marine Park in Panama City Beach, where they were evaluated and warmed. About half of the turtles were then moved to Florida’s Gulfarium in Fort Walton Beach to provide them with more swimming space.

Dr. Allen Foley, a sea turtle biologist who oversees sea turtle rescues for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), said the cold-stunning event was triggered by the latest bout of cold weather, causing the shallow-water temperatures in the southern end of St. Joseph Bay to drop into the 40s.

“Sea turtles can tolerate water temperatures down to about 50 degrees, but when it drops below that, they’re in trouble,” Foley said. “St. Joseph Bay is a long bay that is open only at the north end, and turtles may become trapped when the water cools quickly.” Dr. Robbin Trindell, an FWC biological administrator who oversees sea turtle management efforts, offered high praise for the volunteers who scoured the bay, sometimes several times a day, and for staff at Gulf World Marine Park and Florida’s Gulfarium.

“In addition to efforts by the volunteers and by the marine parks, Florida’s sea turtles are regularly helped by the funds received from the sea turtle license plate program and by grants from the NOAA Fisheries Service, which provide funds needed for the supplies, equipment and transportation used to respond to these events,” she said.

The public can help conserve and fund research for sea turtles by purchasing a specialty license plate or making $5 donations to receive a decal. Every dollar for the sea turtle plate helps sea turtles. Approximately 30 percent of the money goes to the Sea Turtle Grants program, which the nonprofit Sea Turtle Conservancy administers (visit for more information). The other 70 percent of tag revenue goes to the FWC’s Marine Turtle Protection Program to support research and management activities related to sea turtles, such as the rescues during cold weather events.

Plates and decals are available at county tax collectors’ offices.

To report sea turtles near the bay acting abnormally, call the FWC Wildlife Alert hotline: 888-404-FWCC (3922).