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PBA Beachkeepers Tackle Many Environmental Issues

02/21/2012 4:51 PM | Anonymous

PBA Beachkeepers, the Environmental Committees for PBA, is off to a roaring start in the new year!  The first General Membership meeting of the year was held on February 7, 2012 at the SRIA.  Following is an update on each Beachkeeper Team news, efforts and events.

Wildlife Conservation Beachkeepers   Harry Purcell is investigating Pelican roosting and whether or not it is necessary and feasible for the group to take on a project to provide more pilings for roosting.  Tisha Christopher has taken on the lead role for the Wildlife group temporarily, and we are seeking a volunteer to get involved in a  leadership role for the long term. Currently, Tisha is meeting with the Florida Shorebird Alliance to determine what role Beachkeepers may have in working with this organization to protect our nesting birds.  Mark Nicholas with the  park service has been a big help in providing information and opportunities for the team to get involved in current Turtle nesting initiatives on the island.  There will be two workshops in April: 14th and 21st, Saturdays 8am-12noon.  If you are interested in volunteering for Turtle Watch in 2012, attendance at one of these workshops is mandatory. For more information contact Mark Nicholas at: mark_nicholas@nps.gov.

Other project:  Developing and implementing a Turtle Lighting Ordinance for the island and seeking additional volunteers for this group. 

Dune Preservation Beachkeepersmet with a representative from the Santa Rosa Island Authority to discuss the future of walkovers on the beach. There will be an important meeting at the SRIA regarding this issue on February 22nd at 5pm. (This meeting will address other issues, too, including the future of Trolleys)  Dune goals for 2012 include an educational program at the elementary school level regarding the importance of dune preservation, sand fencing, planting sea oats; establishing guidelines and suggestions for walkovers for private homes; addressing the amount of vehicle traffic on the beach on a daily basis. Contact Terry Preston to volunteer or for more information: terry@ehsmadeeasy.com

Alternative Transportation and Parking Beachkeepers have been diligently working on assisting the SRIA in the placement of additional bike racks, (a dozen have been added thus far) and creating “green parking spaces” to encourage the use of “green”  transportation (street legal golf carts )on the island. The team has developed a plan and
presented it to the SRIA, with initial approval, and the next step will be speaking directly to the respective businesses for implementation. If you are a business owner and know a place to put green parking spaces without losing any  existing parking, please contact Jay Baynes at jbaynes@pridjiwf.com.  Trolleys are one of the biggest issues that the team is focusing on. The Trolleys will be addressed at the February 22nd at 5pm meeting.  The ATP Beachkeepers will be making recommendations and your input is requested!  The SRIA has approved the addition of “Tiki Hut” style markers at each Trolley stop for easy identification!

Recycling and Litter Beachkeepers  will be hosting a Pensacola Beach RECYCLEMANIA DAY on Saturday, March 31st 8am-12noon at Casino Beach.  The day includes: FREE paper shredding from Gilmore
Services, up to 50 pounds, a Flea Market/Island-style Yard Sale where individuals may bring household items to sell from 8-12noon. ECUA will be on hand to provide information on FREE recycling programs.  Goodwill will
have a truck to accept your donated items. You can donate what you don’t sell at the end of the sale, or if you don’t want to participate in the yard sale, just bring your items to donate!  Yard sale “space” is FREE to PBA members, and only $20. for non members.  To reserve your space and register, go to www.pbadvocates.org, stop by the Pensacola Beach Visitors Information Center, or pick up an Island Times for a registration form.  Space is limited, first come,  first served! Beachkeepers is still accepting sponsors ($100) and volunteers for this event. Thank you to Pensacola Beach Women’s Club and the Pensacola Beach Chamber of Commerce for sponsoring!  Get involved and get your company noticed!  The future plan is to have a Spring Recyclemania Day and a Fall Recyclemania Day every year!
For additional info and to volunteer for RECYCLEMANIA Day contact Lois Hausman at loishausman@mchsi.com.

Beachkeepers at Large:  There is a plan in the works to create an “in-room information/education table top card” that would be distributed in area hotel rooms and rental properties on the island. This piece would be a collaborative effort among all Beachkeeper teams educating visitors to Pensacola Beach on Turtle nest protection and compliance, Dune protection,(why it’s important to stay off the dunes and sea oats) a Trolley schedule, map of bike racks and paths, pedestrian walkways, etc. and where to recycle on the beach (no glass, use recycle bins at walkovers, etc.)

Beachkeepers needs your help! Turn your passion into something positive for our Island…Join Beachkeepers and Volunteer in 2012 for the Beachkeeper team of your choice.  For general Beachkeeper information please contact JJ Waters at jjwaters101@gmail.com.

PBA Beachkeepers promotes positive actions to sustain the unique natural assets of Santa Rosa Island, including beach and dune preservation, protection of our flora and fauna, recycling, and responsible recreational use. 

We are committed to working with area businesses, community groups, and neighbors to improve the place we live in and do business by implementing environmental projects that benefit our community socially and

These goals will be accomplished through education, community involvement and partnering with other organizations.

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