Bayview Park Tennis Courts Repairing and Resurfacing

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I'm happy to report that repairing and resurfacing on the six tennis courts at Bayview Park began last week. The work should take approximately two weeks depending on the weather.

The Bayview Park Tennis Courts are some of the most beautiful public courts I've had the pleasure of playing on. The Bayview Park Tennis Courts are enjoyed by citizens from all parts of the city. They're located in District 4, but they're only three blocks from District 5 and eight blocks from District 6.

The City Council also recently voted to add courts at Legion Field located in District 7 on the west side of the city of Pensacola.



Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I want to wish Derek Cosson a belated Happy Birthday. Derek's birthday was yesterday Monday, November 15th.

Derek's BLOG, Progressive Pensacola is one of the most read political BLOGS in NW Florida.
Derek serves his community on the City Planning Board and spends many hours at City Hall attending City Council meetings.

Derek also serves on the Board of Directors for the Emerald Coastkeeper, Inc.

He continues to work to improve our city and is a champion for progressive ideas.

I am proud to call him a friend and I hope he had a very Happy Birthday!


Benefit Account for Deputy Jeremy Cassady

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Council making CMPA nominations

Monday, October 4, 2010

The City Council is current taking nominations for three seats on the CMPA, the body responsible for managing the Community Maritime Park project. Please see the following information from the city's web site and contact me at if you have any questions or wish to be nominated.

The Community Maritime Park Associates, Inc. (CMPA) Board of Trustees is responsible for overseeing the development and operation of the Community Maritime Park and is comprised of twelve (12) members. The City is required to appoint the members of the Board of Directors for the CMPA not-for-profit organization.

At this time three (3) positions require appointments by City Council (and Council will also appoint a City Council Member as their Representative to sit on the Board). Term of office is three (3) years.


If you have any questions please contact the City Clerk's office at 435-1606.


Council accepting nominations for Architectural Review Board

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The City Council is currently accepting nominations for vacancies on the Architectural Review Board. If you have an interest in serving, please contact me at



Chamber/TDC offer DeLuna Fest tickets to hotels/rentals

Please see the following message from the Pensacola Bay Area Convention & Visitors Bureau:

The Pensacola Bay Area Chamber of Commerce/Visit Pensacola and the Tourist Development Council have received 4,000 tickets for the DeLuna Festival, Oct. 15-17 on Pensacola Beach. Each ticket provides free entry into the festival for all three days. The tickets are available at no cost to hotels, condos and vacation rentals to help draw additional visitors by offering multi-night festival packages.

Guidelines for receiving tickets for your property:

Reserve tickets by return e-mail to: We will follow up to confirm your order. Property must identify their representative authorized to sign for and receive tickets. Tickets will not be released to any individuals with whom we are unable to confirm authorization. Property accepts obligation to package festival tickets with room nights.

Pick-up/sign for tickets at the Pensacola Visitor Information Center, Wayside Park, anytime during posted hours of operation.

  • First round (Sept. 1 – 12)
    Limit of 100 tickets per property

  • Final round (Sept. 13 – Oct. 15)
    All remaining tickets available to all properties; first-come, first-serve.
(Please return unused tickets as early as possible, they will be redistributed to other properties)

For more information please call Ed Schroeder at (850) 434-1234.


Early voting starts Monday

Friday, August 6, 2010

Early voting starts Monday, August 9. There are two early voting locations in the City of Pensacola:

  • Supervisor of Elections Main Office, 213 Palafox Place, 2nd Floor
  • West Florida Genealogy Library (Formerly Tryon Branch), 5740 N. Ninth Ave

If you need a ride to go vote, contact me at and I will try to help arrange transportation.

For more information or to view a sample ballot, check out the Supervisor of Elections web site at


BARC meeting tomorrow

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Just a reminder that the Bay Area Resource Council, on which I serve, will meet tomorrow to discuss several important issues:

The Bay Area Resource Council (BARC) will hold a public forum on Wednesday, July 28, 2010 at Pensacola City Hall, Hagler-Mason Conference Room, located at 222 W Main Street. The meeting is being held from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Guest Speakers include the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Wildlife Sanctuary of Northwest Florida, Escambia County Department of Health, Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, U.S. Coast Guard, BP and U.S. EPA, Region IV. Speakers will provide an update on how local, state, and federal governments and others are responding to Deepwater Horizon Oil Clean and Clean-up efforts including short-term and long-term goals. In addition, there will be discussion about the environmental and public health effects (air and water) of dispersants being used as well as other areas of concern.

A representative from Florida Emerald Coast Clean Cities Coalition will discuss the Clean Cities Program and lessening our dependency on foreign and domestic oil.


EHNA on Bay Bridge

Please see the following message from David Del Gallo of the East Hill Neighborhood Association:

The City of Gulf Breeze has been trying to find a solution to the traffic on 98 in Gulf Breeze for years and a new bridge to replace the old 3-mile bridge is in included in the long range plan. Exactly where the new bridge would be placed is not decided and may not parallel the existing 3-mile bridge to Gulf Breeze.

The possible landing points are: on the Gulf Breeze side Hwy 98 to about Naval Live Oaks, on the Pensacola side Cervantes St. (Scenic Highway) to 17th, the current location.

The schedule of public meetings is also attached. The Pensacola date is Aug 17 City Hall 11:30-1:30 and Baptist Medical Park on University Parkway 4:30-7:00p.m.

Depending on where the Pensacola side of this bridge is placed, this could significantly change traffic patterns in our neighborhood. If this concerns you please make plans to attend.


BP corporate number/DEP email

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I received the following email with a few pieces of useful information:

We have been able to locate a phone number for the main corporate office of BP
in Houston, TX if any of you would be interested in calling them. The number is

Also, if you have any suggestions, products or know of anyone who does that you would like to be considered for a possible use to help clean the oil product up please register online at For anything to be considered it must get DEP approval first.


CNN interview

Sunday, July 4, 2010

I recently spoke with CNN's John Zarella on Pensacola Beach about the oil disaster's impact on our 2010 beach season:


Hardball appearance today

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

This afternoon I spoke again with Chris Matthews for MSNBC's Hardball about the Gulf oil disaster, how it is affecting our community, and how both BP and the federal government need to be doing more:


Letter from Bayou Texar Foundation

I received the following letter from the Bayou Texar Foundation concerning the idea of closing Bayou Texar boat ramps:

Dear Mayor Wiggins and Council members,

I am writing to you as the Secretary of the Bayou Texar Foundation as well as a representative for several of my waterfront neighbors. We are all gravely concerned about the possibility of oil in the waters of Bayou Texar, threatening the healthy estuary and the wildlife/sea life that is present. Over the last few years, we have seen our waterfront habitat increase in productivity. Rarely do you look out that you do not see osprey, herons, pelicans, kingfishers, and hundreds of bait fish and mullet. That being said, we need smart decisions about the protection and use of the bayou.

At a recent meeting, a discussion about oil on pleasure boats returning to port prompted a suggestion to close the City-owned boat ramps - two inside the bayou, the third just outside the mouth at the 17th Ave. viaduct. This seems akin to throwing the baby out with the bathwater, and I don't think that we should punish the many for the sins of the few. A better approach might be to educate our citizens, many of whom are very responsible, with a campaign about the sensibility of boating through oil. Signage at the ramps, an "Oil Spill 101" if you will, might inform boaters that going outside Pensacola Pass when oil has been seen offshore is not good for the boat or for the inshore environment. Numbers could be provided for the vessel cleanup station, as well as for the boom movement during incoming tide. As we enter hurricane season (with a storm brewing at this moment), our residents need access to those ramps to be able to pull boats out and take them to safe harbor. We also need them regularly for boat maintenance, and many of us have paid the annual $25 fee for boat ramp access. It is also doubtful that the small pleasure boats launching at these ramps go as far as the Gulf of Mexico.

In addition, perhaps the Coast Guard could issue "small and medium craft advisories" when oil is close to Pensacola Pass, discouraging boating in the Gulf of Mexico. Yes, there are some selfish boaters on the water, but I think most people are open to information about why it is a bad idea. We at least owe that chance to the good boaters of the area, but need to get the details about the boat cleaning need and facilities out to as many local residents as possible. This can be a joint City/County effort, as not all those using our ramps are City residents. I have spoken with Mayor Wiggins and my councilman, Larry Johnson, about further protection of the bayou, to supplement the boom strategy. The possibility of submerged oil floating under those booms is a valid concern, and it seems more and more that the best strategy is skimming both in the Gulf and in Pensacola Bay, long before any oil reaches the bayou. Please help keep the pressure on to provide more skimmers and better coordination between the eye in the sky and the skimmers on the water.

Thank you for your attention. I will be happy to discuss these ideas with any of you, or to work with Staff to design signage for the boat ramps. The Bayou Texar Foundation stands ready to assist in any way we can to protect our valuable waterway.


Eleanor Godwin
Secretary, Bayou Texar Foundation


Coastkeeper on dispersants

Monday, June 28, 2010

Please see the following message from Emerald Coastkeeper Chasidy Fisher Hobbs concerning the dispersants that EPA is allowing BP to use in response the oil in the Gulf:

I wrote to you yesterday about a plan to get dispersants off EPA's approved list of means of dealing with an oil spill. Write your letters TODAY! A postcard will do, just be sure it is hand written! Pass this email to everyone you know. Help us get 1 million letters to EPA by August 1st! Below is a sample letter. Feel free to modify it in any way you see fit. Definitely mail it to Lisa Jackson (address below). If you want to make more of a difference mail her the letter once per week. If you want an even greater impact, mail the letter to all you senators and representatives (don't know who yours are? Need an address? Go here: and here: (click on your state and then the name to get mailing address)

Lisa Jackson
USEPA Headquarters
Ariel Rios Building
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N. W.
Mail Code: 1101A
Washington, DC 20460

Dear Lisa Jackson (or the name of your legislator):

I am gravely concerned about the use of dispersants and EPA's inability to stop BP from using them in the Gulf of Mexico. I implore you to amend the National Contingency Plan Product Schedule to include a process to delist products. Further, you must use this new process to delist, effective immediately, products that contain human health hazards and proprietary compounds, first and foremost dispersants. Fast-tracking this process is essential to the health of our Gulf, the workers on the Deepwater Horizon scene and all of the Gulf Coast residents and their visitors.

Your name
Your address


Other talking points you may or may not like to add:

1) The use of dispersants has criminally escalated the mortality to marine life from the oil release in the Gulf.

2) The use of dispersants has grievously complicated the clean-up of the oil in the Gulf region.

3) The use of dispersants has shamefully magnified the intergenerational harm of this oil catastrophe.

4) The use of dispersants has injuriously impacted public health and worker safety in the region.

Chasidy Fisher Hobbs
Emerald Coastkeeper, Inc.
o: 850-429-8422


More on the Jones Act

Lynn Bannister, the Director of Outreach for Senator Bill Nelson, shared the following link with me about the Jones Act and how it impacts response efforts:


Boat access to bayous

Concerning boats entering and leaving Bayou Texar as well as most waterways in Escambia County, the number to call regarding the moving of booms to allow access is 850-736-2261.

Please e-mail me at and let me know how your experience with this number is and the if the operation works.


Skimmer boats

I've written Carol Browner, the President's top environmental adviser, to tell her and the administration how badly we need skimming boats in the Gulf of Mexico:

Ms. Browner,

I have heard that 13 other countries including the Dutch, have offered us the use of skimming boats. Could you let me know where the White House is on this issue.

These boats need to be in the Gulf of Mexico dealing with the oil there, not in our inland waterways.

There is oil in Pensacola Bay as I write.

Also could you update me on the status of waiving the Jones Act?

Thank you for your assistance.

Larry B. Johnson
City Councilman - District 4


Appearance on Hardball

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I appeared this afternoon on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews:

One correction: Toward the end where I said "gallons" I meant "barrels."


Bayou Texar partially closed

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bayou Texar is now triple boomed and the mouth of the bayou is being closed when the tide starts in (flow) and opened back up when it starts out (ebb).

Boats needing to travel in and out of the bayou during closures can call 850.736.2261.

Boom has also been placed between the Port of Pensacola and Muscogee Wharf near the Project Greenshores Phase II area.


Senators to BP: cough up $20 billion advance

Please see the following release from Senator Bill Nelson's office:

In advance of the president’s trip to Florida’s Panhandle tomorrow, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson today continued to insist that BP and the White House take steps to keep taxpayers from having to foot the bill for the massive cleanup. The Florida Democrat also stressed that now is the time for the administration to launch a full-scale effort to get the U.S. off its dependence on oil.

Nelson was in Pensacola today for a first-hand look at the impact the oil spill is having on the Panhandle region. President Obama is due to be there tonight and tomorrow as he responds to growing concerns there over the spill. The state’s tourism and commercial fishing industries already are reeling.

To help, Nelson and a number of his Senate Democratic colleagues released a letter they wrote to BP’s boss Tony Hayward asking that he set up a trust fund with a $20 billion advance from the oil behemoth “as an act of good faith and as a first step toward ensuring that there will be no delay in payments or attempt to evade responsibility for damages.”

“The costs associated with the spill are being vastly underestimated by both BP as well as some government officials,” Nelson said today. “We have to fight to ensure that it’s BP, not the taxpayers, bearing the financial brunt of this disaster.”

From the outset, Nelson has pushed to hold BP accountable. He filed legislation to raise the liability the company faced for economic and environmental damages from $75 million to $10 billion. As the spill grew, he said that $10 billion might not even be enough, asserting that BP should be prepared to pay an unlimited amount.

Over the past few weeks, Nelson also has been a vocal critic of the handling of the spill, calling repeatedly for control of cleanup operations to be placed under the supervision of a military-like command and control operation.

Today, while in Pensacola, Nelson said it was time for Obama to step out front – like President Kennedy did in sending Americans to the moon – to launch a full-blown initiative to free

the U.S. from its dependence on oil. “If ever there was a time, this is it,” Nelson said.

For years, the Senator has opposed drilling for oil off Florida’s coast “for reasons,” he said, “are exemplified by this abominable tragedy.”


Street closures

Please see the following information from the Pensacola Police Department:

The following roads will be closed from 5 to 9 p.m. today within the city limits of Pensacola for the Presidential visit: Garden Street to Alcaniz Street and Interstate 110 entrances and exits south of Cervantes Street.

From 8 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, the following streets will be closed: Pensacola Bay Bridge, Gregory Street from the bridge to I110, I110 entrances and exits south of Cervantes Street, and Garden Street from Alcaniz Street through the city limits.


News appearances about BP oil disaster

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I recently did interviews with CBS 4 in Miami and FOX News about how the BP oil disaster is affecting our beautiful beaches here in Pensacola:


Questioning BP

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Below are a few clips from last Thursday's City Council meeting where BP representatives showed up to answer questions. I had a few.


May 24 Deepwater Horizon weather briefing

Monday, May 24, 2010

Please see the following weather briefing concerning the Deepwater Horizon oil spill:



May 24 oil response update from SERT

Please see the latest update from the State Emergency Response Team:


TALLAHASSEE – Under the leadership of Governor Charlie Crist, the State Emergency Response Team and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) are actively coordinating and responding to the Deepwater Horizon incident.

The following is a summary of state and BP response actions to date, as well as tips for residents and visitors to take precautions both pre and post-landfall.

Landfall Predictions:
  • Winds/currents continue to keep the plume away from the Florida coast for at least the next 72 hours.
  • Latest observations by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) indicate that a small portion of the oil slick has reached the Loop Current in the form of light sheens. NOAA oceanographers release updated trajectory maps showing the predicted trajectory of the oil slick. Learn more at the NOAA website.
  • Impacts to Florida’s coastline could include tar balls, oil sheen or tar mats. If oil is sighted on Florida’s coastline report it to the State Warning Point at 1-877-2-SAVE-FL (1-877-272-8335) or by dialing #DEP from most cell phones.
On Site Actions:
  • Deepwater Horizon continues to discharge more than 5,000 barrels per day.
  • BP continues to evaluate numerous options to contain the oil discharge and is continuing efforts to drill a relief well.
  • On May 20, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) directed BP to identify and use a less toxic dispersant from the list of EPA authorized dispersants.
  • Dispersants are a chemical used to break up oil into small droplets so that they are more easily degraded. This chemical works best on fresh oil, and is most useful at the source of the discharge from Deepwater Horizon.
  • At this time, there are no plans to use dispersants in Florida. If dispersants are ever considered in state waters, the determination to use the chemical would be evaluated by DEP with input from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Florida Wildlife Research Institute and EPA.
State Actions:
  • The State Emergency Operations Center remains activated at a Level 2 or Partial activation.
  • Governor Charlie Crist has issued three Executive Orders since April 30, 2010 declaring a state of emergency in 26 coastal counties that may see impacts from the incident.
  • On May 14, 2010, Governor Crist announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approved disaster loan funds for businesses along Florida’s Gulf coast that have been impacted by the Deepwater Horizon incident. Learn more at:
  • On May 12, 2010, Governor Crist directed DEP to issue an Emergency Final Order to accelerate preparedness and restoration in the counties under the Governor’s state-of-emergency Executive Orders.
  • BP has opened eight claims offices in Florida. Visit the BP Claims Page to learn more.
  • DEP conducted water and sediment sampling to use as a baseline and is monitoring air quality data. Statewide air quality monitoring is conducted in coordination with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Learn more at or
  • Air quality reports for Sunday, May 23, revealed that air quality was considered good for ozone and particulate matter throughout the North Florida coastal area. “Good” means the air quality is satisfactory and air pollution poses little or no risk.
Boom Placement:
  • To date, an estimated 259,950 feet of boom has been placed in Florida and an additional 11,400 is staged.
  • Placement of boom is based where the oil is threatening, as well as each region’s area contingency plan.
  • To view the Coast Guard Mobile Area Contingency Plan visit:
  • To view the Coast Guard St. Petersburg Area Contingency Plan visit:
  • The Unified Command Operations Group is asking boaters to avoid damaging boom. Boom cut or broken due to boater traffic jeopardizes the protection that has been set up for the environmentally sensitive areas across the coast.
  • Stolen or misplaced boom should be reported to local authorities.
Health Effects:
  • At this time, there are no indications of any health risks to Floridians due to the Deepwater Horizon incident. The Department of Health and DEP are closely monitoring health and environmental impacts to Florida’s beaches and will notice an advisory if conditions become unsafe.
  • For most people, an occasional brief contact with a small amount of oil, while not recommended, will do no harm. Learn more at:
Fisheries & Seafood:
  • The fisheries, wildlife and seafood off of Florida’s coast in state waters are safe and there are no alerts at this time. Press Release Florida saltwater fishing regulations remain in effect as usual. Learn more at
  • On May 21, 2010, NOAA modified and expanded the boundaries of the closed federal fishing area until further notice. More than 80 percent of the fishing area remains open. Learn more at:
  • Fishermen who wish to contact BP about a claim should call 1-800-440-0858.
  • FWC urges citizens to report oiled wildlife to the Wildlife Distress Hotline at 1-866-557-1401.
  • For the safety of the public as well as the safety of animals, rescues should be conducted by trained responders. Learn more at:
  • Currently, there are no impacts to Florida’s more than 1,260 miles of coastline and 825 miles of sandy beaches.
  • Through, vacationers are able to view live Twitter feeds and read up-to-the-minute information on the status of any city or region in Florida. Learn more at
  • The Florida State Parks website,, will be updated daily and will list any parks that may be impacted. Visitors with camping or cabin reservations will be notified if their stay will be impacted. Learn more by calling 1-850-245-2157.
Tips for Homeowners:
  • While the state appreciates the concern expressed by Floridians and the ingenuity of those seeking alternative measures to help protect the state’s shoreline, the following tips are offered to ensure that these measures are helpful and not harmful to Florida’s coasts, wildlife and water resources: Tips for homeowners.
Tips for Businesses and Consumers:
  • The Attorney General’s fraud hotline is open to receive any reports of fraud or price gouging. The hotline is 1-866-966-7226.
  • The Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner gas price-gouging hotline is also operational. The toll-free hotline number is 1-800-HELP-FLA (1-800-435-7352).
  • Florida’s coastal businesses should be prepared to make loss of earnings claims for damages incurred as a result of the oil spill. Affected businesses should file a claim with BP via the hotline number at 1-800-440-0858 or claims office. Learn more at or by calling 1-850-413-3089 or toll-free at 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (1-877-693-5236).
Volunteer Opportunities:
  • The Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service is encouraging Floridians and visitors to become a Coast Watch volunteer. Learn more at
  • Report a change in Air Quality to
  • For information on scheduled beach cleanups and other volunteer opportunities, visit
  • BP has established a volunteer program and set up a toll-free number for those interested in volunteering. Learn more by calling BP’s community information line at 1-866-448-5816.
Learn More About Florida’s Response:
  • DEP launched a Twitter account,, dedicated to providing updates on Florida’s response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.
  • DEP in coordination with the state Emergency Operations Center established an email sign-up and a comprehensive website at
  • For a list of Unified Command, BP and Florida phone numbers, visit
  • The Oil Spill Information Line is available at 1-888-337-3569 from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. seven days a week. Additional phone numbers have also been established for persons with disabilities: (800) 955-8771 (TDD) or (800) 955-8770 (voice).


CVB update

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Below is the latest from the Pensacola Bay Area Convention & Visitors Bureau:

Dear Tourism Stakeholders,

We are working diligently to spread the word to the media and our travelers that we are open for business.

We have also been sending our tourism partners in Escambia County frequent updates about resources for them, from the special training for fishing charters to messaging for restaurants regarding the safety of seafood.

We have two pages on for current information targeting our travelers and the industry. We'll continue to keep you informed of our efforts.


Latest factsheet from BP

Below is the latest factsheet from BP on the Deepwater Horizon response:

051110 Deepwater Horizon Response FACT SHEET


Reforms and increased oversight

Below is a press release from the U.S. Department of the Interior detailing planned reforms and tougher oversight of offshore gas operations:

05-10-10 MMS Reform Press Release


Latest oil slick trajectory

Below is the latest NOAA trajectory/prediction for the oil spill, released today:

NOAA Trajectory for 20100512


Latest BP press release

Monday, May 10, 2010

Below is the latest press release from BP:

BP Press Release
May 10, 2010


BP today provided an update on developments in the response to the MC252 oil well incident in the Gulf of Mexico.

Subsea Source Control and Containment

Subsea efforts continue to focus on two fronts: first, reducing the flow of oil spilled by physical containment and second, further work on stopping the flow using a “top kill” option.

The containment dome that was deployed last week has been parked away from the spill area on the sea bed. Efforts to place it over the main leak point were suspended at the weekend as a build up of hydrates prevented a successful placement of the dome over the spill area.

A second, smaller containment dome is being readied to lower over the main leak point. The small dome will be connected by drill pipe and riser lines to a drill ship on the surface to collect and treat oil. It is designed to mitigate the formation of large hydrate volumes. This operation has never been done before in 5,000 feet of water.

In addition, further work on the blow out preventer has positioned us to attempt a “top kill” option aimed at stopping the flow of oil from the well. This option will be pursued in parallel with the smaller containment dome over the next two weeks.

All of the techniques being attempted or evaluated to contain the flow of oil on the seabed involve significant uncertainties because they have not been tested in these conditions before.

BP continues to do everything it can, in conjunction with governmental authorities and other industry experts, to find a solution to stem the flow of oil on the seabed.

Work on the first relief well, which began on Sunday May 2, continues. It is expected to take some three months to complete.

Surface Spill Response and Containment

Work continues to collect and disperse oil that has reached the surface of the sea. More than 275 vessels are being used, including skimmers, tugs, barges and recovery vessels.

The volume of dispersant applied to the spill on the surface amounts to over 315,000 gallons since the spill response began.

Intensive operations to skim oil from the surface of the water also continued. Some 90,000 barrels of oily liquid has now been recovered.

The total length of deployed boom is now more than 1 million feet as part of the efforts to stop oil reaching the coast.

The cost to date of the response amounts to about $350 million, including the cost of spill response, containment, relief well drilling, commitments to the Gulf Coast States, settlements and federal costs.

BP Press Office London +44 20 7496 4076
BP Press office, US: +1 281 366 0265
Unified Command Joint Information Center +1 985-902-5231


Oil Spill/Business Owner Information

Please see the following from the Bay County Chamber of Commerce:

In an effort to communicate needed information, we have attached a release from CFO Alex Sink where a statewide helpline has been established for those business owners that may be affected.

In addition, we encourage you to go to this survey link:

The Florida State Emergency Response Team is Florida's official responder for emergency events such as the Deepwater Horizon incident. This team includes business and industry volunteers to help government and business leaders plan for recovery after an event.

This survey is not affiliated with any particular business, and is not a claim for any loss experienced. The information you provide is critical to decisions that will be made to assist businesses that may be affected by this event.

For more information on the Florida State Emergency Response Team, go to

Oil Spill Business Owners


Shorebird/seabird information

Friday, May 7, 2010

Please see this message from the Florida Wildlife Commission about how we can be sure not to impact shorebirds and seabirds while cleaning up beaches:

I am the FWC point of contact for volunteer coordination, and I am aware that many counties and cities are mobilizing to do pre-oil beach clean-ups. I wanted to let you know that FWC has developed a set of shorebird/seabird best management practices (BMPs).

It is shorebird/seabird nesting season, and there is great potential for extensive negative impact on nesting birds if extreme caution is not taken. If you know of groups planning these type of clean-up events, please share with them these BMPs, which can be found on our Web site:

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Thank you,

Jessica Tomasello Ireland
Volunteer Program Manager
Office of Recreation Services
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Phone: (850) 921-1047
Fax: (850) 488-3940


Fishing Closure Modified in Oil-Affected Portions of the Gulf

Please see this message from NOAA about changes to the fishing ban in parts of the Gulf of Mexico:

Dear NOAA Fisheries Stakeholders and Constituents,

NOAA Fisheries Service has modified the boundaries of the closed fishing area in the Gulf of Mexico to better reflect the current extent of oil pollution. All commercial and recreational fishing including catch and release is prohibited in the closed area.

The closure will be in effect for 10 days, from May 7 through May 17, 2010, unless conditions allow NOAA Fisheries to terminate it sooner.

See attached bulletin for details or visit Go to the left hand side of the page and click on the Fishery Bulletins Link.

Questions: Contact Cindy Meyer at 727-824-5305 or

FB10-031 Deepwater Horizon Modified Closure


Latest update from State of Florida

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Please the the latest Situation Report from the State of Florida:

Situation Report 7 Deepwater Horizon 05 May 2010 1200hrs


Escambia County Local Action Plan accepted

Escambia's Local Action Plan for responding to the oil spill, which I posted earlier, was accepted yesterday by the unified command.


Weather Briefing May 5

Please see the following weather briefing regarding the Deepwater Horizon oil spill:

Deepwater Horizon2[1] Weather Brief 5-5


Local Action Plan

Below is the Draft Escambia County Local Action Plan that identifies
proposed locations throughout the area for the placement of oil containment
booms. The Plan is subject to change.

Local Action Plan


Oiled wildlife hotline

Please see the message below from the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge about oiled animals:

Today I have been in contact with incident command in Pensacola, specifically with BP's Wildlife Response coordinator for our area. I (the ECWR) am now their the POC for local response to oiled wildlife. I have also put in a request with BP's training coordinator to conduct volunteer training for the general public in our area, but have not received a response as yet.

There is a bird wash station being set up by Tri-State, the contracted response group, in Pensacola and I have been in contact with them and hope to visit the site soon. We are also actively working to set up our own holding and possibly washing stations locally as well.

I want to re-emphasize that we are ready and able to respond to oiled wildlife, and are on call 24/7. Oiled wildlife will be suffering from shock, hypo or hyperthermia, and stress and is typically stabilized for 24-48 hours before washing begins. Calling us directly at 850-557-1401 will save valuable time in the treatment process.

If you find a suspected oiled animal please call us immediately. We will provide rescue and supportive care until the animal is ready for transport to one of the regional wash and rehab stations. The BP Oiled Wildlife Hotline is not manned and will be checked for messages hourly, thus delaying response time.

Please remember that once the oil is on the beach only individuals with specific training will be allowed onto the beach to conduct rescues, and under no circumstances should you handle a suspected oiled animal. In support of our holding and stabilization areas we are asking for donations of the following items:
- Baby blankets
- Towels
- Heating pads (w/o auto shut off if possible)
- Large Rubbermaid containers with lids
- Heating lamps
- Rubbermaid troughs (can be purchased at Tractor Supply in Crestview or on-line)
- Large backyard portable pools like found at Wal-Mart

I realize that the information about volunteering has been confused and at times inaccurate, for our part we are logging everyone who calls and will forward any solid information as we get it. As our response duties and needs become clearer, we will of course contact you with those needs.

Our biggest need at this time is for people who are willing to answer the phone at the refuge. You will respond to callers' frequently asked questions and add names to the volunteer list. Remember, every effort is important and valuable. Please contact Susan at 850-650-1880 if you are able to come in to answer the phone.

Now more than ever, the ECWR also needs the assistance of our trained volunteers in day-to-day operations. Please check your calendars and give Susan a call if you have some extra time to lend a hand.

Thank you all for your patience and support, I have been in personal contact with a friend that has worked spills all over the world, and she thinks this may be the one of the worst we will need you.

Patrick Gault
Assistant Director/Biologist


Special City Council Meeting tonight

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Pensacola City Council will have a special meeting tonight at 5:30 PM for a briefing on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The meeting is in the second floor meeting room at City Hall.


Deepwater Horizon update

State Rep. Matt Gaetz sent out the following update yesterday...

Dear Friends,
I must confess that 3 weeks into my term as State Representative my hope was to be sending you emails about progress made promoting economic freedom and conservative principles. This is an update I never wanted to write.

All evidence suggests that Northwest Florida will see significant ecological and economic impacts from the Deepwater Horizon explosion. Below is a summary of the briefing I received from Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Mike Sole, along with additional information I have received. Please forward this email to all of your local contacts. It is critical that we communicate real-time, accurate information within our community.

In the coming weeks I will be meeting with community groups to coordinate volunteer activity. I will keep you posted via email. If you have any questions whatsoever, please call my office at 833-9328. We will do our best to find answers. For now, here is what we know:

Volunteers are needed

  • Please visit and sign up to volunteer if you are able.
  • Volunteers are mostly needed to traverse beach areas and identify areas of oil sheen or tar mats. Without identification, mitigation efforts will be significantly hindered. Timing is everything.

  • Immediate On-Shore Conditions
  • Tar balls and oil sheen on Gulf waters will begin appearing in Northwest Florida as soon as Tuesday.
  • Winds that have kept the sheen plum at sea will turn North at this time bringing the impact to shore.
  • Oil "sheen" is different than an oil "slick." A "sheen" is about one millimeter deep which discolors the water and sand. A "slick" is the deep dark crude oil most damaging to wildlife.
  • Not all impact will be linear (West to East). "Breakouts" in the sheen plume may mean that areas to the East will see an impact as soon as or before areas to the West.

    Plans to cap the well
  • The best option is to effectively close the final five pistons (one has already been closed by BP robots).
  • Failing that, BP is currently constructing a "dome" that will be placed over the well area. The dome will include piping that will direct the oil out of Gulf waters.
  • Relief wells are currently being "slant drilled" to cap the well below the surface. This is the ultimate "true" fix, though it may take as long as 8 weeks.

    Challenges with "dome" solution
  • It is expected to take 10 days to 2 weeks
  • It is a temporary solution that will still require the drilling of relief wells
  • A dome has never been put into place nearly one mile into the ocean under these conditions.

    Mitigation efforts underway
  • Skimming, dispersants and open-water burns are currently taking place off shore.
  • Booms are working offshore to corral oil to facilitate ever more burns, though difficult wave action has limited progress.
  • Environmentally sensitive areas are being identified and protected with "booming."
  • Burning and costal dispersants are not planning on being done inshore.

    The "booming" process
  • Each County is being asked to identify environmentally sensitive areas in their Area Contingency Plan. The hope is to have all such areas "boomed" within the next 48 hours.
  • Today, 13,000 feet of boom was put into place.
  • Booming does not stop oil - it merely diverts it at the surface.
  • Currents and rough waves significantly reduce the effectiveness of booming.
  • Booming cannot be done on the Gulf front beaches - only inshore.
  • Currently the booms out in the ocean are failing.
  • Openings to bays and estuaries will be given top priority.
  • Diversion booms have failed at the Pensacola Pass and catchment booms are being installed. The same is likely for the Destin Pass, though there are hopes of leveraging the bridge structures for better results.

  • Impact to Beaches
  • Local beaches will be stained by the oil sheen and will see tar balls
  • Staining can be "solved" with raking and disking
  • Tar balls mostly need to be cleared by hand. BP is paying for tar ball pickup, though additional volunteer efforts are needed.
  • If "tar mats" reach shore, they must be identified before they collect sediment and sink or are covered by more sand.
  •

    Florida information line activated

    The Florida State Emergency Information Line activated at 10 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on Monday, May 3 to provide Floridians a link to informational resources regarding the Deepwater Horizon response.

    The Florida Emergency Information Line (FEIL) will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. until
    further notice. The number for residents to call is: 800-342-3557

    The State Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee remains activated to a Level 2, or Partial activation, and emergency management officials are continuing to coordinate with local, state and federal partners to ensure Florida’s coastline is protected.

    For the most up-to-date information on Florida’s Deepwater Horizon response, as well as health and safety tips, visit


    Curbside glass recycling to start April 12

    Thursday, April 1, 2010

    I am pleased to report that the City of Pensacola's curbside recycling containers will begin accepting glass on April 12.

    This is another step in the right direction and I appreciate the work of city staff and others in making this happen.

    Page5 Neighborhood Services


    Moving forward on the Community Maritime Park

    Tuesday, March 23, 2010

    As many of you likely know, I and other city council members recently questioned the most recent appointment to the CMPA and the process used in that appointment, which I felt the circumvented a process previously established by the city council.

    While I am disappointed in the outcome of the vote, I hope that moving forward, all involved can come together to work toward a successful Maritime Park project. I plan on taking a more active role, attending more CMPA meetings, and doing all that I can to ensure the project's success while safeguarding the interests of my constituents. To that end, I have reached out to CMPA chair Eddie Todd to discuss the project and extend my offer to help in any way possible.

    One aspect of the project I would like to focus on is the Covenant with the Community. The Covenant stresses minority participation in all aspects of the park's planning, design and implementation, and establishes a Contractor Academy to assist all interested parties in learning about the process, explaining the requirements, and boosting the number of minority-owned businesses submitting proposals. I believe that the covenant is an integral part of this project, and moving forward, I want to help ensure that it is properly implemented.

    The CMPA's contractor academy committee will meet this Friday, and a public forum on the contractor academy will be held on Saturday. See below for details:



    CMPA appointment issue

    Saturday, March 20, 2010

    Below is a clip from the March 11 city council meeting where I asked city attorney Rusty Wells about the process for the pending CMPA appointment. The council was in the process of passing a resolution to accept the power to appoint and remove CMPA board members, but as the CMPA was in the process of making an appointment, the Council intended to let the CMPA make the appointment, provided it come back before the Council for approval.

    In an effort to make sure I as well as citizens understood the process, I asked City Attorney Rusty Wells to explain.

    Mr. Wells explained that the planned arrangement would work assuming the CMPA amended their articles of incorporation and bylaws to implement the resolution. Unfortunately neither I nor City staff anticipated the possibility that the CMPA agenda could be arranged in such a way that the appointment would be made before they amended the bylaws.

    Also below the video clip is a copy of the March 12 CMPA meeting agenda.

    The Community Maritime Park has been a controversial project in our community. My concern is that the CMPA's recent appointee and the process by which he was appointed further erodes the public confidence in the project and adds another degree of controversy and divisiveness.

    Interestingly enough, the four council members who voted in favor of discussing this issue at a special meeting on March 15 all supported the new city charter, while most of those opposing discussion did not. The 2008 city council elections and and the city charter vote made it apparent to me that city residents want change. I've heard again and again that "business as usual" is not acceptable. I want to thank my constituents who have expressed their concerns about the process. I will continue to work to be a strong voice for the people of District 4.

    I am sure this issue will come up at Monday's Committee of the Whole meeting. I believe that a vote on this appointment will be a vote on who has influence at City Hall — is it the citizens and taxpayers of this community, or is it a select group of well-connected individuals who have long exercised too much clout?

    CMPA Board Meeting Agenda 3-12-10


    Control of the Maritime Park

    Saturday, March 13, 2010

    Today I received an email from constituent C. C. Elebash about recent changes in the Community Maritime Park plan:

    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    From: "CELEBASH"
    To: "Mike Wiggins" , "Megan Pratt" , "Diane Mack" , "P.C. Wu" , "Sam Hall" , "Larry Johnson" , "John Jerralds" , "Jewel Cannada-Wynn" , "Marin DeWeese" , "Ronald Townsend"
    Date: Sat, 13 Mar 2010 11:05:42 -0600Subject: Control of Maritime Park.doc

    March 13, 2010

    TO: Pensacola City Council

    SUBJECT: Control of the Maritime Park

    Dear Mr. Mayor and Council Members:

    You should promptly take back direct control of the Community Maritime Park. The original proposal has fallen apart. The CMPA management arrangement no longer makes sense. The entire project is in disarray. Too many people and agencies are involved. Responsibility is diffused.

    The baseball park is the only major element in the Community Maritime Park now going forward as originally planned. The ballpark has little public support. It has always been the least popular part of the CMP. In view of the poor prospects for State and City revenues, you should revisit your decision to build the stadium.

    The Maritime Park is doable on a reduced scale. A smaller City investment could provide a “green field”, an attractive public area, and the amphitheater. You could also provide infrastructure to attract private development.

    Above all, Council should be in direct control of the Maritime Park. You are our elected and accountable City leaders. Only you can restore order out of the current organizational morass.

    Sincerely yours,

    C. C. Elebash


    District 4 Beautification Day March 13

    Wednesday, March 3, 2010

    Councilwoman Maren DeWeese and I will be hosting a beautification work day on Saturday, March 13 from 7-9 AM at Hyde Park Road and Scenic Highway, where District 4 meets District 3.

    Come out to help us beautify our community!

    My famous mom is planning on attending and will bring plenty of goodies from J's Bakery.

    For more information about the event or past beautification efforts, see or email me at


    Coastkeeper event tomorrow night

    Please join us tomorrow night, Thursday, March 4, from 6-9 PM at Hopjacks Pizza Kitchen and Taproom, to support Emerald Coastkeeper and the fight for clean water.



    Vacancies on city boards

    Monday, March 1, 2010

    There are currently vacancies on three city boards: the Zoning Board of Adjustments, the Construction Board of Adjustment and Appeals, and the Parks & Recreation Board.

    Anyone interested in serving may contact me at Applications are due by Friday, March 12.

    For more information on the boards' responsibilities and membership requirements see the news release on the city web site:


    Environmental Advisory Board vacancies

    Wednesday, February 10, 2010

    Please see the below information about vacancies on the city's Environmental Advisory Board. Anyone interested in serving may contact me at

    The Environmental Advisory Board (EAB) provides policy advice and recommendation on environmental matters to the City Council and staff as follows:

    • Requests to designate sites as Brownfields
    • Proposed remediation plans for Superfund Sites
    • Proposed ordinances and codes of an environmental nature
    • Other environmental matter referred to the Board by City Council or staff
    The EAB shall be comprised of up to eleven (11) members appointed by City Council as follows: one member who is employed with an academic institution in research, writing, and instruction in an environmental field; one member who is an employee of a Federal, State or local environmental agency; one member who is a member of a local environmental organization; one member who is employed in real estate sales or development; one member who is a member of a neighborhood or civic association; one member who is a member of a business organization; one member who is a resident of the City; and up to four (4) additional at-large members may be appointed.

    At this time up to eleven (11) positions are required to be appointed by City Council. To the extent practicable, members of the EAB shall be City residents. This term will expire on March 1, 2012.


    If you have any questions please contact the City Clerk's office at 435-1606.


    Recycling slideshow

    Wednesday, February 3, 2010

    Please check out a great photo slideshow from the Pensacola News Journal about the recycling process:


    Pensacola Promise Committee

    Please see the following news item from the city web site:

    The Pensacola City Council recently established the Pensacola's Promise Committee to explore education opportunities for City residents. The Committee shall meet for 90 days and report their proposal to the Committee of the Whole on April 19, 2010. The Committee is comprised of (9) members from the following community organizations:

    (1) Member of City Council
    (1) Pensacola Junior College Foundation Member
    (1) Pensacola Junior College staff member
    (1) University of West Florida staff member
    (1) University of West Florida intern
    (1) Escambia County School District Member
    (1) Pensacola Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Member
    (1) Gulf coast African American Chamber of Commerce Member
    (1) School Advisory Council/Parent Teacher Association Member

    The Pensacola's Promise Committee meetings are scheduled to begin at 4:00 P.M. with the first meeting set for this afternoon. You can view the meeting schedule at


    Escambia County's Urban Tree and Landscape Workshop

    Friday, January 29, 2010

    WHAT: Planning for the Future: Escambia County’s Urban Trees and Landscape Workshop
    WHERE: Pensacola Civic Center Room C-1
    WHEN: Wednesday, February 10th: from 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

    Escambia Co Urban Tree flyer rev3 -


    The Belmont presents “Fulfilling Lincoln’s Dream”

    The Belmont Presents Sparky and Rhonda Rucker's “Fulfilling Lincoln’s Dream” on Saturday, February 13

    PENSACOLA, FLA - In honor of Black History Month, the Belmont proudly presents internationally acclaimed artists James "Sparky" and Rhonda Rucker and their show “Fulfilling Lincoln’s Dream.”

    The title is from Lincoln's 2nd Inaugural Speech. This speech is considered by most scholars to be his best speech.... even surpassing his Gettysburg Address. Lincoln concluded his speech with these words, "With malice toward none: with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations."

    James "Sparky" Rucker is recognized as a leading folklorist, historian, musician, storyteller and author. He has been singing songs and telling stories in the American tradition for over forty years. Sparky accompanies himself on guitar, banjo and spoons. He has released over fourteen recordings. Rhonda adds sweet sounding vocal harmonies, a mean, gutsy blues harmonica, old time banjo and rhythmic bones to their music. The duo will be performing at the Belmont Arts and Cultural Center beginning at 7 pm on Saturday, February 13. Admission is $5 and all proceeds benefit the Belmont Youth Band.

    Come join the Belmont in celebrating Black History Month with this unique and moving performance.

    For more information, contact 429-1222 or visit


    LuTimothy May video

    Saturday, January 23, 2010

    Please check out the video below from Pastor LuTimothy May about his exciting project in the Brownsville community. I have the deepest respect for LuTimothy May, his brother Lumon, and the entire May family. They are truly leaders in the community and I will do whatever I can to help them succeed.


    Arbor Day activities

    Wednesday, January 13, 2010

    Theodore Roosevelt once said, "To exist as a nation, to prosper as a state, and to live as people, we must have trees."

    I agree! Please see the flyer below about the City's Arbor Day celebration, which will be held beginning at 9:00 AM on Friday, January 15. Trees will be planted at Greenwood Park (next to the Garden Center at 9th/Fairnie/Mallory) and a reception will be held at the Garden Center afterward.

    Arbor Day


    Food for Thought: Stormwater

    Friday, January 8, 2010

    Please see this information on stormwater from Mary Gutierrez, Environmental Planner with the West Florida Regional Planning Council:

    Before urbanization, water recharge happened when precipitation fell on pervious surfaces (including grassland and woods) and infiltration occurred. When cities developed and the amount of pervious surfaces decreased, leading to less ground water recharge and a huge increase in surface runoff.

    Impermeable surfaces tend to become fully saturated very quickly and thereafter all of the precipitation becomes runoff, though some of that runoff may be absorbed by adjacent permeable areas and may not enter any drainage network. Once these impermeable surfaces have been wetted the percentage of runoff does not vary greatly. With the increase in impervious surfaces (roads, rooftops, parking lots and other hard surfaces that do not allow stormwater to soak into the ground), the rate of stormwater runoff increases. This means more water reaches the waterway faster and less water infiltrates into the ground. In streams, more erosion of stream banks and scouring of channels occurs because of runoff. This degrades habitat for plants and animals that depend on clear water. Sediment in the water clogs the gills of fish and blocks light needed for plants. The sediment also settles to fill in channels of streams, lakes, and reservoirs.

    Rainwater will carry chemicals, nutrients, sediments and other substances into local streams (either directly or through storm sewers) if the water is not absorbed by soil and vegetation. The increased runoff can also carry along debris such as litter, cigarette butts, motor oil poured down the storm sewer, air pollutants that settle from car exhaust, and fertilizers, and pesticides from lawn care. The reduced amount of infiltrating water can lower ground water levels, which in turn can stress downstream environments which depend on steadier flows of water. New sources of groundwater can also develop in urban areas, although they are not from the most desirable places (septic tanks, percolation basins, industrial waste injection wells, agricultural and residential irrigation).

    Once an area is cleared of vegetation, graded and compacted, and an impervious surface or partially pervious surface is constructed or installed, the area generally will not return to a naturally vegetated state. New impervious surfaces change natural drainage patterns and impact the environment by affecting the way that stormwater and, in some cases, tidal water moves over the landscape and through the soil. New impervious surfaces can affect the quantity, velocity, and quality of stormwater resulting in impacts to nearby land and water bodies.

    Permeable surfaces react differently. As the storm progresses the upper layers of the soil become wetter and wetter and when the rainfall exceeds the rate at which it can soak into the ground the rainfall is turned into runoff. When the rainfall intensity drops below the soakage rate the runoff ceases even though rainfall may still continue. Therefore the percentage runoff varies throughout the duration of the storm.

    One method of reducing stormwater runoff is to minimize the amount of impervious surfaces such as concrete sidewalks, roads, and asphalt driveways. These surfaces do not allow runoff to seep into the ground; they are not pervious. Use pervious surfaces instead. A paving surface that allows water to soak in may seem impossible, but there are many materials that provide the durability of concrete while allowing rainwater to filter down into the ground. If you are planning a new patio, walkway or driveway, there are several attractive alternatives to concrete such as wood decking, bricks, interlocking pavers, or flat stones. If used properly these can create a permeable paving surface that is not as harmful to the environment.

    Stormwater flows into the stormwater system through storm drains, which are frequently located along the curbs of parking lots and roadways. The grate and holding tank that prevents larger objects from flowing into the storm sewer system are called a catch basin. Once below ground, the stormwater flows through pipes that lead to an outfall where the stormwater enters a stream, river or lake.

    In some areas, the outfall may lead to a stormwater management basin. These basins control the flow of stormwater and can also improve water quality, depending on how they are designed.

    In some urban areas, the stormwater and sanitary sewer systems may be combined (not here). In this situation, both stormwater and sewage from households and businesses travel together in the same pipes. Both stormwater and sewage are treated at sewage treatment plants except during heavy rains. During these occasions, both the stormwater and untreated sewage exceed the capacity of the treatment plant and this overflow is directed into local waterways untreated.


    Message from Emerald Coastkeeper

    Please see the following message from Emerald Coastkeeper regarding the recent report on ECUA water quality:

    Dear Friends of Emerald Coastkeeper:

    A recent study conducted by the Environmental Working Group revealed the Emerald Coast Utility Authority distributes to the citizens of Escambia County the worst drinking water in the nation. In response to this study and in an effort to shed light on this serious issue, Emerald Coastkeeper Chasidy Fisher Hobbs issued an opinion article which can be found on the Emerald Coastkeeper website, ( Additionally, Coastkeeper Hobbs has authored a viewpoint on this issue which was published by the Pensacola News Journal and the Indpendent News and can be found on their websites:, and

    The Emerald Coastkeeper is committed to standing up for the citizens of Escambia County and to pursue the truth about our drinking water. The Coastkeeper will address this issue and other water quality issues at the Coastkeeper membership meeting on Wednesday, January 13, 2010, at 5:30 p.m. to be held at Dharma Blue Restaurant at 300 South Alcaniz Street, Pensacola, FL 32502. The meeting is free and open to the public. We encourage you to bring friends, family members and interested neighbors.

    If safe drinking water is an important issue for you, we encourage you to attend the City of Pensacola Citizens Advisory Board's Meeting on Monday, January 11, 2010, at 3:15 p.m. to be held on the second floor of the Pensacola City Hall, located at 222 West Main Street, Pensacola, Florida 32502. ECUA will be presenting a response to the EWG report at the meeting. Emerald Coastkeeper Chasidy Fisher Hobbs will address the Citizens Advisory Board and seek their support to encourage the Escambia County Utility Authority to improve the drinking water in Escambia County. Do not miss this opportunity to learn more from the Emerald Coastkeeper on how the City Council can encourage the ECUA to improve water quality. The meeting is free and open to the public.

    The Emerald Coastkeeper is also planning a Drinking Water Forum on February 10th from 6 pm to 8 pm in the Hagler Auditorium at PJC (building 2A, room 252, adjacent to the Registration Center). Representatives from the United States E.P.A., Florida Department of Environmental Protection Agency, Emerald Coast Utility Authority, Florida Department of Health, Escambia County Commissioners and other elected officials have expressed interest in attending this forum and sitting on the panel. We are also waiting for a commitment from the Environmental Working Group. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the drinking water issues and will provide a time for questions to be answered by those who are responsible for the well being of the citizens of Escambia County.

    The Emerald Coastkeeper has compiled the email addresses for those individuals who are responsible for safe drinking water. Go to our "Issues" page at and take a moment to email your concerns.

    Elizabeth McWilliams
    Director of Development
    o: 850.429.8422


    Bayou Blvd resurfacing to start as soon as weather improves

    Thursday, January 7, 2010

    The contractor responsible for resurfacing Bayou Boulevard has advised me that they have been delayed due to cold weather but will begin work as soon as it warms up a bit:

    The project was scheduled to start this past Monday however due to the weather we have not been able to start. The FDOT specifications will not allow us to start paving until the temperature is 45 degrees and rising and if the temperature starts to fall below 45 we have to stop. The specifications also will not permit the contractor to place asphalt if it is raining or on wet pavement. Due to the current weather pattern I can not give you a definite start date at this time. We will start the paving at the first opportunity that we have a window of weather that meets with the specifications for a period of eight hours or more. I can assure you that we want to start and finish this project as soon as possible and will do so at the first opportunity.


    Tree planting volunteer opportunity

    Wednesday, January 6, 2010

    Those looking for volunteer opportunities can help plant trees in the Eglin Air Force Base area over the coming weeks. See the following email from Erica Laine of Eglin AFB Natural Resources:


    Volunteers are needed to help plant trees!!! Every year community volunteers join with Jackson Guard to plant trees within our watersheds. The trees stabilize the soil and reduce the erosion that enters our streams and smothers fragile habitat. The trees also help restore degraded areas to natural, forested conditions.

    What you can expect to do on a tree planting day:

    1. Plant 10+ trees each that come in 1 or 3 gallon buckets
    2. Spread pine bark mulch around the planted tree
    3. Walk over rough and uneven terrain
    4. Kneel and bend repetitively
    5. Lift/carry up to 25 pounds

    What you will need to bring with you for the day:

    • Dress in layers (depending on the weather)
    • Long pants and close-toed shoes are required!!!
    • Hat and sunglasses
    • Chapstick – you’ll thank me for this reminder!
    • Bug Spray (for the occasional gnat, mosquito or chigger)
    • Lunch
    • Water container (we will provide ice water)
    • Work gloves – if you have them, if not, you can borrow ours
    Time: 0800 – 1400 for each planting

    Friday – 15 January – Florida Arbor Day
    Monday – 18 January – MLK Holiday
    Friday – 12 February
    Wednesday – 24 February

    Where: Meet at Jackson Guard (directions will be provided upon request)

    We need anywhere between 15 – 25 volunteers per tree planting. These plantings make excellent team building projects. You can volunteer for all or just one planting – your choice!

    If you are interested in volunteering for this project, please email me at to sign up.


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