Environment

How Many Birds Can You Count?

Chilly weather throughout Florida has kept residents inside and close to their heaters, under blankets and in their sweats, long sleeves and socks during December and January. However, spring is just around the corner and there is wildlife to discover in your backyard!

Get your binoculars ready, because starting Feb. 18, the largest bird count in North America begins. The Great Backyard Bird Count, which runs through Feb. 21, is a wonderful chance to add to your Bird Detective checklist and help scientists monitor birds across America. If you do not have a checklist, download it from MyFWC.com/Learning. In the left-hand menu, click “Fun Stuff.” From there, look on the right side of the page under “Educator Links” for “Jr. Birder Program.”

Clay County Family Feels Trapped by Tainted Chinese Drywall

Clay County Family Feels Trapped by Tainted Chinese Drywall

LAKE ASBURY, Fla. -- James and Melissa Strickland purchased their home in 2006 and thought they would enjoy their brick home for years to come.

But the Stricklands said they first noticed a problem in 2007; the coil in their air conditioning unit had failed. "We didn't want to think it was anything in our new home, our brand new home," said Melissa Strickland.

It happened again and again, and some of their other appliances were having problems as well. "Two televisions, two microwaves, two garbage disposals, two refrigerators, two compressors in my garage," said James Strickland.

"And coffee pots," added Melissa Strickland.

A Florida Department of Health report revealed the tainted drywall releases a sulfur fume that causes pipes and wiring to deteriorate. It also corrodes jewelry and mirrors.

Target, RadioShack Buy Back iPhones, Other Used Gadgets

Target, RadioShack Buy Back iPhones, Other Used Gadgets

The trend of dumping unwanted gadgets online at sites like eBay and Craigslist now has shifted to brick-and-mortar retail stores, with a twist.

Major retailers, such as Target (TGT) and RadioShack (RSH), are buying back products from customers in-store and offering credit toward purchase of new products.

Coast Guard Auxiliary Expands Free Boating Safety Class Schedule

The Coast Guard Auxiliary in Green Cove Springs, in concert with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, holds FREE Boating Safety Classes at its base of operations off State Rd 16E in the Reynolds Industrial Center, 910 Roland Avenue. 

Environmental Crimes & Crime Stoppers Rewards

Local authorities are working to decrease illegal dumping in areas of Clay County and encourage you to inquire about activity you suspect may be criminal. Many types of waste, especially hazardous materials, can be a danger to the environment and to residents as well. If you witness any violation of environmental laws you can report it and remain anonymous. Be prepared to provide the date, time, and location of the dump site. Also helpful is the description of the vehicle, the tag number, description of occupants or other suspects involved.

FIRST COAST CRIME STOPPERS: 1-866-845-TIPS
CLAY COUNTY ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME UNIT: 904-278-3697
WWW.CLAYSHERIFF.COM (CLICK ON ENVIRONMENTAL CRIMES LINK)

Hunter Safety Internet Completion Course Offered in Clay

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is offering a free hunter safety Internet completion course in Clay County.

The course will be at the Clay County Fairgrounds in Green Cove Springs. Instruction will take place Feb. 10 from 6 to 10 p.m. The range portion will be Feb. 12, from 8 a.m. until noon at the Bradford Sportsman Farm in Graham.

Bird Disease Detected in State

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is currently monitoring a Virulent Exotic Newcastle Disease diagnosis which occurred in Cormorants in Pinellas County last week.  Exotic Newcastle Disease is an extremely contagious and fatal foreign avian disease that affects most bird species but is not life threatening to humans.  Human contact with Exotic Newcastle Disease may cause minor irritations such as pink eye or skin irritations.