TDC Launches Forgotten Coast Give Back Getaway 

The best way to travel sustainably is to make a positive impact while visiting...

As our area continues to rebound with a renewed spirit of resilience, a growing number of grateful visitors have asked, "what can we do to help this area?" Well, here's your chance to be a part of the positive vibe. This month the TDC has launched the inaugural Give Back Getaway! Click here for a chance to win a two night getaway to Florida's Forgotten Coast and, depending on when you come, you can volunteer some time with a local nonprofit to either help clean our beaches, help in a museum or assist in planting marine vegetation to build a natural shoreline. The choices are many and we are gathering options daily. Thank you for visiting and thank you for helping - every little bit helps keep Florida's Forgotten Coast sustainable for generations to come. 
Adopt a Sea Turtle Nest This Summer
July is sea turtle nesting season on St. George Island and other beaches throughout Franklin County. Local volunteer turtlers have been walking the beach since May to find, mark, and protect turtle nests. This summer you can also help by adopting a sea turtle nest through the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve. Your contribution helps the Friends of the Reserve meet the current needs of our sea turtle program which conducts daily beach patrols for nest monitoring, evaluations on hatch success, and provides care for hatchlings until they can be released. Click here to learn more.
Do No Harm Please!
Franklin County has a Leave No Trace Ordinance that requires chairs, umbrellas, and equipment to be removed nightly from the public beaches in order to help mama turtles easily navigate the beaches to nest and allow hatchlings a clear path to the water from their nests in the dunes. Personal items such as tents, chairs, toys, umbrellas, and coolers must be removed from the public beaches between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. Also, be sure to fill in any holes that you see. Sea turtles can fall in holes left on the beach and become stranded and die.

Tips for Night Beach Walks During Sea Turtle Nesting Season

We love sea turtles and are excited that they have chosen our beaches as their summer nesting site! Here are simple tips for making your night beach walk fun and safe for you and the nesting sea turtles.

When you go out on the beach at night let your eyes adjust to the ambient light. You will be amazed at how much you can see without man-made lights. If you take a flash light, make sure it has infrared LED bulbs that emits long wavelengths that do not disturb the sea turtles. (The SGI lighthouse gift shop and the Reserve Nature Center sell the turtle safe flashlight.)  If you see a nesting female on the beach, give her plenty of room to find a place to nest. Do not shine a light at her or take photos with a flash. Remain quiet and out of her sight. If disturbed she may abandon her nest and return to sea. Also, do not disturb the tracks or the nest that she leaves. Our sea turtle program volunteers use the tracks to locate the nest and protect it from predators, and to collect important data that helps us better understand the species. If you see a nest hatching, please keep your distance and don’t use any lights, including flash photography. If you are lucky enough to witness a sea turtle on land, enjoy the experience from a distance and cherish the memory for life! Learn more about our turtles here.

St. George Island Bike Path Fun for All
The St. George Island Bike Path is a public paved recreational path that runs six miles paralleling Gulf Beach Drive, the island's main road. The path runs from just outside St. George Plantation (a private gated community) east to the entrance of St. George Island State Park on the island's eastern end. Although the linear path lacks shade, it provides a non-motorized transportation link between businesses. The path accommodates pedestrians, bicyclists, skateboarders, roller skaters, and pets on a leash. No golf carts please. The path is also wheelchair accessible. Wheelchairs for mobility-challenged visitors can be rented at some of the island’s beach supply stores. Parking for the bike path is located adjacent to the Cape St. George Lighthouse and St. George Island Visitor Center, which are located at the center of the island. The entrance to the parking area is just west of the physical address at West Gulf Beach Drive and Franklin Boulevard. 

Buddy Ward Reef Deployment to Begin off Franklin County Coast
The Franklin County Commission, in coordination with the Apalachicola Artificial Reef Association (AARA) will deploy the first set of artificial reef modules this summer in the Buddy Ward Memorial Artificial Reef site located approximately eight miles south of St. George Island.  Thirty five reef modules are scheduled to be deployed soon -  the beginning of an ongoing efforts of the Franklin County Commission and the AARA to expand artificial reef structures off the coast of Apalachicola. 

Carrabelle Museum Presents High School Exhibit
Beginning July 1 and running until August 1
, the Carrabelle History Museum will present an exhibit featuring Carrabelle High School memorabilia. It is part of the new and expanded Family Life Room with high school sports trophies across the decades starting with the 1920 football team and the 1937 state champion girls’ basketball team.  The Carrabelle History Museum is open from 12 pm – 5 pm Sundays and Wednesdays and 10 am – 5 pm Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Details.

CGJ WWII Museum Holocaust Exhibit July 1-Aug. 14
In partnership with the Holocaust Education Resource Council of Tallahassee, Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum is presenting a special exhibit on the Holocaust on display from Thursday, July 1 through Saturday, August 14 at Camp Gordon Johnston Museum in Carrabelle. The museum and exhibit are open Tuesday-Saturday from 11 am – 5 pm. In addition, the museum will be open during special hours on Sunday, July 4th and Monday, July 5th from 12-4 pm. Details.

Upcoming July Events
July 1-31 - Carrabelle High School Exhibit
July 1-Aug. 14 - CGJ Holocaust Exhibit
July 2 - Carrabelle Fireworks
July 3 - Apalachicola Fireworks
July 4 - SGI Fireworks
July 17 - C-Quarters Youth Fishing Tournament
July 23 - Crooked River Lighthouse Full Moon Climb
July 23 - Cape St. George Lighthouse Full Moon Climb
August 18-19 - Kingfish Shootout Tournament

Independence Day Celebrations Planned 
From Alligator Point to Apalachicola, almost every community is planning Independence Day festivities. Click here to learn the latest.

Carrabelle - July 2
Carrabelle will host its annual fireworks extravaganza on Friday, July 2 along the Carrabelle Waterfront at dark-thirty. 

Apalachicola - July 3
In Apalachicola, the Apalachicola Main Street group presents Apalachicola’s Independence Eve Celebration on Saturday July 3 featuring all-American food vendors, parade, veterans’ tribute, music and fireworks.

St. George Island - July 4
On St. George Island, everyone is welcome to join in the annual July 4th celebration. Stick around all day and enjoy festivities and fireworks on the beach behind the Blue Parrot Oceanfront Cafe about dark-thirty.
Lighthouse Full Moon Climbs July 23
Both historic lighthouses in the county will host full moon climbs on Friday, July 23.
The Crooked River Lighthouse will be host a Full Moon Lighthouse Climb on Friday, July 23, from 7-10 pm. July’s Full Moon is called the Buck Moon. In addition to the climb, the July climb evnt will feature live music provided by Kevin Andrew and the Rockulla Performers. The museum and gift shop will be open for browsing and shopping. Details.

The Cape St. George Lighthouse on St. George Island Sunset and Full Moon Climb will also be held on Friday, July 23 from 8:30 pm until 10:30 pm. Fifteen-minute time slots will be allotted for each group on a first come, first served basis. No advanced reservations will be taken.  

Upcoming Fishing Tourneys
Here are a few of the upcoming fishing tournaments scheduled throughout the county beginning this month.
July 17 - C-Quarters Youth Fishing Tournament
Kids from all over the South are invited to attend the 17th Annual Youth Fishing Tournament. Open to all kids 16 and younger. Registration is required on-site. Sponsored by C-Quarters Marina, and local businesses.

August  8 – 18th Annual Kingfish Shootout
This weekend charity event for the Leukemia Research Foundation gives everyone an opportunity to enjoy themselves while advocating a wonderful cause that helps so many. All proceeds go to the Leukemia Research Foundation. More than $1,050,000 raised over the past 17 years.

July Farmers' Markets and Artisans Markets

The Apalachicola Farmers' Market will host its market days on  July 10 and July 24 from 9am to 1pm at the Mill Pond at Scipio Creek.  Can't wait till the weekend? The Apalachicola Growers Market features fresh vegetables, gourmet goodies and more most Wednesdays from 9am to noon at 56 Commerce Street in Apalachicola. 

The Crooked River Lighthouse is hosting a Country Farmer's Market Saturday, July 3 and again on July 17 from 9 am-1 pm at the foot of the lighthouse at 1975 Hwy 98 W, Carrabelle Beach. 

Eastpoint hosts its July outdoor Artisans Market on July 3 and July 17 at 100 Highway 98. Come discover local artisans, crafts and goodies.

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