Panhandle Outdoors Live! Apalachicola River and Bay Water School
The University of Florida IFAS Extension faculty are expanding their acclaimed "Panhandle Outdoors Live!" field trips for 2016. They will include presentations, as well as, traditional excursions to explore and learn about the Panhandle's signature aquatic ecosystems. This year's planned programs include the Wakulla Springshed (early March), Weeks Bay (early April), the Ecofina Watershed (mid- August), and the Apalachicola River and Bay (late October). All are special places that include conservation lands but have vulnerabilities and face future threats to their ecological intergrity. This diversity of water features provides for hot spots of biological diversity throughout the region. Come learn about the important roles of these amazing aquatic systems.
The Apalachicola River is Florida's largest river and ranks 21st in the nation. It is part of a tri-river system that begins its journey in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in North Georgia and includes nearly 900 miles of waterways in the nearly 20,000 square mile ACF (Apalachicola, Chattahoochee, Flint) watershed. Emptying an average of 16 billion gallons per day into Apalachicola Bay on the Gulf Coast of Florida, it feeds one of the most productive estuaries in the Northern Hemisphere. This one-day workshop will be a mix of classroom presentations, field presentations, and a unique paddling experience into the lower Apalachicola river creeks and sloughs. Experts on topics related to River and Bay ecology will join the group to disucss water quality and quantity issues, as well as the native habitats that will be experienced on the water.
Participants need to bring their own lunch and drinks, bug repellent, sunscreen, hat, etc. Canoes or kayaks may be rented (see ticket options for prices), however, participants may also bring their own kayak or canoe and paddling gear (life jacket, emergency whistle, paddle, etc.).
Base registration fee covers facility costs, water & snacks, transportation and educational sessions. Additional costs are related to rental fees for canoes and kayaks.
SCHEDULE Of ACTIVITIES
Friday, October 21, 2016
8:30 am SIGN-IN and Networking (coffee and light refreshments) at the Water Street Hotel located at 329 Water Street in Apalachicola. Meeting room is on the 3rd floor.
9:00-10:00 am Introductions and Presentation on the ACF River System - Tri-state water issues.
10:00-10:15 am BREAK
10:15-11:00 am Presentation on Apalachicola Bay's Oysters and the recent history of the fishery collapse.
11:00-11:15 am Review Float Plan for paddling trip pair up paddlers for canoes.
11:15-11:45 am Drive to launch site, unload boats and hit the River.
12:00-1:00 pm LUNCH and Discussion at sand bar regarding river management and floodplain ecosystem.
1:00-3:30 pm Paddling Acorn Lake Creek
If you are interested in visiting beautiful historic Apalachicola the night before our trip there are numerous motels and hotels to choose from:
The Waterstreet Inn - http://www.waterstreethotel.com/
The Gibson Inn - http://www.gibsoninn.com/
The Sportsman's Lodge - http://sportsmanslodgeonthebay.blogspot.com/
The Rancho Inn - http://www.rancho-inn.com/
The Coombs Inn - http://www.coombshouseinn.com/
Please click on the link below for a UF/IFAS message regarding the importance of our water:
Click on the link below for an Apalachicola National Esturine Research Reserve video on our river and bay: