Duke Nicholas School – New Office, New Trails

I have recently switched to a position at the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance, moving from an office on the beach of a barrier island to a building within the forest. Right away, I noticed a network of trails weaving in and out of the woods and around the various buildings in the complex where I work….

Florida State Parks – Tomoka

I love hearing unexpected responses to my questions about Florida State Parks. During my visit, I spoke with Scott, the owner of the Tomoka Outpost inside Tomoka State Park. He sat in an Adirondack chair facing the river, looking out over the Outpost’s kayak and canoe rental launch below us. Read the rest on Firsthand…

Voices for Biodiversity – New Fishing Line Recyclers Along the Emerald Coast

For a few months this winter, my office in Okaloosa County became storage space for ten monofilament recyclers. Wide PVC pipes had been painted with beautiful marine designs from herons and crabs to mermaids — by local wildlife artist Annette Taunton, and were ready for installation near piers and marinas across Okaloosa County.   Read the full article on Voices for Biodiversity. 

Pensacola News Journal – Gaetz Misleading Constituents

In his most recent newsletter, Congressman Gaetz wrote, “Please know that the bill absolutely protects people with low incomes, elderly people and people with pre-existing conditions.” This is simply not true. Read the rest here or see Letter to the Editor below!

Pensacola News Journal – Dogs Not Best for Beach

In Response to “Moon: Beach and downtown target man’s best friend,” I understand that Troy Moon was poking fun at some of Pensacola’s new stances regarding dogs, the beach, and downtown businesses. However, his jokes and lighthearted comments reveal two seriously misguided yet common opinions about the impacts of dogs on the beach. Read the…

10000 Birds – Research and Birding at Elkhorn Slough

“What’s that?” I asked Virginia Guhin, Education Programs Coordinator of the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (ES NERR). We walked some of the trails at the reserve, and I had spotted a large bird hovering in mid-air, almost like a helicopter, just with more flapping. Peering through my binoculars, I saw a white bird…

Press – Northwest Florida Daily News

In a recent article about a potential Choctawhatchee Bay Estuary program, Tom McLaughlin discusses work done to prepare for the grant application: “In the months leading up to the release of the RFP, Erika Zambello, Okaloosa’s marine economic and tourist development resource coordinator, enlisted support for the Choctawhatchee Bay estuary program from a wide array…

Voices for Biodiversity – Global Big Day 2017

Birders had their binoculars and checklists ready on May 13 for the annual Global Big Day,and I was one of them. Armed with my eBird phone app, which allows me to record when and where I see specific avian species, I submitted three checklists with a total of 20 species along the Florida Panhandle. Shorebirds, seabirds…

Nat Geo Voices – Te Aroroa and the Increasing Popularity of Thru-Hikes

By Erika Zambello, based on an article by Dan Hawkins. New Zealand is known for breathtaking scenery, popularized in the blockbuster Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie series. Since 1975, citizens have been working toward a scenic, thru-hiking trail to showcase the country, culminating in an official trail that opened in 2011. Today,…

10000 Birds – The Beauty of Checklists

Over the weekend, a fellow naturalist friend of mine came to visit the Florida Panhandle from the Big Bend’s Cedar Key. We spent a day on the beach, a morning on Turkey Creek, and took walks around the neighborhood. She is an expert identifier of marine invertebrates, sea grasses, and reef fish, but is just…

Letter to the Editor – Federal Lands Help Federal Budget

Published in the Pensacola News Journal on February 5, 2017. Federal lands bring in the big bucks. Ecotourism and other recreation on public lands rake in over $600 billion and create more than six million jobs. Let’s be honest, a lot is happening in government right now. One new policy – included in revised budget…

Nat Geo Voices – The Report Is In

After a three-month survey across 600 souvenir shops in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Nicaragua, Cuba, Grenada and Colombia, researchers from 12 conservation organizations discovered that 30 percent of the establishments sold products made from endangered hawksbill sea turtles. Gifts ranged from $1 bracelets and rings to $200 for an intricate comb. Of the…