DUN Magazine – Salt. Water. Quality.

It’s a bright Florida day as Captain Gabrielle Mercado reverses her Lady Luck Adventure charter boat out of the slip and motors towards the Choctawhatchee Bay. The emerald green waters of the Gulf of Mexico are just over the dunes in the intracoastal waterway, and she keeps a close eye on her GPS as she moves…

Voices for Biodiversity – Livable Shorelines

Choctawhatchee Bay encompasses a large estuary along the Florida Panhandle, a watershed that stretches across Okaloosa, Walton, Washington and Holmes Counties before extending into Alabama. Fed mostly by the Choctawhatchee River — the third largest river in Florida by volume — the bay exchanges water with the Gulf of Mexico through Destin’s East Pass. Bordered…

CBA – “Grasses in Classes” Comes to Butler Elementary School

The yellow school busses pull into the parking lot at Charles E. Cessna Landing in Walton County. Brakes hiss and doors squeal open and the excited chatter of children goes from muted to a dull roar. Third grade students from Butler Elementary School leap to the ground, making a bee-line toward their teachers, who herd…

CBA – The Tangled Web We Weave

My husband and I pull up to the boat ramp at Ross Marler Park. Located on Okaloosa Island, between bustling Fort Walton Beach and Destin, the park provides a quiet oasis on the Choctawhatchee Bay for families to grill, relax, and swim. While the sandy shorelines looked inviting, the pull of the waves (and the…

CBA – Grasses in Classes: 2018-2019 Recap

May was Grasses in Classes field trip month for the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance! Nearly every day, CBA staff and AmeriCorps team members met 3rd and 5th graders across the Choctawhatchee Bay to plant smooth cordgrass and participate in fun, educational nature games. CBA’s Grasses in Classes is a hands-on, environmental education program that gives students a direct…

CBA – Annual Redfish Tournament Donates $1250 to CBA

Nearly 50 teams competed in the 14th Annual Old Nick’s Redfish Roundup, Saturday, hoping to win $10,000 in prizes. Hosted by Nick’s Seafood Restaurant and Treylermade Tournaments, the roundup donated $1250 to the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA) to support swimmable and fishable waterways in Okaloosa and Walton Counties. “Anglers are such an important part of…

CBA – Shoreline Grasses Growing at Post’l Point

In the summer of 2018, CBA worked with Eglin Air Force Base, Corvias, and over 100 volunteers to create a reef breakwater and living shoreline to reduce erosion along Post’l Point. Nearly a year later, native marsh grasses and other vegetation are beginning to stabilize the land behind the breakwaters. See the full blog post…

Hook and Trigger – Red Tide Blooms in Panhandle

In 2018, red tide has been a scourge on Florida’s coasts, even reaching as far northwest as the Panhandle. The red tide algal blooms, known scientifically as Karenia brevis, have been naturally occurring on Florida’s coasts for centuries. In fact, fish kills were documented in Tampa Bay by Spanish explorers. Read the rest of the Hook…

Hook and Trigger – Tourneys Inspire Next Generation

Northwest Florida is known for its angling tournaments, from the world-famous Destin Fishing Rodeo to the Marlin Classic and more. In the summer of 2018, another group of events targeted a unique audience: kids! Read the entire Hook and Trigger article below:

CBA – St. Joe Community Foundation Funds High School Oyster Program

To engage area youth in oyster restoration, the St. Joe Community Foundation is granting the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA) $18,300 to bring their Spat On! program to 250 high school students in Walton County. In addition to providing monthly instruction and in-class lessons to foster understanding of oyster ecology and estuarine habitat, CBA will work…