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A rocky stream bed covered by a canopy of trees.
Information icon Rocks and boulders line the bottom and banks of this stretch of proctor creek. Photo by Katherine Taylor, USFWS.

E-Grits

Where southeast employees get their news

E-Grits covers news, notes, and highlights about the conservation work of our employees across the Service’s 10-state Southeast Region.

  • An island with tree snags and shrubs covered in snowy egrits and brown pelicans
    Information icon Snowy egrits and brown pelicans on Smith Island. Photo by Joe Reinman, USFWS.

    Bird rookery now protected as part of St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge

    August 20, 2019 | 2 minute read

    Shell Point, Florida — St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge celebrated the acquisition of Smith Island by the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge at the refuge’s pavilion overlooking beautiful Apalachee Bay. It was an auspicious day, with pelicans sailing in front of participants as if to add their approval of the event. This small island, 20 acres or so, is about 90 percent saltmarsh, with the remainder containing a handful of small trees and bushes.  Learn more...

  • A dozen or more sisters and alumnae from Zeta Phi Beta and their children post for a photo on a boardwalk with refuge staff
    Information icon Zeta Phi Beta with staff from ARM Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by Zeta Phi Beta, sorority.

    Pearls in the Everglades

    August 20, 2019 | 2 minute read

    This summer, for the third consecutive year, the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge welcomed the Zeta Phi Beta sorority in support of the Pearls in the Wild initiative — a way to introduce young black women to the bountiful recreation opportunities available at their local national wildlife refuges. This effort has also been successful in providing opportunities to interact and learn from refuge staff about the different career opportunities in natural resources.  Learn more...

  • Thousands of pelicans dot an island landscape shot from above
    Information icon Aerial view of Queen Bess Island, which supports an important brown pelican rookery in Louisiana. Photo by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

    Streamlined environmental compliance process benefits brown pelican rookery

    August 20, 2019 | 4 minute read

    “Good Queen Bess” (a.k.a. Queen Elizabeth I) is credited with putting an end to a period of instability in mid-16th century England. Unfortunately, the tiny scrap of land in Louisiana that bears her name, Queen Bess Island, has been anything but stable. The island, located about two-and-a-half miles north of Grand Isle in Barataria Bay, has been sinking and eroding into the Gulf of Mexico. This is a matter of concern, as Queen Bess Island supports the third largest brown pelican rookery in Louisiana.  Learn more...

  • A large backhoe hammers away at a dam from a rocky bank.
    Information icon Deconstruction begins using an 8000 lb. hydraulic breaker mounted on an excavator. Photo by Eric Spadgenske, USFWS.

    Partnerships run deep

    July 12, 2019 | 4 minute read

    Removing a nearly 100-year-old, 100-foot-long concrete and steel structure from the main channel of one of Alabama’s major river basins is no small undertaking. For any single agency, it would be nearly impossible. The solution may sound cliché, but in Alabama partnerships carry the day. Howle and Turner Dam. Photo by Eric Spadgenske, USFWS. Four years, four months, and 15 days – that is how long it took from fledgling thought to completion.  Learn more...

  • Reclaiming a dump

    June 27, 2019 | 3 minute read

    Since Fiscal Year 2018, the West Georgia Field Office of the Partners for Fish and Wildlife (PFW) Program has participated in a regional cooperative agreement in partnership with American Forestry Foundation (AFF) to provide cost share for work on private lands in southern Alabama and west-central Georgia. The goal of this partnership is to improve habitat and provide technical assistance for at-risk species on private lands; this work can help track conservation actions, inform listing determinations and provide regulatory predictability to landowners.  Learn more...

  • A large white ferry called the Turtle Runner out of Gulf Breeze, FL off the coast of Pensicola.
    Information icon Turtle Runner is one of two ferryboats paid for with Deepwater Horizon oil spill settlement funds. Photo by the National Park Service.

    Deepwater Horizon settlement-funded ferryboats highlight the wonders of Pensacola Bay

    June 12, 2019 | 3 minute read

    This August will mark 460 years since Spanish explorer and Conquistador Tristán de Luna sailed 11 vessels into what is now known as Pensacola Bay and established the nation’s oldest (but short-lived) European settlement. Now two 150-passenger catamaran-style ferryboats are plying those waters, thanks to settlement funds resulting from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill’s Natural Resource Damage Assessment (DWH NRDA) process. The ferries, which started service last year, began running from downtown Pensacola from a new $3.  Learn more...

  • water topels over a foot drop after a dam was removed on the Sucarnoochee River.
    Information icon Native fishes and mussels can move upstream after removal of Livingston Dam in Alabama. Photo by Eric Spadgenske, USFWS.

    Livingston Dam: A restoration story

    April 10, 2019 | 4 minute read

    Livingston, Alabama — The Sucarnoochee River is a sleepy coastal plain river that snakes its way through the Black Belt (the band of fertile soil crossing central Alabama and northeast Mississippi), near the University of West Alabama. The ‘nooch has only been studied by a handful of scientists and is not well known as a major tourist destination. Home to unique animals with comparably unique names, like bankclimber, fawnsfoot, Alabama orb, bluehead chub, and naked sand darter, this river contributes to the state of Alabama’s depth of aquatic biodiversity.  Learn more...

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