FWC offers expanded outdoor opportunities in June
Tuesday, June 03, 2014
Media contact: Susan Smith, 850-488-8843
What better time to highlight all the public access points to outdoor recreation provided by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) than June, Great Outdoors Month.
FWC works closely with other agencies and Florida outdoor businesses to offer safe and exciting adventures on wildlife management areas, lakes and waterways. These partnerships make outdoor experiences special and memorable for families by delivering fun activities like hiking, boating, fishing, hunting, shooting sports and wildlife viewing
There is no better month than June for enjoying the freedom to play in Florida.
For starters, the FWC is offering license-free saltwater fishing June 7 and 8 so people have the weekend to try the sport or introduce a friend to fishing. To keep the momentum going, the FWC’s freshwater license-free fishing weekend is June 14 and 15. Then there is an early, weekend start to bay scallop season on June 28, 29 and 30.
Gov. Rick Scott has proclaimed June to be Great Outdoors Month and noted that the FWC offers Floridians and visitors 159 wildlife management areas in addition to the other public lands totaling 12 million acres.
“We applaud Gov. Scott’s efforts to promote the great outdoors. This gives us an opportunity to highlight what our agency offers for all Floridians and to get kids, our next generation of conservationists, outside,” said FWC Chairman Richard Corbett.
The FWC offers:
- The Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network – Provides residential and day camp programs where youth can participate in outdoor activities and expand their understanding of conservation and natural Florida. Some camps are in state lands, others in community parks.
- Expanded hunting opportunities on WMAs – Created by public input and scientific research, taking into account wildlife populations and reproductive differences in specific areas of the state. Hog hunting, for instance, is available some June weekends in five WMAs.
- Birding, wildlife viewing and paddling trails.
- Boat ramps and waterway markers to keep boaters and manatees safe.
- License-free freshwater and saltwater fishing events to expose people to the pleasures and rewards of fishing.
- Expanded scallop season, opening harvest opportunities.
Fish, wildlife and related activities and businesses contribute over $40 billion and nearly 294,000 jobs to Florida’s economy annually. The “value added” economic impact of the seafood industry contributes another $4.7 billion.
For more information on the FWC’s many outdoors offerings, go to MyFWC.com and select “Fishing,” “Boating,” “Hunting,” “Wildlife Viewing,” “Education” and other topics to plot outdoor activities for June and months to come, on its wildlife management areas and on the state’s rivers, beaches and lands.