Happy New Year from Garl's Coastal Kayaking

Here’s hoping for a fantastic 2018 for all.  While 2017 was rough for many due to the storms, we are enjoying showing guests the beauty of the Everglades. We appreciate the outpouring of love and support we received from around the world.

We are getting better and better for 2018. We now offer kayak rentals so that if you want to do a self guided Everglades tour or are having a camping adventure, you can simply stop by our tiki located at Robert is Here (19200 SW 344th st, Homestead) during our open hours, 10-3 and pick up everything you need for a great day or days.  We have kayaks, dry bags, mosquito suits, waterproof cameras, flashlights, mosquito spray and much more to make your trip enjoyable.  Make this your 2018 reality:

 

Shout out on Park Advocate.org

everglades book

Thank you to Mac Stone, wildlife conservation photographer extraordinaire for the shout out and recommendation of Garl's Coastal Kayaking as the place to go for Everglades tours! We love your work and appreciate the vote of confidence. Please visit www.evergladesbook.com to order Mac's insightful and fantastic photo filled Everglades Book, you will absolutely love it.

http://parkadvocate.org/capturing-the-essence-of-the-everglades/

From the article: "What I would recommend for someone going for the first time is to hire a guide. You get that local knowledge, and certain guides will take you on a tour that doesn’t make you feel that your hand is being held—you’re still getting off the beaten trail. I have a guide in particular that I went out with all the time. His name is Garl Harold of Garl’s Coastal Kayaking. In my opinion, he is hands-down the best Everglades tour around. These guys who are trained and who have been doing it for a long time are some of the best ambassadors for the wetlands. They can take people there and give them memories that are going to last for a very long time."

Mangrove Exploration

photo-2

We visited our special mangrove snorkel spot this weekend with a special guest, Quentin F who was anxious to get some nice photos on his tour. Garl's Coastal Kayaking didn't disappoint, check out this pretty seahorse he photographed! He loved the kayak snorkel tour and promises to send a few more of his great photos.

For anyone interested, this trip is a fantastic add on to the full day Everglades tour (and in fact you will get a multi-trip discount for booking both). It is a several hour tour that takes place in an environment surrounded by mangroves- most people don't realize just how much life is attached on the bottom of the mangroves themselves as well as living among their roots. We also frequently see nurse sharks, sea turtles and rays! Don't just stick with the coral reef, explore it all and do our Mangrove Exploration tour. 305-393-3223 for more details and information!

Hopefully some great environmental news

IMG_6866 http://online.wsj.com/articles/california-legislature-passes-ban-on-disposable-plastic-bags-1409381457

"California's legislature passed a ban on plastic grocery bags over opposition from bag manufacturers. Reuters A bill banning plastic bags in California grocery stores, pharmacies, liquor stores and other businesses is headed to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk after the state legislature passed the measure Friday.

If signed by Mr. Brown, the bill would institute the first statewide ban on plastic bags in the U.S. A spokesman for the governor said Friday he hasn't taken a position on the issue."

(story continued at link above)

Everglades restoration working but more needs to be done

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/palm-beach/fl-everglades-progress-report-20140812,0,7476930.story An Everglades restoration progress report released Tuesday identifies signs of success as well as a long, expensive to-do list to save Florida's fading River of Grass.

Florida and the federal government are in the midst of a decades-long, multibillion-dollar effort to protect what's left of the Everglades — unique wetlands that provide important animal habitat and also boost South Florida's water supply.

The 2014 Everglades "status report" from state and federal officials finds that initial efforts to restore animal habitat and water flows are working, but that more work is needed to get more water moving south.

(continued at link- Watch Garl's Coastal Kayaking blog for updates on Everglades restoration and to keep up with news on its progress) http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/palm-beach/fl-everglades-progress-report-20140812,0,7476930.story

Great news about oil drilling in the Everglades

IMG_9503 This is great news for tour operators, nature enthusiasts, kayakers, photographers and everyone else concerned about the Everglades and its preservation/restoration!

"State officials have driven a Texas wildcatter out of Florida, signaling tougher restrictions on oil drilling in the Everglades.

Prodded by environmentalists and community activists, the state yanked all drilling permits held by the Dan A. Hughes Co. seven months after it was caught using fracking-like methods to blast open rock near underground aquifers....."

(continued at link)

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/broward/fl-everglades-drilling-retreat-20140725,0,1966246.story

Mosquitos got you down?

Garl's Coastal Kayaking is a dealer for The Original Bugshirt Company. http://www.bugshirt.comThey manufacture a fantastic mosquito suit that will protect you from biting insects. We operate our tours year round and use them when the mosquitos are high so that our guests can enjoy a comfortable trip in the Everglades and they are a favorite of many other folks who work/play in the Everglades. In addition, we are getting requests now from people in the landscape business and other outdoor tradespeople, as the mesh hood and full coverage of the jackets as well as the bug proof pants really help them stay comfortable.

We have the Elite jackets in M, L, XL for $64.95 plus tax and the pants in M, L, XL for $69.95 plus tax. Other sizes available as well as direct shipping to you- call for pricing 305-393-3223

IMG_7694

Lemon sharks at high tide

Enjoy this footage, captured while helping film with National Geographic.  These sharks average about 2.5 to 3 feet long, although the perspective at times makes them appear much larger.  To film these sharks, we had to wait for the tide to change, which is sped up in the movie to show how it goes from bone-dry to a few feet deep, allowing the sharks to congregate. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHfvMQueOQg[/embed]

From the Key Noter, June 13 2014 by Dr. Jerry Lorenz

The Central Everglades Planning Project is Audubon’s top Everglades priority and the most ambitious element of restoration to date. Known as “CEPP,” this effort seeks to tackle some of the most difficult challenges for the Southern Everglades and Florida Bay.

At its core, CEPP will aid in getting more water to flow south into Everglades National Park. This is critical to improving habitat in Florida Bay for roseate spoonbills and other wildlife. In combination with other restoration efforts, such as the Tamiami Trail and C-111 projects, the benefits of CEPP are even greater.

Recent media attention has focused on the failed attempt to make the project eligible for funding. Delays in completing the plan for CEPP need to be resolved as soon as possible so we don’t miss the next opportunity. But residents of the Keys should not lose sight of this project’s immense benefit to Florida Bay.

In April, the Everglades Foundation and Everglades Law Center hosted programs in Key Largo and Key West. I was one of five scientists who gave presentations about the positive impact of CEPP on the Florida Keys. The impetus for these programs was persistent rumors that CEPP will damage the Keys marine environment by injecting polluted water into Florida Bay, similar to what happened in the Indian River Lagoon and the Caloosahatchee Estuary last summer.

Simply put, those rumors are false.

The wetlands in this area act as filters, removing phosphorus and nitrogen from the water as it flows south. This means the freshwater that ends up in Florida Bay is clean and of good quality. This is not the same as it is on Florida’s east and west coasts, where polluted water from Lake Okeechobee is directly injected into the estuaries by a canal system.

In short, decades of diverting freshwater away from Florida Bay has resulted in severe damage to the birds, fish and wildlife of our area. The only way to correct this situation is to restore the proper timing, distribution, quantity and quality of freshwater to Florida Bay. CEPP is designed to do just that.

Make no mistake about it; more freshwater is good for Florida Bay. CEPP will improve this beautiful estuarine ecosystem and increase biological productivity. This means more fish in the water and more birds in the sky. And more visitors, too.

Tourists drive our economy by renting our charter boats, dining on our world-class seafood and by spending time viewing our incredible abundance of wildlife.

It is a misconception that Everglades restoration could somehow harm the Keys. Florida Bay absolutely needs water from the Everglades and CEPP is the best way to ensure this water gets here clean. No more delays; CEPP must move forward as soon as possible.

Dr. Jerry Lorenz is Audubon Florida’s state director of research. He works in Tavernier.

IMG_1846

From the Key Noter, 6/13/14 by Jerry Lorenz of Audubon

The Central Everglades Planning Project is Audubon’s top Everglades priority and the most ambitious element of restoration to date. Known as “CEPP,” this effort seeks to tackle some of the most difficult challenges for the Southern Everglades and Florida Bay.

At its core, CEPP will aid in getting more water to flow south into Everglades National Park. This is critical to improving habitat in Florida Bay for roseate spoonbills and other wildlife. In combination with other restoration efforts, such as the Tamiami Trail and C-111 projects, the benefits of CEPP are even greater.

Recent media attention has focused on the failed attempt to make the project eligible for funding. Delays in completing the plan for CEPP need to be resolved as soon as possible so we don’t miss the next opportunity. But residents of the Keys should not lose sight of this project’s immense benefit to Florida Bay.

In April, the Everglades Foundation and Everglades Law Center hosted programs in Key Largo and Key West. I was one of five scientists who gave presentations about the positive impact of CEPP on the Florida Keys. The impetus for these programs was persistent rumors that CEPP will damage the Keys marine environment by injecting polluted water into Florida Bay, similar to what happened in the Indian River Lagoon and the Caloosahatchee Estuary last summer.

Simply put, those rumors are false.

The wetlands in this area act as filters, removing phosphorus and nitrogen from the water as it flows south. This means the freshwater that ends up in Florida Bay is clean and of good quality. This is not the same as it is on Florida’s east and west coasts, where polluted water from Lake Okeechobee is directly injected into the estuaries by a canal system.

In short, decades of diverting freshwater away from Florida Bay has resulted in severe damage to the birds, fish and wildlife of our area. The only way to correct this situation is to restore the proper timing, distribution, quantity and quality of freshwater to Florida Bay. CEPP is designed to do just that.

Make no mistake about it; more freshwater is good for Florida Bay. CEPP will improve this beautiful estuarine ecosystem and increase biological productivity. This means more fish in the water and more birds in the sky. And more visitors, too.

Tourists drive our economy by renting our charter boats, dining on our world-class seafood and by spending time viewing our incredible abundance of wildlife.

It is a misconception that Everglades restoration could somehow harm the Keys. Florida Bay absolutely needs water from the Everglades and CEPP is the best way to ensure this water gets here clean. No more delays; CEPP must move forward as soon as possible.

Dr. Jerry Lorenz is Audubon Florida’s state director of research. He works in Tavernier.

IMG_1846

Filming with National Geographic, Florida Bay

If you are on Facebook, please click to read the whole story and see the photo series. Thanks!We have been having a great time the last few years working with Zoltan T helping him with his film for National Geographic about the Everglades- today we were on Florida Bay filming by boat- a bit of a departure from our Everglades kayaking tours!  We had a great close encounter with a few pod of dolphin that were playing and having a lot of fun in the water.  Enjoy the photos!

kayaking, tour, filming, National Geographic

IMG_6848

IMG_6849

IMG_6866

IMG_6868

IMG_6843

Everglades film making with National Geographic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8D7gZNgZjM&feature=youtu.be

As some of you may be aware, Garl with Garl's Coastal Kayaking has been working with Zoltan T in making a film for National Geographic about the Everglades. It's video editing time and Zoltan recently sent us this slow-mo video of a gator hunting- it really shows the quality of the work he is producing and it's been such an amazing project to be part of. More footage to come and we are so looking forward to the finished production!

Gator vs snake

Gator vs snake

A common question we get is "what do alligators eat?" They are opportunistic eaters and will eat what's available from apple snails and pond apples all the way to birds and snakes. We were lucky enough to see this one mid-meal on a tour the other day.

A fun week in the Everglades, Baby owls!

The weather has been ideal for Everglades exploration with fresh breezes and just enough cloud cover to keep us cool.  This week we were lucky enough to find some baby Barred owl chicks!  They are fluffy and fuzzy and cute as can be.  This page has some great information about this owl, always a favorite feature of the tour.  Of course we can never guarantee sightings, but we see them frequently and they are so beautiful. http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/barred_owl/id

IMG_9503

IMG_9566