Zoom Access for PKA Annual Membership Meeting

The 2024 PKA Annual Membership Meeting will be held from 10 AM until Noon at the Eden Condominium on Perdido Key. To join by Zoom, go to:

 Meeting ID: 883 2646 3051      Passcode: 474033

PKA Annual Membership Meeting on February 24

Please plan to attend the PKA Annual Membership Meeting to be held on Saturday, February 24, 2024 from 10 AM until Noon at the Eden Condominium, 16281 Perdido Key Drive. The featured speaker will be Christian Wagley, the coastal organizer for Healthy Gulf – an organization that follows water quality, energy, climate, and endangered species issues on the NW Florida and South Alabama coasts. Mr. Wagley has been active on issues such as restoration of oysters and seagrass in local bays, threats from a proposed industrial fish farm offshore from Pensacola, conservation of the rare Rice’s whale, offshore drilling and beach nourishment. Mr. Wagley holds a master’s degree in biology/coastal zone studies from the University of West Florida. The meeting will also provide updates on Perdido Key issues as well as your Perdido Key Association. We look forward to seeing you there!

PKA Membership Drive

The PKA Annual Membership Meeting coincides with our 2024 PKA membership drive. We hope all members will complete their membership renewals as forwarded in the Annual Meeting mailout, either by mail or online. We also ask you to encourage your friends and associates to join PKA in this period of change and controversy on our beautiful island. With more members, the views of Perdido Key owners and residents will be better understood by decision-makers. As our purpose states: “The Association operates exclusively for charitable and educational purposes in providing information needed to promote the welfare and orderly development, combat deterioration, lessen neighborhood tension, and maintain the natural beauty of the community known as Perdido Key, Florida.” Our great thanks for your support.

Beach Access #2 Closed for Maintenance

Beach Access #2 is temporarily closed for maintenance to include removal of the current restrooms, replacement of the current parking surface with permeable pavement, installation of Mobi-mat beach access walkway and construction of a crosswalk on Perdido Key Drive. Beach Access #3 will be similarly upgraded at a later date.

Lifeguards on Perdido Key Beaches

Escambia County may be adding lifeguards and lifeguard towers to Perdido Key beaches. Details must still be worked out because of beach access and other issues, but the lifeguard stations will most likely be at or between Beach Access #2 and Beach Access #3. The lifeguard towers will cost $244,350 and be paid for from the Local Option Sales Tax fund. For more on this issue, see the February 7, 2023 Pensacola News Journal article “Perdido Key may get lifeguards following rash of water rescues last summer” by Mollye Barrows at

New Johnson Beach Access and Parking

The Perdido Key Area of Gulf Islands National Seashore (Johnson Beach) is undergoing major renovation following damage sustained from 2020’s Hurricane Sally. Construction began in September 2023 and should be completed by March 2024. It includes replacement of the current boardwalks with seven dune crossover boardwalks; a new multi-use path; three new parking areas with 110 spaces replacing roadside parking on Johnson Beach Road; and, installation of erosion control measures and beach safety signs. The $2.6 million project is funded under the Gulf Restoration (RESTORE) program associated with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill settlement in partnership with the Florida Trustee Implementation Group (TIG). Residents, visitors, and frequent patrons are requested to observed posted restrictions and remain clear of Johnson Beach Road during construction. The attached photos were taken from the beach at one of the new beach access locations and parking areas. For additional information, go to Perdido Key Area visitor use improvement project to begin early September – Gulf Islands National Seashore (U.S. National Park Service) (

Good News at Gulf State Park Pier

The most seaward portion of the fishing pier at Gulf State Park has not been replaced since it was destroyed by Hurricane Sally in 2020 while access to the remaining portion of the pier has been restored for some time. On January 29, 2024, however, a giant liftboat took up station at the pier to recover fallen debris and set replacement pilings to restore the pier to full service. Gulf State Park officials are hopeful repairs will be completed by the end of summer 2024. From the February 7-21, 2024 Mullet Wrapper article “Pier & Shore Fishing Outlook” by David “The Pierpounder” Thornton.

Snowbirds and Perdido Key

Perdido Key is home to many cold-weather refugees this time of year. As recently stated by a snowbird, “I love it up here; It’s so nice, laid-back and relaxed. It’s not as crowded as South Miami or the Villages or places like that.” According to District 1 Commissioner Jeff Bergosh, snowbirds are vital to the area economy. “They help provide jobs and revenue during the winter to help sustain the economy. Most of them are here for months at a time and are vital parts of the community while they are here.” For more on Perdido Key and its snowbirds, see the February 12, 2024 Pensacola News Journal article “Perdido Key snowbirds are key to winter business survival on Gulf Coast” by Troy Moon at’re%20incredibly%20important%20and,community%20while%20they%20are%20here.%22.

Nonstop Pensacola-Philadelphia

Frontier Airlines has announced it will begin nonstop service between Pensacola International Airport and Philadelphia International Airport on May 22, 2024. For more on this issue, see the February 7, 2024 Pensacola News Journal article “Frontier Airlines launching nonstop flights between Pensacola and Philly” at

Whale Day Feb 18

Greg Kauffman started World Whale Day in 1980 to celebrate the humpback whales that visited Maui each winter and created an opportunity to raise awareness about threats to the species. The North Pacific population of humpback whales was only about 1,000 members in 1980 and the species faced extinction; today more than 21,000 humpback whales visit Maui each year in part because of the efforts of the Kaufman-founded Maui Pacific Whale Foundation (PWF). Other species of whale have recovered in numbers as well but some still remain vulnerable. For more on this issue, go to the February 16, 2024 EcoWatch article “World Whale Day Celebrates Humpbacks and Raises Awareness of Threats” by Christen Hemingway Jaynes at

Invasive Plant Workshop Feb 27

As forwarded by Rick O’Connor: “A workshop for land/resource managers, master gardeners, and others to learn how to identify, and manage, invasive plants will be held Feb 27 at the University of North Florida’s North Florida Research Center in Quincy, Fl. [155 Research Road – Quincy FL 32352]” For more information, go to

RESTORE Amendment 3 Approved by BOCC

Escambia County’s proposed “Restore Act Multi-Year Implementation Plan Amendment 3” includes a request for “Perdido Key Public Beach Access – Property Acquisition and Construction” where $3.6 million would be used to acquire Perdido Key property for public beach access and parking among other “potential amenities.” At its January 23, 2024 meeting, the Escambia County Board of County Commissioner voted in favor of the Amendment that will now pass to the US Treasury Department for review and action. To view RESTORE Amendment 3, go to

River Road Closed until April 2024

River Road is currently closed to through traffic because of repairs to the culverts running under the road and walking path. The revised Escambia County “Project Details” anticipates project completion in April 2024. For “Project Details,” go to

Escambia County News Article on Perdido Key Multi-Use Path

Escambia County’s January 30, 2024 News Article “Perdido Key Multi-Use Path Providing Better Connectivity through Perdido Key” provides information on the path’s development and current construction progress; it also states path completion is expected in fall 2024. To access the article, go to

Barrier Island Lighting Workshops

Escambia County January 30, 2024 News Article “Free Barrier Island Lighting Workshops Feb 27, 29” states in part “Escambia County’s Natural Resources Management department will host two free workshops Feb. 27 and 29 to help educate the public and answer questions about the newly updated Barrier Island Lighting Ordinance. Workshop topics will include an overview of ordinance requirements, the basics of wildlife friendly lighting, and lighting retrofit tips and tricks. Workshops are designed for property owners and managers and are open to the public. Attendees are asked to register in advance.” The Perdido Key workshop will be Thursday, February 29, 2024, from 5:30 to 6:30 PM at the Perdido Key Community Center (15500 Perdido Key Drive) – register at; the Pensacola Beach workshop with be on Tuesday, February 27, 2024 from 5:30 to 6:30 PM at the Santa Rosa Island Authority Chambers (1 Via De Luna Dr on Pensacola Beach) – register at To access the News Article, go to

Camera Monitor for Roundabout

Escambia County and Beach Colony condominium have agreed to mount a video camera on Beach Colony property in the near future to monitor traffic at the Perdido Key Drive/Johnson Beach Road intersection, a response to controversy about the roundabout constructed in 2022. The county will study data provided by the camera as well as other information to determine if any changes at the intersection should be made. For more on the roundabout, see the September 17, 2023 Pensacola News Journal article “Traffic study on Perdido Key roundabout is done. Here are the results.” by Mollye Barrows at

Commissioner Bender now Supervisor of Elections

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis appointed Escambia County District 4 Commissioner Robert Bender as Escambia County Supervisor of Elections to fill the position vacated by David Stafford; Mr. Stafford accepted a position as an elections security advisor with the US Department of Homeland Security. Mr. Bender will need to stand for election as Supervisor of Elections in the November 2024 general election; his District 4 Commissioner position will be filled by another Governor DeSantis appointment as well as contested in the November 2024 election. According to the Pensacola News Journal, four candidates for the position have so far confirmed they are seeking the position: “Seville Quarter and The District co-owner Charles “Buck” Mitchell, Pensacola City Councilman Jared Moore, attorney Jim Reeves, and Downtown Improvement Board Executive Director Walker Wilson all confirmed to the News Journal they are seeking DeSantis’ appointment to the office.” For more on this issue, see the January 26, 2024 Pensacola News Journal article “Escambia County Commissioner Robert Bender appointed to Supervisor of Elections office” by Jim Little at and the January 30, 2024 Pensacola News Journal article “Four men seeking Robert Bender’s vacated Escambia County Commission seat” by Jim Little at


Jimmy Buffett Tributes

Following proposals in both legislative houses, the State of Florida seems likely to honor Jimmy Buffett with a “Margaritaville” or other specialty license plate and by designating Florida State Road A1A on Florida’s east coast as “Jimmy Buffett Memorial Highway.” For more on this issue, see the January 25, 2024 Tallahassee Democrat article “‘Margaritaville’ at the Capitol as lawmakers honored Jimmy Buffett” by Elena Barrera at

“We Are Perdido” Incorporation Setback

Pensacola area State Representative Alex Andrade has decided not to place the “We Are Perdido” initiative to create a separate municipality out of four voting districts in southwest Escambia County (including Perdido Key) on the 2024 ballot. He seemed primarily concerned with apparent errors in the feasibility study budget analysis that, when corrected, would result in insufficient revenue to “run a city.” He further stated: “I just don’t have confidence in the feasibility study at this point to show that it could be a viable city, the way that it’s being proposed in the feasibility study.” In October 2023, Representative Andrade – along with Representative Michelle Salzman and Senator Doug Broxson – voted in favor of putting the incorporation proposal on the 2024 ballot. For more on this issue, go to the November 28, 2023 Pensacola News Journal article “Effort to incorporate Perdido Key area stalls. Here’s why” by Mollye Barrows at’s%20why&text=An%20effort%20to%20incorporate%20a,the%20issue%20on%20the%20ballot.

Sand for Perdido Key

With agreement between the National Park Service and Army Corps of Engineers, sand dredged from Pensacola Pass (see photo of dredge) has been distributed on the Perdido Key Area of Gulf Islands National Seashore rather than dumped at sea. The beaches on the Perdido Key portion of the National Seashore are considered “eroded” while those on the populated area of Perdido Key immediately west of the National Seashore are considered “critically eroded.” Sand placed on the National Seashore should benefit both areas because of the generally westward movement of beach sand along our portion of the Northwest Florida Gulf Coast.

Perdido Key State Park East Area Reopened!

Access has been restored to the Perdido Key State Park East Area following completion of repairs after damage from Hurricane Sally in September 2020. The State Park access across from the Perdido Key Visitors Center has also been reopened for public use. The Perdido Key State Park West Area, however, is now closed for repair.

River Road Bench Repairs

A Perdido Key thanks to Escambia County’s Parks and Recreation personnel for repairs recently completed to some of the park benches along the pedestrian/bicycle path on River Road. The repairs look great and the benches are a welcoming resource for area constituents.

Alabama Beach Renourishment

Renourishment of nearby Alabama beaches began on October 30, 2023 and will continue until February 2024. Beginning in the west beach area of Gulf Shores and shifting to Orange Beach (including its Perdido Key portion) in January 2023, the project will help repair sand lost from recent hurricanes. With much of the funding to be provided by FEMA, $17 million will be used “to add and enhance the shore, dunes and turtle protections.” For more on this issue, see the November 2, 2023 Gulf Coast Media article “Beach renourishment project officially begins in Gulf Shores” by Kara Mautz at,192339.

Perdido Key Private Beach Public Access Dispute

District 1 Commissioner Jeff Bergosh and Escambia County are following up on a finding that some 1957 deeds transferring Perdido Key property from the Federal Government to private ownership specified the southerly 75 feet of the Gulf front lots were “subject to a perpetual easement for a beach for public use generally.” The properties affected are from Perdido Skye Condominium to the eastern boundary of Perdido Key State Park. A recent entry in Commissioner Bergosh’s blog points to likely legal action by some affected beachfront property owners regarding the easement. For more information, consult Commissioner Bergosh’s blog at and the April 13, 2023 Pensacola News Journal article “Old deeds give new life to the fight for public access to Perdido Key beaches” by Mollye Barrows at

2023 PKA Holiday Party!

Those attending the PKA Holiday Party on December 11, 2023 at the Palacio Resort on Perdido Key Drive had a great time meeting old friends and making new ones. Wonderful food and multiple beverage choices were available and terrific decorations on display. The PKA Board of Directors wishes you and yours the very best of Holiday Seasons!

Perdido Key Beach Cleanup

The Perdido Key Association, Friends of Pensacola State Parks and Florida State Park rangers hosted International Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday, September 16, 2023 at the Perdido Key State Park West Use Area. Over 50 volunteers helped cleanup our beaches including very active participation from 10 students from Pensacola Catholic High School. Trash removed included large debris remaining from Hurricane Sally. T-shirts unique to the event were distributed to all participants. It was a great community effort to improve our Perdido Key’s beach environment!

World Oceans Day Celebration on Perdido Key!

Lots of children and adults helped celebrate World Oceans Day 2023 at the Perdido Key Visitors Center on Thursday, June 8, 2023. Sponsored by the Perdido Area Chamber of Commerce with several organizations setting up display tables and booths, attendees were able to gain a greater understanding of the need to protect and preserve our oceans and the water and shore areas that help make Perdido Key a great place to live and visit. Among the activities, Florida State Park AmeriCorps representative Justin Franks provided a well received demonstration on sea turtle nesting and the work by volunteers to ensure 2023 is a successful nesting season.

2023 PKA Annual Membership Meeting

About 30 members attended the PKA Annual Membership Meeting on February 25, 2023, at the Eden Condominium; Zoom attendance was planned but connection was not adequately made. Guest speaker Matt Posner, Director of the Pensacola & Perdido Bays Estuary Program, provided valuable information on the health of our region’s waterways as well as the activities of his organization. He emphasized how important seagrass was to our estuaries, noting its health varied by location with the Perdido area in fair shape but Pensacola Bay less fortunate. He also spoke to the recent partial oyster harvest closure in Pensacola Bay caused by excess bacteria but pointed out that local oysters being sold were safe. The Pensacola & Perdido Bay Estuary Program is currently part of Escambia County government and recently completed its first “Comprehensive Conservation Management Plan for the Pensacola and Perdido Bay” watersheds. The organization is seeking “National Estuary Program” designation to make it eligible for federal funding. For more on the organization and projects addressing the health of local waterways, see the “2023 – Matt Posner PKA Presentation” slides posted on the Archive page of this website; you can also go to the organization’s website at PKA president Charles Krupnick continued the meeting identifying PKA Directors for 2023 and reporting on PKA membership and finances, noting the strains on the budget from increased cost of goods and services. He covered Association activities in 2022 including appearances at Escambia County Board of County Commissioner and Perdido Key Area Chamber of Commerce meetings as well as participation in the June World Oceans Day event. He also providing updates on Perdido Key State Park and Perdido Key Area of Gulf Islands National Seashore restoration efforts and other local infrastructure and construction issues. The meeting included a discussion of the current “We are Perdido” incorporation initiative with initiative leader Steve Brendtro in attendance. The audience was encouraged to renew their PKA membership for 2023 as well as to consider becoming PKA Directors. A draft of the “2023 – PKA Annual Membership Meeting Minutes” is posted on the Archive page of this website.


Manatee Update


November was Manatee Awareness Month so it is a good time to consider the welfare of these gentle giants. While 2021 was a terrible year for manatee, the first nine months of 2023 have seen 61% fewer deaths than the same period of 2022. “This could be because of more seagrass, milder winter temperatures or more effective feeding efforts.” Despite the improvement, the Ocean Conservancy and other groups and individuals believe the manatee and their habitat require more protection. With the mass starvation of the last few years, “…the federal government will decide within a year whether to restore the sea cow’s status to ‘endangered,’ just six years after having ‘down-listed’ them to the less serious ‘threatened’ status.” Information drawn from a November 6, 2023 Ocean Conservancy e-mail by Jon Paul “J.P.” Brooker and the November 20, 2023 Florida Today article “Famine sends Florida manatees back to the brink” by Jim Waymer at

More on Rice’s Whale


Conservation groups are concerned about the future of Rice’s whale, a species that frequents areas of the Gulf of Mexico not too far south of Northwest Florida. Groups like Healthy Gulf hope for designation of critical habitat for the whales and vessel speed restrictions to improve its chances of survival, but opposition by other groups may delay or inhibit such protections. For more on this issue, see the November 16, 2023 NPR Morning Edition broadcast article “Only 51 of these U.S. whales remain. Little has been done to prevent their extinction” by Chiara Eiser and Nick McMillan at

Dead Snakes for Lungworm Research


The “snake lungworm” has spread from South Florida (where it may have been introduced by Burmese pythons in the Everglades) to Central Florida and is killing domestic snakes. Escambia County Sea Grant Representative Rick O’Connor is working with researchers from the University of Florida and the University to Central Florida to determine if the invasive species has spread to the Florida Panhandle. Researchers are seeking roadkill snakes to examine for lungworms. As detailed in Rick O’Connor’s November 7, 2023 e-mail, the Snake Lungworm Alliance Monitoring Program (SLAM) is looking for volunteers to:

1. Collect dead snakes, typically roadkill, in good shape (still somewhat 3-dimensional and not smashed flat) are collected.
2. Snakes are to be collected using gloved hands and a tong/rake/snake hook or other tool – the snake may not be dead.
3. Label a zip-lock bag BEFORE placing snake within with the following information.

a. Your name
b. Species of snake (if known)
c. Date Collected
d. Latitude / Longitude
e. County collected in
f. Site description – landmark, address, park name, etc.
g. Comments about the snake, the site, the situation

4. Place dead snake in bag and double bag (labeled bag on outside).
5. Close bag, contact Rick at (850-776-3906) and bring the snake to the Escambia County Extension Office – 3740 Stefani Road – between 8:00-4:30 Mon-Fri. If after hours, contact Rick.
6. VENOMOUS SNAKES – care MUST be taken when handling such. Again, not all snakes hit by cars are dead and some will strike if only dead for a few hours. You MUST use a small rake/tong/hook – tool – to place the snake in bag.
7. ADDITIONAL SAFETY – Care must also be taken when stopping and working on a busy highway. Many are hit by cars trying to save turtles, collecting snakes can be the same.
8. IF a snake is still alive, let it be. Even if it is injured, the Wildlife Sanctuary does not rehab snakes.

1. Box of 1-gallon zip-lock bags.
2. Marker
3. Gloves
4. Tool – snake hook, snake tongs, small rake, etc.
5. Phone for location and notes.

If interested and have questions, contact Rick O’Connor at 850 475-5230 or
For more on the lungworm, see the January 31, 2020 The Wildlife Society article “Watch: Invasive Parasites Spreading Among Florida Snakes” by Joshua Rapp Learn at

Water Quality


The 2023 report on area water quality seems generally positive. For example, excessive bacteria in Bayou Chico has often been reported in the past at over 50% of samplings, but in 2023 the number of advisories never exceeded 30% for any of the area locations sampled. This could be due to improved infrastructure and perhaps the area drought experienced for much of the year. It was also significant there were no algae blooms or fish kills in the Pensacola Bay area in 2023. For more on the report, go to The Panhandle Outdoors paper “The 2023 Year in Review – Water Quality” by Rick O’Connor at,since%20I%20began%20monitoring%20them.

What Kind of Cottonmouths are on Perdido Key?


Who knew there could be three types of cottonmouth snakes: the western, eastern, and Florida subspecies? All enjoy fresh water but the Florida cottonmouth may be more adapted to salt water. Researchers are planning a 2024 project to determine if “Florida cottonmouths” are common to our area. While difficult to tell apart, the Florida cottonmouth has “two distinct stripes running vertically across its snout” and the eastern and western subspecies do not. Obviously, do not try to check a live one or even one that seems dead – these are very dangerous animals – and if interested further in the project please read the UF/IFAS Blog article “Cottonmouths on our Barrier Islands” by Rick O’Connor at

Not Just Pythons in Florida!


Burmese pythons get all the attention and are indeed a significant threat to Florida native wildlife, but other constrictors have made inroads in Florida. Boa constrictors, especially red-tailed boas, can grow to 11 feet in length and have a reproducing population in eastern Miami-Dade County. Scarier but rare are green anacondas seen from Everglades City to Gainesville. These semi-aquatic beasts “can grow over 21 feet long and their mid-body diameter can be over a foot. They are considered the world’s heaviest snake, with larger animals reaching more than 400 pounds, the FWC [Florida Wildlife and Conservation Commission] said.” For more on this issue, see the January 11, 2024 Treasure Coast Newspapers article “Burmese pythons aren’t only constrictors seen in Florida. Say hi to green anacondas, boas” by Cheryl McCloud at

Winter Wildlife


Wildlife sightings are possible even in our winter weather; we only need to walk outside. Rick O’Connor details a recent winter walk on Pensacola Beach in the January 19, 2024 article “Winter Wildlife Part 1” available at  The article is welcome encouragement to leave the condos and explore our barrier island beaches while they are chilly, windswept and empty!