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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

9/15/2016: Wounded Warrior Project; Gopher Tortoises; Jekyll Island Shrimp & Grits


New Wounded Warrior Project CEO Michael Linnington joined host Melissa Ross to talk about the organization’s new direction. We also heard from Adam Hoyles, vice president of operations for Onsite Environmental Consulting in Jacksonville about protecting the gopher tortoise in Florida, and Jessica Scott told us about this weekend’s Jekyll Island Shrimp and Grits Festival.  


Wounded Warrior Project

Linnington took over the Wounded Warrior Project in July after previous management was ousted over reports of lavish spending on trips and other items.  Linnington told Ross, along with cutting management overhead, he plans to focus helping veterans in need, especially those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

0000017b-82fc-dd8b-a7fb-82ff4cae0000Gopher Tortoises

They are a threatened species in Florida and the only true tortoise native to the Southeast. The gopher tortoise’s habitat is always in danger due to human growth. They also help provide habitats for a variety of other species. Hoyles is a professional wetland scientist. He spoke with Ross about dangers the tortoise faces and ways they are being protected.      

Jekyll Island Shrimp and Grits Festival

It’s one of the biggest food festivals in the Southeast. Festival spokesperson Jessica Scott told Ross this year’s event is expanding to include a third music stage, more than 50 craft beers and a contest for chefs from around the state to win the title “Georgia’s Best Shrimp & Grits.” The festival on Jekyll Island runs through Sunday.           

Producer Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @KMeerschaertJax