NAVARRE — Holley by the Sea residents hope to get "BearWise" in hopes of reducing the number of bear-related incidents in their South Santa Rosa County neighborhood.

Santa Rosa County commissioners on Thursday are expected to consider sending an endorsement letter on behalf of Holley by the Sea Homeowners Association to support its funding request to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

According the commission's meeting agenda, the homeowners association applied for $82,250 through the FWC BearWise grant program to retrofit 3,700 trash cans in accordance with FWC guidelines. The association will provide $12,230 in matching funds from in kind work.

The FWC received more than 600 bear-related calls from Santa Rosa County in 2016 and so far in 2017, said David Telesco, the FWC’s Bear Management Program coordinator. The FWC received 12 percent of its bear-related calls from Santa Rosa, more than any other county in Florida.

"In Santa Rosa County, the higher quality bear habitat tends to be along the borders of Eglin Air Force Base, which is also where there is a fair amount of housing developments," Telesco said in an email.

The FWC will provide $515,00 his fiscal year to local governments to help reduce human-bear conflicts. The funding includes $415,000 from the state's general revenue approved by the Florida Legislature and $100,000 from the FWC.

Holley by the Sea's application will not compete with a "future county application" for BearWise money, according to the agenda.

Santa Rosa County passed an ordinance in 2016 that requires residents in unincorporated areas south and west of Eglin Air Force Base — including Holley by the Sea — to keep their garbage cans secure from bears and other wildlife. The BearWise funding will help put the ordinance in action.

"Securing attractants such as garbage is the most effective way to reduce human-bear conflicts, as has been shown in communities both in Florida and around the country," Telesco said. "Ordinances are the best way to have a community-wide reduction in human-bear conflicts, because if bears are not able to feed on garbage in neighborhoods, they are less likely to linger in communities and pose a public safety risk."