Tag: Florida Sea Grant

Basics of the National Flood Insurance Program

caution sign: Road Subject to Flooding

Established by Congress in 1968 because the private market stopped offering flood insurance, the NFIP provides federally backed flood insurance to property owners in participating communities. This 10-page fact sheet covers topics such as: why buy flood insurance,… Read More

Lionfish: Is It Safe to Eat?

Figure 1. Eating large, predatory fish harvested from warmer, tropical waters puts consumers at risk for ciguatoxic fish poisoning, and food safety officials in the United States and Caribbean caution against it. The voracious appetite and diverse eating habits of the lionfish suggest it is also a top-order predator species prone to accumulation of ciguatoxins. Credit: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Lionfish is not a traditional or likely seafood selection, but growing interest in response to the invasive and increasing abundance has stirred recreational and commercial interest. This prolific, invasive fish is threatening reefs and coastal fisheries in ocean… Read More

Climate Change: Effects on Salinity in Florida’s Estuaries and Responses of Oysters, Seagrass, and Other Biota

Figure 3. The oyster bed is photographed at low tide when the animals are exposed to the air. These are called inter-tidal oyster beds. In some places in Florida, where the water is deeper in the estuary, the oysters always are underwater. These are called sub-tidal oyster beds. Credit: UF/IFAS photo

Florida’s economically important estuaries could be heavily impacted by sea-level rise and altered river flow, both caused by climate change. The resulting higher salinity, or saltiness of the water, could harm plants and animals, alter fish and bird… Read More

Climate Change and Ecosystem Services of Florida’s Largest Water Body: Lake Okeechobee

Figure 1. A photo of Lake Okeechobee, looking out over the western marsh region to the open waters of the large lake. Credit: South Florida Water Management District

Future climate change could result in higher temperatures and greater evaporative water loss in Florida. If these changes are not compensated for by more rainfall, the state’s largest water body, Lake Okeechobee, could experience prolonged periods of very… Read More

Climate Change and the Occurrence of Harmful Microorganisms in Florida’s Ocean and Coastal Waters

Figure 2. Nutrients and temperature act synergistically to stimulate blooms of harmful microorganisms in estuaries and nearshore ocean waters. Warming ocean waters caused by climate change are predicted to increase problems with blooms.

Climate change is expected to result in increased temperatures of nearshore ocean water, and this could lead to increased growth of harmful microorganisms. These include algae that form noxious or toxic blooms, including red tides, and bacteria and… Read More