Sea Grant Notes – Aug 2, 2019

August 2, 2019                                               Sea Grant Notes

 

After a few weeks’ hiatus due to extended vacation we are back.

I am aware of the tropical depression that came through and have updated the water quality reports for the month of July as well as the first week of August.

 

Much going on – so let’s get caught up.

 

This Week

 

Monday Aug 5 is National Oyster Day

I heard about the unfortunate theft of oysters from Pensacola Bay Oyster company, and hopefully they will be caught, but it is a day to celebrate this seafood icon of the Gulf coast. I will try and post an article that day on our website.  https://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/escambia/.

 

Tuesday Aug 6 – Beach Vitex Removal

The Perdido Key Association will be assisting Florida Sea Grant with the removal of the invasive beach vitex from a private property on the Key.  Anyone interested in helping please contact me.  We will begin at 6:30 and will not work past 9:00 AM.

 

Wednesday Aug 7 – Bream Fishermen’s Association Meeting

This month Elizabeth Hieb, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, will provide a presentation on area manatee research.  The meeting is free, but dinner will be provided for a $10 fee.

5:30 PM doors open; 6:00 PM dinner will be served

1615 East LaRue Street Pensacola.

 

Thursday Aug 8 – Science Hour

This month Dr. Chris Fenner (UWF) will provide a presentation on Agnotology – the study of culturally induced ignorance or doubt.

6:00 PM

Escambia County Central Office Complex

3363 West Park Place

Free

 

Saturday Aug 10 – Sea Turtle Baby Shower

This annual family event will education and activities centered around our local sea turtles.

11:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Landshark Landing – Pensacola Beach

Free

 

Current Articles

 

The Thing About Sharks – http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/nat/.

Dealing with Nutriahttp://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/nat/.

The Magnificent Mullethttp://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/nat/ 

 

 

Water Quality  

 

Health Advisories

  • MONTH OF JULY
  • 45 samples taken at 13 locations; 4 health advisories issued (9% of samples)
  • HEALTH ADVISORIES issued
  • – Jul 11 for Park West on Pensacola Beach
  • – Jul 22 for Bayou’s Texar and Chico
  • – Jul 29 for Bayou Texar
  • POOR LEVELS REPORTED BUT 2ND SAMPLE DID NOT REQUIRE ADVISORY
  • – Jul 23 Opal Beach
  • – Jul 30 Ft. Pickens
  • MODERATE LEVELS REPORTED
  • – Jul 1 for Sanders Beach
  • – Jul 29 Big Lagoon State Park
  • 2019 data at end of these notes

Rainfall

  • Rainfall collected weekly from East Hill (UF IFAS)
  • Jan (2.1”) Feb (1.5”) Mar (0.7”) – winter = 4.3”
  • Apr (6.3”) May (1.0”) June (7.4”) – spring = 14.7”
  • Jul ( ) * was not present in July; East Hill gauge indicated 5”

Red Tide

  • Last report issued was July 26 (FWC)
  • Red tide was not reported anywhere in the Florida panhandle this week
  • Background levels were reported from Sarasota County

Fish Kills

  • Jul 19 – fish kill was reported off of Johnsons Beach on Perdido Key. Species not identified.  Number not given.  Cause may have been linked to discolored water.  (FWC).

LAKEWATCH Nutrient Data

  • Report will be out in August

Killifish Monitoring

  • One species of killifish, the Longnose Killifish (Fundulus similis) has low tolerance for freshwater. Working with Auburn University, we will be monitoring selected estuarine tidal creeks for the presence of this fish.
  • Project still under development.

Salinity Monitoring

  • We have volunteers monitoring salinity around the Pensacola/Perdido Bay system
  • First report coming soon

REMEMBER

Florida Department of Environmental Protection opens their new interactive algal bloom dashboard https://floridadep.gov/algalbloom.

 

Bringing Back the Bayous Program – presentation on the state of the bay and how you can help

  • Aug 20 – Downtown Library, 239 N. Spring St. 6:00 PM
  • Oct 9 – Margaritaville, Pensacola Beach, 165 Ft. Pickens Road, 5:00 PM

 

 

Habitat Restoration

 

  • OCEAN HOUR Clean Ups August 3
  • – Gulf Islands National Seashore Naval Live Oaks – Gulf Breeze Parkway
  • They will also be doing a water access clean up along the north shore of the park. You will need a paddle craft to access the debris and return it to the campground.  If interested contact Ocean Hour. https://www.oceanhourfl.com/. https://www.facebook.com/oceanhourfl.
  • – Bob Sikes Fishing Bridge – meet at the Grand Marlin

Clean Ups begin at 9:00 and supplies are provided

  • Living Shorelines

The best time to have a living shoreline planted is the fall and winter.  However, we can assist any coastal property owner with this anytime of the year.  Contact me if interested in learning more.

  • Seagrass Monitoring
  • – Monitoring of Big Lagoon grasses began May 1 a full update will be posted in the fall
  • Mangrove Surveys
  • – We have surveyed 8 of the 10 selected locations – no mangroves have been found
  • – If you believe you have seen this plant growing in our marshes, please let us know

 

Wildlife & Fisheries

 

  • Horseshoe Crab Nesting Search
  • – Sightings of horseshoe crabs continues but no reports of nesting activity yet.
  • – We will continue searching in the fall
  • Diamondback terrapins
  • – Terrapin surveys have been completed. We will announce report later this year.
  • Snakes
  • – No snake programs planned this month.
  • Manatees
  • – Sightings continue around Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key.
  • – We lost three manatees in Escambia County in 2018. 2 to boat strikes and 1 to cold stress
  • – If you see a manatee, contact the manatee hotline at Dauphin Island Sea Lab; 1-866-493-5803 or manatee@disl.org.
  • – Elizabeth Hieb (Dauphin Island Sea Lab) will present research on local manatees at the August Bream Fishermen’s Association Wednesday Aug 7. See details at top of this newsletter.
  • The Great Scallop Search
  • – Scallop surveys in Big Lagoon are on-going. We recommend a team of three to do these.  If interested contact me.       
  • 2019 Scallop Season
  • – Jun 15 – Sep 10: Dixie and parts of Taylor counties
  • – Jul 1 – Sep 24: Franklin, parts of Taylor, Levy, Citrus, and Hernando counties
  • – Jul 19-28: Pasco county
  • – Aug 16 – Sep 15: Gulf county
  • Scallop harvest is currently prohibited in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties; please let us know if you do find any live scallops.
  • Invasive Wildlife
  • Nutria – A dead nutria was found on the side of Perdido Key Drive near the Theo Baars Bridge. It was a large one and there are probably more.  If you live in the Perdido Key area and think you have seen a nutria, contact us and we can let you know how to control there.
  • Cuban Treefrogs – The have been reported in the New Orleans area. We can show you how to set up a treefrog collector and assist monitoring for the presence of this invasive frog in our area.  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw259.
  • Invasive Species Presentations
  • – Aug 13 – Margaritaville, Pensacola Beach, 165 Ft. Pickens Road, 5:00 PM
  • – Oct 22 – Southwest Branch Library, 12248 Gulf Beach Hwy, 6:00 PM

 

Invasive Species

 

  • Eradicating Beach Vitex

Beach vitex (Vitex rotundifolia) is an invasive ground covering shrub that begins as a vine.  We may have discovered this plant early enough to eradicate it from our area.

  • – Vitex surveys: Aug 6 – Tarkiln Bayou ~ 10AM. If interested, contact me
  • – Vitex workdays: Aug 6 – Perdido Key, 6:30 AM – 9:00 AM. If interested, contact me
  • Coastal Invasive Plant Management

The following invasive plants have been found on our barrier islands and estuarine coast

187 divers participated – record

$48,000 in cash prizes – most ever

5,048 LF turned in during pre-tournament – record

14,119 LF turned in during the weekend tournament – record

19,167 LF harvested total – record

  • Nearshore Lionfish Surveys will begin in June. If you see a lionfish near the beach or in the bay, please let us know.
  • Invasive Species Presentations
  • – Aug 13 – Margaritaville, Pensacola Beach, 165 Ft. Pickens Road, 5:00 PM
  • – Oct 22 – Southwest Branch Library, 12248 Gulf Beach Hwy, 6:00 PM

 

 

Seafood

 

  • Seafood @ Your Fingertips
  • – Presentation on local seafood, with samples
  • Rescheduling the Southwest Branch Library, 12248 Gulf Beach Highway, 6:00 PM
  • – October 15, Downtown Library, 239 N. Spring Street, 6:00 PM
  • Local Seafood in Peak Season for August   
  • – Cultured clams
  • – Flounder
  • – King mackerel – this fish has been known to have high levels of mercury, check county website for consumption recommendations – link below
  • – Rock shrimp
  • – Brown shrimp
  • – White shrimp
  • – Snapper (check annual regulations)
  • – Spanish mackerel
  • – Spiny lobster
  • – Yellowfin Tuna
  • Seafood Safety Guidelines – Escambia County Division of Marine Resources – https://www.myescambia.com/our-services/natural-resources-management/marine-resources/seafood-safety.

 

Environmental Literacy

 

  • 2019 SCIENCE HOUR SCHEDULE; programs are held at the Escambia County Central Office Complex; 3363 West Park Place; they begin at 6:00 PM and are free
  • – Aug 8 Agnotology                                           Chris Fenner, UWF
  • – Sep 12 Genetically Modified Organisms            Libbie Johnson, County UF Extension
  • – Oct 10 TBD
  • – Nov 14 Bay Bridge & Artificial Reefs                Robert Turpin, Escambia County

 

 

Upcoming Programs

 

  • Aug 6Beach Vitex Removal. You can volunteer to help remove invasive beach vitex from Perdido Key. We will work from 6:30 – 9:00 AM.  Contact me for location.
  • Aug 6Beach Vitex Survey. You can volunteer to survey for invasive beach vitex at Tarkiln Bayou. We will be hiking through the woods and wet areas to reach the survey beach.  Long pants and water-resistant shoes recommended.  Plan to begin at 10:00 AM.  Meet at the parking area of Tarkiln Bayou on Bauer Road.
  • Aug 8Science Hour; Agnotology. Join Chris Fenner from the University of West Florida for a presentation on this subject, which covers cultured induced ignorance or doubt on topics of concern.
  • Aug 10Sea Turtle Baby Shower. This fun family event will occur at Landshark Landing on Pensacola Beach. Kid activities, games, and information booth will be there.  It begins at 11:00 AM and ends at 2:00 PM.  Free.
  • Aug 12 – Escambia County Marine Advisory Committee Meeting. 3363 West Park Place.
  • Aug 13 – Invasive Species. This will be a presentation on the situation with invasive species in the Pensacola/Perdido Bay area. Meeting room at Margaritaville on Pensacola Beach. 165 Ft. Pickens Road.  5:00 PM. Free.
  • Aug 20Bringing Back the Bayous; Restoring the Health of Our Bay. A presentation on local water quality, habitat and fisheries loss. Downtown library meeting room B.  239 N. Spring Street.  6:00 PM. Free.

 

HEALTH ADVISORY DATA

Enterococcus bacteria count rubric for health advisories (Florida Department of Health)

 

GOOD             0-35 colonies/100ml of sample

MODERATE    36-70 colonies/100ml

POOR              71> colonies/100ml

 

Data provided by the Florida Department of Health’s Healthy Beaches Program

Month Water Body Good Moderate Poor Health Advisory Issued
Jan Bayou Texar 3 1 1 1
  Sanders Beach 1 2 2 2
Feb Bayou Texar 1 1 2 2
  Sanders Beach 1 2 3 2
Mar Bayou Texar 2   2 2
  Sanders Beach 3   1  
  Bayou Chico     2 2
  Bayou Grande   2    
  Big Lagoon SP 2      
  Casino Beach 2      
  Park East 2      
  Park West 2      
  Perdido Key SP 1 1    
  Quietwater 1   1  
Apr Bayou Texar 2   3 3
  Sanders Beach 3 1 1 1
  Bayou Chico 1 1 1 1
  Bayou Grande 2   1 1
  Big Lagoon SP 3      
  Casino Beach 3      
  Park East 3      
  Park West 2      
  Perdido Key SP 2      
  Quietwater 3   1  
  Opal Beach 1      
  Ft. Pickens 1      
May Bayou Texar 2   2 2
  Sanders Beach 3 1    
  Bayou Chico 1   1 1
  Bayou Grande 1   1 1
  Big Lagoon SP 2      
  Casino Beach 2      
  Park East 2      
  Park West 2      
  Perdido Key SP 2      
  Quietwater 1 1    
  Opal Beach 1      
  Ft. Pickens 1      
Jun Bayou Texar 3 1    
  Sanders Beach 3 1    
  Bayou Chico 1 1    
  Bayou Grande 2      
  Big Lagoon SP 2      
  Casino Beach 2      
  Park East 2      
  Park West 2      
  Perdido Key SP 2      
  Quietwater 2      
  Opal Beach 2      
  Ft. Pickens 2      
Jul Bayou Texar 3   2 2
  Sanders Beach 3 1    
  Bayou Chico 2   1 1
  Bayou Grande 3      
  Big Lagoon SP 2 1    
  Casino Beach 3      
  Park East 3      
  Park West 3   2 1
  Perdido Key SP 3      
  Quietwater 3      
  Opal Beach 3   1  
  Ft. Pickens 1 1    
  Johnsons Beach 3      
Aug Bayou Texar        
  Sanders Beach        
  Bayou Chico        
  Bayou Grande        
  Big Lagoon SP        
  Casino Beach        
  Park East        
  Park West        
  Perdido Key SP        
  Quietwater        
  Opal Beach        
  Ft. Pickens        
  Johnsons Beach        
           
TOTAL 136 95 16 25 21
% OF SAMPLES         .15

 

Health Advisory Frequency

Body of Water # of samples taken # of advisories issued % frequency of advisories
Bayou Texar 31 12 .32
Sanders Beach 32 5 .16
Bayou Chico 12 5 .42
Bayou Grande 12 2 .17
Park West 13 1 .08

Fish Kill Data provided by FWC

Month # of Fish Kills reported # of Dead Fish reported Cause
Jan 0 0  
Feb 0 0  
Mar 0 0  
Apr 0 0  
May 0 0  
June 0 0  
July      
Aug