Sea Grant Notes – Sep 13, 2019

September 13, 2019                                       Sea Grant Notes

 

 

SEPTEMBER IS MICROPLASTICS AWARNESS MONTH

Read about this issue at either

http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/nat/.

https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/escambiaco/2019/09/06/microplastics-awareness-month-4/.

 

THE SEP 12th SCIENCE HOUR WILL BE MOVED TO SEP 19th

The topic for Sep is GMOs in our food systems.

 

COASTWATCH ALLIANCE IS SEEKING SPONSORS FOR THEIR FALL PENSACOLA LIONFISH CLASSIC

This non-profit is planning a lionfish removal event Oct 4-6 and is in need of sponsors.  Contact me at the extension office for more information on how.

 

This Week

 

Sep 16 – Seafood @ Your Fingertips  

Join Florida Sea Grant, Perdido Seafood, and Escambia County Extension for a presentation on local seafood.  We will discuss oysters, availability of other species, preparing, and other questions often asked by the public.

Southwest Branch Library

12248 Gulf Beach Highway

6:00 PM

 

Sep 19 – Science Hour

This month we will hear from University of Florida Agricultural specialist Dr. Michael Mulvaney and Escambia County agricultural extension agent Libbie Johnson on the topic of GMOs in local food.

Escambia County Central Office Complex

3363 West Park Place

6:00 PM

 

Sep 19 – Animal Indicators of Pensacola Bay  

Sea Grant will give a presentation on estuarine animals that tell us about the health of our bay and how our survey for them is going.  We will also discuss how you can volunteer to help survey for them.

The Upper Room – 3rd floor of the Pensacola Beach Marina

655 Pensacola Beach Blvd

6:00 PM

 

Current Articles

 

Aquatic Weed Control – Common Salvinia

http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/nat/2019/09/13/aquatic-weed-control-common-salvinia/.

 

The Plight of the Bay Scallop

https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/escambiaco/2019/09/09/the-plight-of-the-bay-scallop/.

http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/nat/.

 

 

Water Quality  

 

Health Advisories

  • 13 stations sampled last week; 7 on Monday Sep 9; 6 on Tuesday Sep 10
  • 1 ADVISORY ISSUED – BAYOU CHICO
  • POOR BUT NO ADVISORY ISSUED – Park West, Ft. Pickens
  • MODERATE – Bayou Grande
  • GOOD – Bayou Texar, Big Lagoon SP, Casino Beach, Park East, Johnsons Beach, Opal Beach, Perdido Key SP, Quietwater Beach, Sanders Beach
  • 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 (5.0’*) Aug (8.0”) Sep (0.0”)
  • * Sea Grant was not available to monitor rain gauge in July – gauge indicated 5” during the month in East Hill

Red Tide

  • Last report issued was Sep 6 (FWC)
  • Red tide was not detected in the Florida panhandle this past week
  • Red tide was detected at background to very low levels in Sarasota and Lee counties

Fish Kills

  • Sep 10 fish kill reported at Perdido Key Beach – tarpon
  • Two fish kills reported in August. One was dead catfish in lower Perdido Bay and the other was assorted species at Emerald Beach Park in Navarre.
  • No other reports this year.
  • Report fish kills to FWC at – https://myfwc.com/research/saltwater/health/fish-kills-hotline/.

LAKEWATCH Nutrient Data

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

  • Oct 29 – Margaritaville, Pensacola Beach, 165 Ft. Pickens Road, 5:00 PM

 

 

Habitat Restoration

 

  • OCEAN HOUR Clean Ups Sep 14  
  • – Bluff Park Scenic Highway at the end of Summit Blvd
  • – Chimney Park Scenic Highway at the end of Langley Ave

Clean Ups begin at 9:00 and supplies are provided – rain/lightning will cancel event

  • 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 and will run through the end of September; 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.
  • 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
  • – Dixie and parts of Taylor counties ARE NOW CLOSED
  • – 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 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. If you think you may have this plant, please contact us.  Beach vitex is beginning to go to seed.  If you have this plant and do not plan to remove it, please consider removing the seeds so it does not spread from your property.  Thank you. 

  • 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 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
  • – Oct 22 – Southwest Branch Library, 12248 Gulf Beach Hwy, 6:00 PM

 

 

Seafood

 

  • Seafood @ Your Fingertips
  • – Presentation on local seafood, with samples
  • – September 16, 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 September   
  • – Cultured clams
  • – King mackerel – this fish has been known to have high levels of mercury, check county website for consumption recommendations – link below
  • – Mullet
  • – Oysters
  • – Brown shrimp
  • – Rock shrimp
  • – White shrimp
  • – Snapper (check annual regulations)
  • – Spanish mackerel
  • – Spiny lobster
  • – Swordfish
  • – 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
  • – Sep 19 Genetically Modified Organisms            Libbie Johnson, County UF Extension
  • – Oct 10 Harmful Algal Blooms                          Matt Schwartz, UWF
  • – Nov 14 Bay Bridge & Artificial Reefs                Robert Turpin, Escambia County

 

 

Upcoming Programs

 

  • Sep 16 – Seafood @ Your Fingertips – Sea Grant, Escambia County Extension, and Perdido Seafood, will have a presentation on local seafood topics. Southwest Branch Library – 12248 Gulf Beach Highway – 6:00 PM – Free.
  • Sep 19 Science Hour – Escambia County Extension will have a presentation on GMOs in our food systems. Escambia County Central Office Complex – 3363 West Park Place – 6:00 PM – Free.
  • Sep 19 Indicator Animals Assessing the Health of Bay – Sea Grant will give a presentation on wildlife monitoring we are doing to assess the health of the bay. We will have a live terrapin at the program.  Upper Room – 3rd floor of the Pensacola Beach Marina – 655 Pensacola Beach Blvd. – 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 10       3
  Bayou Texar 3 1 1 1
  Sanders Beach 1 2 2 2
Feb 9       4
  Bayou Texar 1 1 2 2
  Sanders Beach 1 2 3 2
Mar 24       4
  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 35       6
  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 26       4
  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 28       0
  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 44       4
  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 57       7
  Bayou Texar 1   3 3
  Sanders Beach 4   3  
  Bayou Chico 1   3 3
  Bayou Grande   3 1 1
  Big Lagoon SP 3   1  
  Casino Beach 4   1  
  Park East 4      
  Park West 4      
  Perdido Key SP 4      
  Quietwater 3   2  
  Opal Beach 4      
  Ft. Pickens 3 1    
  Johnsons Beach 2 2    
Sep 26       2
  Bayou Texar 2      
  Sanders Beach 2      
  Bayou Chico     2 2
  Bayou Grande 1 1    
  Big Lagoon SP 2      
  Casino Beach 2      
  Park East 2      
  Park West 1   1  
  Perdido Key SP 2      
  Quietwater 2      
  Opal Beach 2      
  Ft. Pickens 1   1  
  Johnsons Beach 1      
           
TOTAL 218 154 23 44 30
% OF SAMPLES         .14

 

Health Advisory Frequency

Body of Water # of samples taken # of advisories issued % frequency of advisories
Bayou Texar 37 15 .41
Sanders Beach 40 5 .13
Bayou Chico 18 10 .56
Bayou Grande 18 3 .17
Park West 19 1 .05

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 – Johns Beach report – # unknown Unknown May have been discolored water
Aug 2 Unknown Dead catfish in lower Perdido Bay

Multiple species from Emerald Beach Park in Navarre

Sep 1 Unknown Unknown

Tarpon Perdido Key Beach