Sea Grant Notes – Sep 20, 2019

September 19, 2019                                       Sea Grant Notes

 

 

THE INAUGURAL GREAT SCAVENGER HUNT

Join the extension office and the Pensacola-Perdido Bay Estuary Program for a family fun scavenger hunt searching for cool plants and animals within, and along the shores of Pensacola Bay.  Teams can search beach & dunes, salt marshes, seagrass beds, or hardened structures such as docks, seawalls, or jetties.

The event will be the week of Oct 13 – 19.

Extension will have three workshops to go over everything

Sep 30 Navarre Beach Marine Science Station – 5:30 PM

Oct 2   Downtown Pensacola Library – 6:00 PM

Oct 3   Southwest Library near Perdido Key – 6:00 PM

Visit the following link for more information

https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/escambiaco/2019/09/06/2019-pensacola-perdido-bay-bio-scavenger-hunt/.

 

2019 INTERNATIONAL COASTAL CLEAN UP

There will be numerous clean ups this Saturday.

  • – Ocean Hour will be cleaning Wayside Park, Graffiti Bridge, and Bartram Park
  • – Keep Pensacola Beautiful will be cleaning at Park West
  • – Keep Santa Rosa County Beautiful will be cleaning at Navarre Fishing Pier
  • – Coastal Community Clean Up will be at the Destin Bridge

 

WHAT IS ‘GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE’ AND HOW CAN IT BENEFIT PANHANDLE BAYS? UF PARTNERS WITH SANTA ROSA AND ESCAMBIA COUNTIES FOR FREE WORKSHOPS

MILTON, Fla. — Residents can learn about practices aimed at mitigating flood risks and improving water quality around Pensacola and Perdido Bays at three community workshops, co-hosted by University of Florida faculty and Santa Rosa and Escambia counties.

“Low-impact development and ‘green infrastructure’ are ways to improve communities’ resiliency to wet-weather impacts,” said Eban Bean, an assistant professor of urban water resources at the University of Florida in Gainesville. “Features such as rain gardens, vegetative swales, permeable pavement, green roofs and rain barrels can be designed reduce flooding and improve water quality.”

In the three events hosted in October in Gulf Breeze, Pensacola and Milton, UF/IFAS Extension and research faculty have partnered with the counties’ staffs to educate the public and gain feedback on implementing such strategies in the area.

Bean and Matthew Deitch, an assistant professor of watershed management at the UF/IFAS West Florida Research and Education Center in Milton, will lead the discussions about urban runoff and water quality in the Panhandle. They’ll also describe how green infrastructure has been used throughout Florida to benefit communities.

After the educational sessions, participants can provide input on places where flooding is common and where water quality is impaired. This feedback will help decide areas where researchers will collect runoff and water quality data for the next two years and test the benefits of green infrastructure on flooding and water quality using computer simulations. Results will be shared at future workshops and guide future projects to reduce flooding and improve water quality in Santa Rosa and Escambia counties.

Online registration is encouraged and can be found at freeworkshop.eventbrite.com. The first 50 attendees at each meeting will receive an emergency rain poncho.

WHO: UF/IFAS faculty, partnered with Santa Rosa and Escambia counties, to inform residents in Pensacola Bay and Perdido Bay watersheds.

WHAT: Three free community workshops designed to educate the public about green infrastructure as a solution to flooding and water quality impairment.

DATES AND LOCATIONS:

  • Oct. 1 at the Tiger Point Community Center, 1370 Tiger Park Lane, in Gulf Breeze
  • Oct. 3 at the Sanders Beach-Corinne Jones Resource Center, 913 South I Street, in Pensacola
  • Oct. 10 at the University of Florida at Pensacola State College Milton Campus, 5988 U.S. 90, Building 4900

TIME: All workshops run from 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.

For questions or more information, contact Matthew Deitch at 850-983-7131 or mdeitch@ufl.edu.

 

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/.

 

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

 

No Extension Programs this week

 

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

  • 10 stations sampled last week
  • Monday Sep 16 – Chico, Grande, Texar, Big Lagoon SP, Perdido Key SP, and Sanders Beach
  • Tuesday Sep 17 – Casino Beach, Park East, Park West, Quietwater
  • POOR ADVISORY ISSUED – Bayou Chico
  • POOR BUT NO ADVISORY ISSUED – Casino Beach
  • MODERATE – Bayou Grande, Big Lagoon SP, Sanders Beach
  • GOOD – Bayou Texar, Park East, Perdido Key SP, Quietwater 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 13 (FWC)
  • Background levels of red tide were detected at one station in Bay County in the Florida panhandle
  • In southwest Florida red tide was detected at background levels in Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, and Collier counties
  • Red tide was not detected along the east coast of Florida

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 21  
  • INTERNATIONAL COASTAL CLEAN UP WEEKEND!
  • – Wayside Park and Graffiti Bridge – meet at the Visitors Center
  • – Bartram Park – across from the Seville Square
  • Ocean Hour has removed 14,259 pounds of debris in 2019 – thanks volunteers!

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 and will run through the end of September; a full update will be posted in the fall
  • Mangrove Surveys
  • – We have completed all 10 surveys for Escambia County – no mangroves were found in 2019
  • – 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
  • – Pasco County NOW CLOSED
  • – Gulf county NOW CLOSED
  • 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

We continue to remove beach vitex this fall.  If you believe you have this invasive plant, contact the extension office for methods of removal and management.

  • 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

  • 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
  • – 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
  • – Oct 10 Harmful Algal Blooms                          Matt Schwartz, UWF
  • – Nov 14 Bay Bridge & Artificial Reefs                Robert Turpin, Escambia County

 

 

Upcoming Programs

 

  • Sep 30 – The Great Scavenger Hunt Workshop – Sea Grant will explain how you, and your family, can participate in this new event. Navarre Beach Marine Science Station – 8638 Blue Heron Ct – 5:30 PM
  • Oct 1 – Green Infrastructure and Estuarine Health Workshop – Join UF Milton, UF Extension, Santa Rosa, and Escambia counties for a workshop on how green infrastructure can help solve some community problems. Tiger Point – 1370 Tiger Point Lane Gulf Breeze – 6:00 PM
  • Oct 2 – The Great Scavenger Hunt Workshop – Sea Grant will explain how you, and your family, can participate in this new event. Downtown library meeting room B – 239 N. Spring Street – 6:00 PM
  • Oct 3 – The Great Scavenger Hunt Workshop – Sea Grant will explain how you, and your family, can participate in this new event. Southwest Branch Library – 12248 Gulf Beach Highway – 6:00 PM
  • Oct 3 – Green Infrastructure and Estuarine Health Workshop – Join UF Milton, UF Extension, Santa Rosa, and Escambia counties for a workshop on how green infrastructure can help solve some community problems. Sanders Beach – Corrine Jones Center – 913 S. “I” Street – 6:00 PM
  • Oct 10 – Science Hour – This month’s presentation will be by Dr. Matt Schwartz (UWF) on Harmful Algal Blooms – 3363 West Park Place – 6:00 PM
  • Oct 10 – Green Infrastructure and Estuarine Health Workshop – Join UF Milton, UF Extension, Santa Rosa, and Escambia counties for a workshop on how green infrastructure can help solve some community problems. UF Milton Campus – 5988 U.S. Highway 90 – Building 4900 – 6:00 PM
  • Oct 15 – Seafood @ Your Fingertips – Sea Grant, Escambia County Extension, and Perdido Seafood, will have a presentation on local seafood topics. Downtown Library – 239 N. Spring Street – 6:00 PM.
  • Oct 22 – Invasive Species – Sea Grant will give a presentation on local invasive species issues. Southwest Branch Library – 12248 Gulf Beach Highway – 6:00 PM.
  • Oct 29 Bringing Back the Bayous – Sea Grant will give a presentation on the health of our bay. Margaritaville – 165 Ft. Pickens Road – Pensacola Beach – 4:00 PM.

 

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 36       3
  Bayou Texar 3      
  Sanders Beach 2 1    
  Bayou Chico     3 3
  Bayou Grande 1 2    
  Big Lagoon SP 2 1    
  Casino Beach 2   1  
  Park East 3      
  Park West 2   1  
  Perdido Key SP 3      
  Quietwater 3      
  Opal Beach 2      
  Ft. Pickens 1   1  
  Johnsons Beach 1      
           
TOTAL 228 159 26 46 31
% OF SAMPLES         .14

 

Health Advisory Frequency

Body of Water # of samples taken # of advisories issued % frequency of advisories
Bayou Texar 38 15 .39
Sanders Beach 41 5 .12
Bayou Chico 19 11 .58
Bayou Grande 19 3 .16
Park West 20 1 .05
Casino Beach 20 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