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Sea Grant Notes – Oct 4, 2019

October 4, 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.

Visit the following link for more information

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

 

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.

HORSESHOE CRABS COULD BE NESTING OCT 4TH  OR 5TH CLOSE TO DAWN

Keep an eye out for these ancient creatures and report any you find to the Sea Grant Agent at the Escambia County Extension Office – (850) 475-5230 ext 111.

 

This Week

 

Thursday Oct 10

Science Hour – Harmful Algal Blooms – Dr. Matt Schwartz (UWF) will give presentation – Central Office Complex – 3363 West Park Place – 6:00 PM

 

What is Green Infrastructure and How Can it Benefit Pensacola Bay? Workshop – University of Florida at PSC Milton Campus – 5988 U.S. Highway 90, Building 4900 – 6:00 PM

 

Current Articles

 

No new articles this week.  Find others at –

https://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/escambia/.

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

 

Water Quality  

 

 

Health Advisories

  • 10 stations sampled last week
  • Monday Sep 30 – Chico, Grande, Texar, Big Lagoon SP, Perdido Key SP, Sanders Beach
  • Tuesday Oct 1 – Casino Beach, Park East, Park West, Quietwater Beach
  • Wednesday Oct 2 – Sanders Beach (re-test)
  • POOR ADVISORY ISSUED – Bayou Grande
  • POOR BUT NO ADVISORY ISSUED – Sanders Beach
  • MODERATE – Bayou Texar
  • GOOD –  Bayou, Chico, Big Lagoon SP, Casino Beach, Park East, Park West, Perdido Key SP, Sanders Beach, 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”) – summer = 13.0”*
  • Oct (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 27 (FWC)
  • Red tide was not detected in the Florida panhandle.
  • Background levels were detected in Lee and Collier counties in SW Florida.
  • Red tide was not detected along the east coast of Florida

Fish Kills

  • Sep 10 fish kill reported at Perdido Key Beach – tarpon
  • Sep 27 fish kill reported in Tiger Point Golf Course Pond
  • Sep 29 fish kill reported in Herron Bayou / Perdido Bay – mullet, blue crab, and a sea turtle were reported
  • THERE HAS BEEN SEVERAL REPORTS OF DEAD FISH & WILDLIFE ASSOCIATED WITH LOCAL BODIES OF FRESHWATER. WITH THESE RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURES, AND NO RAINFALL, LOCAL PONDS AND CREEKS ARE SEEING INCREASE NUMBERS OF BACTERIAL GROWTH.  SOME OF THESE BACTERIA CAN PRODUCE TOXINS THAT CAN BE HARMFUL TO FISH AND WILDLIFE.  LOW WATER LEVELS AND HIGH TEMPERATURES CAN ALSO DECREASE DISSOLVED OXYGEN.  CYANOBACTERIA (BLUE-GREEN ALGAE) WERE DETECTED BY THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH IN ELEVEN MILE CREEK BELOW THE MOBILE HIGHWAY BRIDGE ON SEP 23.  THE LOCAL CONCENTRATIONS WERE 1.09 µg/L (EPA issues health advisories at concentrations of 8.0 µg/L).  BLUE GREEN BLOOMS CAN CAUSE THE WATER TO CHANGE COLOR TO EITHER BLUE, GREEN, BROWN, ORANGE, OR RED.  WE RECOMMEND IF YOUR PRIVATE (OR NEARBY PUBLIC POND) HAS CHANGED SO, THAT YOU REMAIN OUT OF IT (AND KEEP PETS OUT) UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.   
  • 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
  • Summer report coming soon

REMEMBER

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

  • NEXT BRINGING BACK THE BAYOUS PROGRAM – Oct 29 – Margaritaville, Pensacola Beach, 165 Ft. Pickens Road, 5:00 PM

 

 

Habitat Restoration

 

  • OCEAN HOUR Clean Ups Oct 5  
  • – Naval Live Oaks – Gulf Islands Visitors Center – Gulf Breeze Parkway
  • – Bob Sikes Bridge – meet at 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
  • – All seagrass samples have now been submitted to UWF; will post results when we have
  • 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
  • NEXT BRINGING BACK THE BAYOUS PROGRAM – Oct 29 – Margaritaville, Pensacola Beach, 165 Ft. Pickens Road, 5:00 PM

 

 

Wildlife & Fisheries

 

  • Horseshoe Crab Nesting Search
  • HORSESHOE CRABS COULD BE NESTING THIS WEEKEND – KEEP AN EYE OUT & PLEASE REPORT
  • – October begins the fall survey season for nesting horseshoe crabs. They nest along shore during the high tides of the full and new moons.  Best days and times to search:
  • – Oct 3, 4, 5, 18, 19, 21, 22, 29, 30, 31
  • – Nov 1, 2, 3, 15, 16, 17, 18, 26, 27, 28
  • – Dec 13, 14, 24, 25, 26
  • Diamondback terrapins
  • – Terrapin surveys have been completed. We will announce report later this year.
  • Snakes
  • – People on Perdido Key continue to encounter cottonmouths and coachwhips. If you have questions about dealing with these, call the Escambia County Sea Grant Agent at (850) 475-5230 ext. 111 .
  • 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
  • – The 2019 Scallop Season has closed in Florida for all locations.
  • NEXT ESTUARINE WILDLIFE PROGRAM – TBD

 

 

Invasive Species

 

  • Beach Vitex
  • – Vitex is going into seed this time of year. If you have the plant, and choose not to remove it, we recommend that you cut and remove all seed.  The seeds can be dried and disposed of.
  • Invasive Lionfish
  • 4 Lionfish were found near the Ft. Pickens fishing pier while they were conducting an underwater clean-up there. We continue to survey for lionfish in the Ft. Pickens area.  If anyone finds lionfish inside Pensacola Bay, please report location to us.
  • 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.
  • NEXT INVASIVE SPECIES PROGRAM – 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 October   
  • – Cultured clams
  • – Flounder
  • – Mullet
  • – Oysters
  • – White shrimp
  • – Snapper (check annual regulations)
  • – Spiny lobster
  • – Stone crab
  • – 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.
  • NEXT SEAFOOD @ YOUR FINGERTIPS – Oct 15 – Downtown library – 6:00 PM

 

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

 

  • 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 46       4
  Bayou Texar 4      
  Sanders Beach 3 1    
  Bayou Chico     4 3
  Bayou Grande 1 2 1 1
  Big Lagoon SP 2 2    
  Casino Beach 3   1  
  Park East 4      
  Park West 3   1  
  Perdido Key SP 4      
  Quietwater 4      
  Opal Beach 2      
  Ft. Pickens 1   1  
  Johnsons Beach 1      
Oct 11       1
  Bayou Texar 1      
  Sanders Beach 1   1  
  Bayou Chico 1      
  Bayou Grande     1 1
  Big Lagoon SP 1      
  Casino Beach 1      
  Park East 1      
  Park West 1      
  Perdido Key SP 1      
  Quietwater 1      
TOTAL 249 174 28 50 33
% OF SAMPLES         .13

 

Health Advisory Frequency

Body of Water # of samples taken # of advisories issued % frequency of advisories
Bayou Texar 40 15 .38
Sanders Beach 44 5 .11
Bayou Chico 21 11 .52
Bayou Grande 21 5 .24
Park West 23 1 .04
Casino Beach 22 1 .04

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 3 Unknown Unknown

Tarpon Perdido Key Beach

Mullet.Blue Crab. Sea Turtle @ Herron Bayou

Pond @ Tiger Point golf course