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Sea Grant Notes – Apr 3, 2020

WELCOME TO SPRING!

 

Due to the COVID-19 virus, all UF IFAS extension programs, meetings, site visits, and volunteer programs are suspended until MID-MAY. 

 

BLOG LESSONS FOR YOUTH AND ADULTS APRIL 6-10

Youth will be posted in the mornings; Adults in the afternoon

Day Youth Lesson Adult Lesson
Mon – Invasive Species Chinese tallow Introduction to issue
Tue – Wildlife Nests in your yard Embrace the Gulf – Crustaceans
Wed – Water Salinity Lewis Fact Sheets – Introduction to Water Quality
Thu – Habitat Logs in the yard Lewis Fact Sheets – Estuarine Habitats

You will be able to find these on the Escambia County Extension Natural Resource Page and type the title above in the search box. https://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/escambia/?topic=natural-resources.

 

CURRENT ARTICLES

 

Getting Rid of Chinese Tallow Treeshttp://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/nat/.

Wildlife Food Plots: Chufa for Wild Turkey – http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/nat/.

Warm Weather Brings People Out, and Mosquitos Too!http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/nat/.

 

2020 EMBRACE THE GULF – Marine Mammals

https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/escambiaco/2020/03/09/embrace-the-gulf-2020-the-marine-mammals/.

 

2020 YEAR OF THE TURTLE – The Spotted Turtle

https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/escambiaco/2020/04/01/2020-year-of-the-turtle-the-spotted-turtle/.

 

 

Water Quality  

 

Health Advisories

  • BEACHES ARE CURRENTLY CLOSED AND NO MONITORING IS TAKING PLACE
  • View all data below

Rainfall

  • Rainfall collected weekly from East Hill (UF IFAS)
  • 2019 rainfall total in East Hill was 47.5”. Rainfall for airport was similar.
  • Jan (4.0) Feb (2.8) Mar (0.6) – Winter (7.4”)
  • Apr (0.0)

Salinity

  • The objective of this citizen science project is to determine the mean/median/mode of salinity in local waterbodies for the purpose to assess the potential success of restoration projects: such as bay scallop and specific species of seagrasses.  We are looking for a mean/median/mode of 20‰  or higher.  We are hoping to get a minimum of 100 measurements from each location.
  • 2020 1st Quarter Results

 2019 – 2020

Body of Water No. of samples Surface Mean Surface Median Surface Mode Bottom Mean Bottom Median Bottom Mode
Bayou Grande 11 20 21 21 21 22 22
Bayou Texar 2 10.5 10.5 NA ND ND ND
Big Lagoon 12 surface

7 bottom

24 24 24 19 21 21
Big Sabine 2 21.5 21.5 NA ND ND ND
Bruce Beach 1 18.4 18.4 NA ND ND ND
Kees Bayou 35 19 20 14 ND ND ND
Little Sabine 12 22 22 19 ND ND ND
Lower Perdido Bay 46 16 15 20 16 16 20
Old River 35 23 23 25 23 24 24
Sanders Beach 1 18.1 18.1 NA ND ND ND
Shoreline Park 1 18.8 18.8 NA ND ND ND

 

Longnose Killifish Monitoring

  • ON HOLD UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

Red Tide & Harmful Algal Blooms

  • Last report was posted Mar 27 (FWC)
  • Panhandlenot detected    
  • SW Florida – detected in Monroe County
  • East Coast of FL – not detected
  • HABs not detected this week

Fish Kills

 

Marine Science Academy – Washington High School – Fish & Water Quality Data – updated

http://whs-ecsd-fl.schoolloop.com/MarineScienceAcademy.

 

 

Habitat Restoration

 

  • OCEAN HOUR HAS SUSPENDED ALL CLEAN UPS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
  • Living Shorelines – NO SITE VISITS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
  • Seagrass Monitoring – ON HOLD UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
  • Mangrove Migration – ON HOLD UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

 

Wildlife & Fisheries

 

  • Panhandle Diamondback Terrapin Project

ALL TRAININGS ON HOLD UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

  • Horseshoe Crabs

ON HOLD UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

  • Barrier Island Snake Survey

ON HOLD UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

  • The Great Scallop Search

PLANNED FOR JUNE 13 – ON HOLD FOR NOW

  • The Great Scavenger Hunt

To celebrate NATIONAL ESTUARIES WEEK, Escambia County Extension will be hosting The Great Scavenger where we get local volunteers to search for protected species, species of concern, invasive species, and indicator species.  This year the Scavenger Hunt will be September 12.  More details coming.

  • Manatee Watch

ESCAMBIA COUNTY IS NOT TRACKING MANATEES SEEN IN PENSACOLA BAY AREA.  If you encounter one, please contact us at (850-475-5230 ext. 111) or email roc1@ufl.edu.

You can also contact Dauphin Island Sea Lab at 1-866-493-5803.

  • 2020 Gulf Red Snapper Season

June 11 – July 25; with a possible with a possible fall re-opening if quota allows.

  • Gulf County (Port St. Joe) 2021 Scallop Season and Beyond

Aug 16 – Sep 24

  • Removing Bats Before Maternity Season Begins

Bats select many different types of structures to roost in, including homes and buildings.  Residents are allowed to remove bats from their structures UNLESS it is maternity season.  This season runs from April 15 to August 15.  If you need to remove bats, you should do so before April 15.

 

Invasive Species

 

  • Florida Invasive Species Awareness Week – May 18-22

This year UF IFAS Extension will be providing Facebook LIVE broadcast of how to identify and remove selected local invasive species.

Monday May 18 – Feral Hogs

Tuesday May 19 – Giant Salvinia

Wednesday May 20 – Congongrass

Thursday May 21 – Air Potato

Friday May 22 – Regal Demoiselle

  • Beach Vitex
  • – If you think you may have this plant on your property and want advice on how to manage. Email me.
  • Invasive Lionfish
  • 2020 Emerald Coast Open – pre-tournament is Feb 1 – May 13. Main tournament will be May 15-17.  Registration for this event is at emeraldcoast.com.
  • – LRAD (Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day) will be the weekend of May 15-17 at Destin Harbor.
  • – Lionfish have been found near Ft. Pickens inside the pass. If anyone diving this area, or anywhere within the bay, and finds lionfish – please contact us and let us know.
  • Regal Demoiselle
  • – This is an invasive reef fish that has made its way to our area. We are currently developing an ID guide for this, and other potential invasive reef fish problems, for local divers.  More on this ASAP.
  • – If you find this fish on any of our reefs – please email me.
  • Brown (Cuban) Anole
  • – This is an invasive species that has become quite common near our coast lines. During the colder months these animals will gather under objects in the yard where they lower their heart and breathing rates awaiting spring.  This is a good time to remove them.

 

Seafood

 

  • WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO CONSIDER LOCAL SEAFOOD AS A MEAL OPTION DURING THESE TOUGH DAYS
  • Here’s what’s in Peak Season for April  
  • – Softshell Blue crab
  • – Clams
  • IT’S CRAWFISH TIME
  • – Oysters
  • – Pompano
  • – Pink Shrimp
  • – Snapper – check state limits and accessibility; change frequently
  • – Spanish Mackerel
  • Seafood @ Your Fingertips – we will be offering this program in 2020; stay tuned for dates and locations
  • Seafood Safety Guidelines – Escambia County Division of Marine Resources – https://www.myescambia.com/our-services/natural-resources-management/marine-resources/seafood-safety.

 

 

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

 

Health Advisory Frequency

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

Body of Water # of samples collected # of POOR reports # of advisories issued % frequency of advisories
Bayou Texar 9 1 1 .11
Sanders Beach 7 0 0 .00
Bayou Chico 4 0 0 .00
Bayou Grande 4 0 0 .00
Big Lagoon SP 4 0 0 .00
Perdido Key SP 4 0 0 .00
Casino Beach 3 0 0 .00
Park East 3 0 0 .00
Park West 3 0 0 .00
Quietwater Beach 3 0 0 .00

 

 

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