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Sea Grant Notes – July 10, 2020

Extension offices across the district are now slowly opening on a limited basis.  Some essential programs are being provided with limited attendance and social distancing.  It is still best to contact us by phone or email. 

 

Water Quality Updates 

 

Health Advisories

  • Jul 7Bayou Grande, Bayou Texar (POOR) ADVISORIES ISSUED FOR BOTH, Bayou Chico, Big Lagoon SP, Casino Beach (MODERATE),  Park East, Park West, Ft. Pickens, Opal Beach, Sanders Beach, Quietwater Beach, and Perdido Key State Park (all GOOD)
  • See all data below

Rainfall  

  • Rainfall collected weekly from East Hill (UF IFAS)
  • Jan (4.0) Feb (2.8) Mar (0.6) – Winter (7.4”)
  • Apr (3.2) May (1.6) Jun (6.5) – Spring (11.3”)
  • Jul (1.8)

Salinity

  • The objective to see who has a MEAN, MEDIAN, and MODE 20‰ of higher for seagrass and scallop restoration.
  • 2020 2nd Quarter Update
  • > 20‰: Big Sabine, Old River, Bayou Grande, Little Sabine, Kees Bayou, Big Lagoon,
  • < 20‰: Lower Perdido Bay,

Longnose Killifish Monitoring

  • Longnose killifish (Fundulus similis) is being used as an indicator of freshwater tributaries.
  • Project on hold due to COVID-19

Red Tide & Harmful Algal Blooms

  • NO REPORT YET THIS WEEK
  • Last report for RED TIDE was posted Jun 19 (FWC)
  • Panhandlenot detected   
  • SW Florida – background concentrations in Manatee County
  • East Coast of FL – not detected
  • HABs not detected in panhandle this week

Fish Kills

 

Habitat Restoration Updates

 

  • Living Shorelines
  • – We are not currently working on any projects; IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN A LIVING SHORELINE – CONTACT US
  • Seagrass Monitoring
  • – We have begun monitoring in Big Lagoon. A few stations do need volunteers.  Some stations will require a boat to access.  If interested – contact me.
  • Mangrove Surveys
  • – We are surveying for mangroves in the bay area. Paddle craft needed for this, paddleboard works best.  If interested – contact me.
  • OCEAN HOUR – Suspending all clean ups for the time being

 

Wildlife Monitoring Updates

 

  • Terrapin Surveys – ongoing until Sep 30 – if interested contact me
  • Horseshoe Crabs – will resume in the fall – Oct 1
  • Barrier Island Cottonmouth Survey – ongoing until Sep 30 – 2 found – update report in fall
  • The Great Scallop Search – WE ARE PLANNING FOR THIS NOW – STAY TUNED
  • The Great Scavenger Hunt – planned for week of Sep 13-19; one on Perdido Key, one on Pensacola Beach – stay tuned
  • Manatee Watch – LOTS of reports this week. Some post-dated but needed none the less.   Reports coming from the Gulf, the Sound, and Big Lagoon area.  34 reports since Jan 1
  • – PLEASE CONTACT ME WITH SIGHTINGS (roc1@ufl.edu)
  • – ALSO, APPORACH SHORE AND DOCKS SLOWLY WITH A LOOKOUT IF YOU CAN
  • IT IS BIRD NESTING SEASON ON OUR BARRIER ISLANDS – please slow down

 

Invasive Species Updates

 

  • Cuban Treefrog Records – there has been an increase in reports of these animals in our area. Read the following article to find out where and how to manage this before they become a bigger problem –

https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/escambiaco/2020/07/02/are-we-being-invaded-by-cuban-treefrogs-maybe/.  

  • Weed Wrangles – ON HOLD FOR NOW
  • Lionfish
  • 2020 Emerald Coast Open – Sep 11-13 in Destin
  • Inshore Lionfish Surveys – on hold – IF YOU SEE ANY LIONFISH NEARSHORE OR IN THE BAY, PLEASE CONTACT ME
  • The Great Scavenger Hunt – scheduled for the week of Sep 13-19; one on Perdido Key, one on Pensacola Beach

 

 

Seafood in Peak Season for July

  • Rolling out of peak season
  • – Softshell blue crab
  • – Mahi-Mahi
  • In peak season
  • – Crawfish
  • – Brown shrimp (bay shrimp)
  • – Pink shrimp
  • – Rock shrimp
  • – White shrimp (Gulf shrimp)
  • – Snapper – check state limits and accessibility; change frequently
  • – Yellowfin tuna
  • Beginning peak season
  • – Flounder
  • – King Mackerel – children, pregnant women should only consume one serving a week
  • Seafood Safety Guidelines – Escambia County Division of Marine Resources – https://www.myescambia.com/our-services/natural-resources-management/marine-resources/seafood-safety.

 

Upcoming Programs

 

BITE SIZED SCIENCE WEBINARS

Florida Sea Grant is presenting short webinars are a variety of marine science related topics.

We will be going to a Tuesday-Thursday schedule for June and July.  3:00 PM CDT.  Registration link http://bit.ly/bite-sizedscience

 

NEXT WEEK

Tue (Jul 14)      Using Satellites to Detect Harmful Algal Blooms – Capt. Betty Staugler

Thu (Jul 16)      Foraminifera – The Coolest Thing You Don’t Know About – Libby Carnahan

 

SEAFOOD @ YOUR FINGERTIPS

Live broadcast of local seafood items and how to prepare them.  The presentations will include cooking!

Each Wednesday – 5:00 PM – http://www.flseagrant.org/seafood/seafoodatyourfingertips/

This Week:   OUR OWN DOROTHY LEE WILL BE COOKING LIONFISH TACOS     

 

SEA GRANT OIL SPILL TEAM WEBINARS

 

Breaking it down: Oil in the environment—July 14, 2-3:30 pm CST/3-4:30 EST— https://gulfseagrant.org/oilspilloutreach/presentations/breaking-it-down-oil-in-the-environment/

Every snow often oil, microbes, and sediment get together and sink, a seminar on marine snow—July 22, 1-2:30 pm CST/2-3:30 EST. https://gulfseagrant.org/every-snow-often-oil-microbes-and-sediment-get-together-and-sink/

 

Current Articles

 

Weekly “What is it?” – Sparkleberry     

Carrie Stevenson

https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/escambiaco/category/natural-resources/.

 

Embrace the Gulf 2020 – The Cephalopods   

Continuing this series about the natural and cultural history of “The Pond”

https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/escambiaco/category/natural-resources/.

 

2020 Year of the Turtle – The Florida Cooters  

Continuing this series on Florida turtle.

https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/escambiaco/category/natural-resources/.

 

Florida Fishing Guide Certification Program

A Florida Sea Grant program designed to help fishing guides become environmentally aware

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

 

Doing Something During the Dog Days of Summer

An explanation of what the dog days are and how you can enjoy the outdoors during this time

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

 

Are We Being Invaded by Cuban Treefrogs?  Maybe…

Increase reports of this invasive amphibian in the panhandle sparks some discussion on how to manage

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

 

 

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 23 8 8 .35
Sanders Beach 20 3 0 .00
Bayou Chico 15 3 3 .20
Bayou Grande 14 4 4 .29
Big Lagoon SP 12 1 0 .00
Perdido Key SP 14 0 0 .00
Casino Beach 13 0 0 .00
Park East 13 1 0 .00
Park West 13 0 0 .00
Quietwater Beach 13 0 0 .00
Ft. Pickens 4 0 0 .00
Opal Beach 4 0 0 .00

 

 

Fish Kill Data provided by FWC (Escambia and Santa Rosa counties)

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  
Jun 0 0  
Jul 1 NR Baitfish at Navarre Beach; probably a discard