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Sea Grant Notes – Jul 17, 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 13Bayou Grande, Bayou Texar, Big Lagoon SP (POOR) ADVISORIES ISSUED FOR BAYOU’S GRANDE AND TEXAR, Bayou Chico, (MODERATE),  Sanders Beach, Perdido Key State Park (GOOD)
  • Jul 14 – Big Lagoon SP, Casino Beach, Park East, Park West, and Quietwater Beach (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 (3.3)

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

  • Report Date – Jul 10
  • Red tide was not detected anywhere in the state of Florida last week
  • HABs not detected in panhandle this week

Fish Kills

  • No fish kills reported this week in Pensacola Bay area.
  • No Fish Kills reported in Escambia / Santa Rosa for Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun
  • Fish Kill reported at Navarre Beach in July – believed to be discarded baitfish
  • Report fish kills to FWC at – https://myfwc.com/research/saltwater/health/fish-kills-hotline/.

 

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 21)      Water Quality Management in Florida – Dr. Lisa Krimsky

 

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:   Kipper Snacks (canned smoked herring) – Rhett Register      

 

SEA GRANT OIL SPILL TEAM WEBINARS

 

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?” – Swamp Bay      

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 Gopher Tortoise

Continuing this series on Florida turtle.

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

 

What the “Devil” is That?

This huge creepy thing is crawling around the panhandle this time of year

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

 

What is the Wildlife Up to This Summer?

We know what deer and turkey do during the colder months – what about during the hot ones?

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

 

2020 Year of the Turtle – the Gopher Tortoise

The last in this series – we end with the gopher tortoise

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

 

Storm Season and Mosquitoes – the Double Whammy

We know wet periods generate mosquitoes – did you know the dry do as well?  The double whammy

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 24 9 9 .38
Sanders Beach 21 3 0 .00
Bayou Chico 16 3 3 .19
Bayou Grande 15 5 5 .33
Big Lagoon SP 13 2 0 .00
Perdido Key SP 15 0 0 .00
Casino Beach 14 0 0 .00
Park East 14 1 0 .00
Park West 14 0 0 .00
Quietwater Beach 14 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