Skip to main content

Sea Grant Notes – Aug 21, 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.

 

Panhandle Outdoors LIVE – Webinar – Wednesday Sep 2  

Identification and Management of Invasive Cogongrass

12:00 – 12:30 CDT

1:00 – 1:30 EDT

This series of webinars is replacing the Panhandle Outdoor LIVE program we typically do but cannot due to COVID-19.  The will broadcast the first and third Wednesdays of each month from August 19 through December.

You can find a calendar of all presentations at the link below.

You can register for a talk by clicking on the title.

http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/nat/panhandle-outdoors-live-online/.

 

Water Quality Updates 

 

Health Advisories

  • Aug 17Bayou Grande (POOR – ADVISORY ISSUED) Bayou Chico (MODERATE), bayou Texar, Big Lagoon SP, Johnsons Beach, Sanders Beach, Perdido Key SP (GOOD)
  • Aug 18 – Park West (POOR), Casino Beach, Park East, Park West, Opal Beach, Ft. Pickens, Quietwater Beach (GOOD)
  • Aug 19 Park West (GOOD – no advisory issued)
  • 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 (9.1”) Aug (1.9”)

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 – Aug 14
  • Red tide reported from one location in Charlotte County in SW Florida
  • No reports from the panhandle
  • No reports from the east coast
  • HABs not detected in panhandle this week

Fish Kills

 

Habitat Restoration Updates

 

  • Living Shorelines
  • – In the process of monitoring existing projects – reports coming. If interested in a living shoreline contact me. 
  • 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 have 10 transects to survey. 3 have been completed.  If you are interested in doing one let me know.  Paddle craft needed for this, paddleboard works best.  If interested – contact me.
  • OCEAN HOUR IS BACK IN! BUT the time has changed.  They are now meeting at 7:45 AM and cleaning from 8:00 – 9:00.  Tomorrow they are cleaning at

Wayside Park East – meet at the visitors center

William Bartram Park

They will be practicing social distancing.  Bring your own gloves, closed toed shoes, and water.

 

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 Halloween – 7 found – update report in fall
  • The Great Scallop Search WE ARE READY TO BEGIN! This is to survey Big Lagoon.  You will need a team of 3 to do this survey.  Requires snorkel gear.  Underwater gloves recommended.  Some locations require a boat to reach.  Contact me if you would like to do this.
  • The Great Scavenger Hunt – planned for week of Sep 13-19; one on Perdido Key, one on Pensacola Beach – may be impacted by COVID – stay tuned.
  • Manatee Watch – More of reports this week. Some post-dated but needed none the less.   Reports coming from all over the bay area.  56 reports since Jan 1
  • – PLEASE CONTACT ME WITH SIGHTINGS (roc1@ufl.edu)
  • – ALSO, APPROACH 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/.  

We had a webinar on this topic Aug 19 – you can view this by visiting the Panhandle Outdoors Facebook page – be sure to follow us!

  • Halloweed – coming in October
  • Lionfish
  • LRAD has been canceled – there are plans for one next spring!
  • The Great Scavenger Hunt – scheduled for the week of Sep 13-19; one on Perdido Key, one on Pensacola Beach – WATCHING COVID SITUATION

 

Seafood in Peak Season for August

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

 

Upcoming Programs

 

PANHANDLE OUTDOORS LIVE – WEBINAR

Sep 2 – Identification and Management of Invasive Cogongrass

12:00 – 12:30 CDT

1:00 – 1:30 EDT

Register, and see other webinars, at

http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/nat/panhandle-outdoors-live-online/.

 

BITE SIZED SCIENCE WEBINARS

WE’RE COMING BACK – MORE COOL WEBINARS ON MARINE RELATED TOPICS ARE BEING PLANNED AND SCHEDULED AS WE SPEAK – STAY TUNED. 

Round #1 is completed – however, you can view any of the past ones by visiting http://bit.ly/bite-sizedscience

 

 

SEAFOOD @ YOUR FINGERTIPS

WE ARE ALSO COMING BACK!  MORE COOL RECIPES AND SEAFOOD DISHES FOR YOU TO TRY – STAY TUNED. 

Round #1 have all been completed. You can view any of the past programs by visiting the Florida Sea Grant Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/floridaseagrant/.

Or get the recipes at our website – https://www.flseagrant.org/.

Current Articles

 

Weekly “What is it?” – American Beautyberry         

Carrie Stevenson

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

 

Barrier Island Mammals

Another series being developed to learn more about our marine, and estuarine, wildlife.

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

 

A Second Look at Dandelions

Molly Jameson – Leon County Extension

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

 

2020 Year of the Turtle – WE HAVE COMPLETED ARTICLES ON ALL FLORIDA SPECIES 

You can find any species you are interested by visiting the link below – find the search box near the top entitled “what can we help you with?” – and type in the turtle you are interested in.

https://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/escambia/?topic=natural-resources#county-feed.

 

 

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 29 10 10 .34
Sanders Beach 26 3 0 .00
Bayou Chico 21 4 4 .19
Bayou Grande 20 6 6 .30
Big Lagoon SP 18 2 0 .00
Perdido Key SP 20 0 0 .00
Casino Beach 19 0 0 .00
Park East 19 1 0 .00
Park West 19 1 0 .00
Quietwater Beach 19 0 0 .00
Ft. Pickens 7 0 0 .00
Opal Beach 7 0 0 .00
TOTAL 224 27 20 .09

 

 

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 2 NR Baitfish at Navarre Beach and Perdido Key; probably a discard
Aug 0 0  
TOTAL 2 0