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Sea Grant Notes – Oct 2, 2020

HURRICANE SALLY UPDATES.

  • 1) Have not been on the water this week but would imagine there is still debris in the area. Please be cautious when boating.
  • 2) The health department did sample some swimming beaches this week. There are health advisories for all three bayous, Big Lagoon SP, and Sanders Beach.  Casino Beach, Quietwater, Park East, Park West, and Perdido Key SP have been given the green light.
  • 3) We have not seen any fish kills in the area. There were two reports from local ponds. If you do see any, please me or the Escambia County Division of Marine Resources.
  • 4) Many marinas have damage and roadways may have debris – be careful. We have posted an article on our blog page – http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/escambiaco/2020/09/25/oh-what-a-night-sally-storms-into-the-panhandle/. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at roc1@ufl.edu.  I will be in the field continuing assessments but will get to your concern ASAP.

 

Extension offices across the district are opened 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.

Oil Covered Seabirds

As you might guess, there are plenty of pelicans and other seabirds contacting oil and fuel in the water from sunken vessels.  The Wildlife Sanctuary of Northwest Florida is geared up and ready for them.  If you are willing to bring them, please do.

 

Horseshoe Crab Nesting Surveys Begin in October

It is fall and time to begin our first ever surveys for horseshoe crab nesting activity.  If you are interested in participating, contact Rick O’Connor at the Escambia County Extension office – roc1@ufl.edu and we will explain to you how, and where, to do this.

 

Invasive Beach Vitex is About to Go to Seed.

If you have this plant in your yard and willing to remove it, please do so.  If you need advice, contact me at roc1@ufl.edu. If you do not want to remove it, please consider removing the seeds to reduce dispersal of this plant.

 

Science Hour – Facebook LIVE – Rescheduled for Wed Sep 30

This month we will be with Dr. Matt Deitch (UF/Milton) in the field discussing water and water quality issues.  Join us at 12:00 PM CDT on the Escambia County Extension Facebook

YOU CAN SEE THE RECORDING OF THIS BROADCAST ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE

 

Youth Science Lessons – October The Water Planet  

LESSON 1 – THE WORLD OF WATER

September Lessons – The Nature of Science

You can find these lessons by scrolling through the natural resource page of the Escambia County Extension website. There should be four lessons for each topic – one topic for each month.

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

 

 

Panhandle Outdoors LIVE – Webinar – Wednesday Oct 7   

Bats: A Misunderstood and Beneficial Mammal

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

  • Sep 28
  • POOR ADVISORY ISSUED: Bayou’s Chico, Texar, Grande, Big Lagoon SP, Sanders Beach
  • GOOD: Casino Beach, Park East, Park West, Quietwater, and Perdido Key SP
  • 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 (13.9”) Sep (21.2”) – Summer (44.2”) – HURRICANE SALLY
  • Oct (0.0”)

Salinity

  • The objective to see who has a MEAN, MEDIAN, and MODE 20‰ of higher for seagrass and scallop restoration. Our goal is to get at least 100 readings (n = 100) from each location.
  • 2020 3rd Quarter Update
  • Body of Water (n=) Surface    
    Mean Median Mode
    Bayou Grande * 24 20 20 21
    Bayou Texar 4 9.4 8.4 NA
    Big Lagoon * 15 23 23 20
    Big Sabine * 24 21 21 22
    Bruce Beach 1 18 18
    Kees Bayou * 55 19 20 14
    Little Sabine * 21 23 24 25
    Lower Perdido Bay 71 15 15 14
    Old River * 36 23 23 25
    Sanders Beach 1 18 18 NA
    Shoreline Park 1 18 18 NA
  • Red Tide & Harmful Algal Blooms
    • Report Date – Sep 25
    • Red tide was NOT reported anywhere in Florida during the week of Sep 20 – Sep 26
    • Harmful Algal Blooms not detected in panhandle this week

    Fish Kills

     

    Habitat Restoration Updates

     

    • Living Shorelines
    • – The living shorelines did very well during Hurricane Sally
    • – All living shorelines have been monitored. Report coming very soon.  If interested in a living shoreline contact me. 
    • Seagrass Monitoring
    • – Monitoring has stopped due to poor water quality from Hurricane Sally. Report coming later this year
    • Mangrove Surveys
    • – Our last survey has been postponed due to Hurricane Sally
    • OCEAN HOUR –

    Ocean Hour will have clean ups on both sides of the bridge this week – Oct 3

    Bartram Park downtown Pensacola – 211 Bayfront Parkway

    Bruce Beach – 601 Main Street

    Live Oaks Shopping Center – 1134 Gulf Breeze Parkway

    BACK TO REGULAR HOURS – Meet at 8:45 – Clean up from 9:00 – 10:00 AM

     

    Wildlife Monitoring Updates

     

    • Terrapin Surveys – Surveys are completed. Report coming out in the fall.  
    • Horseshoe Crabs – HORSESHOE CRAB SURVEYS TO BEGIN IN OCTOBER!  
    • Barrier Island Cottonmouth Survey – Surveys ongoing until Halloween – 15 snakes found / 8 were cottonmouths – update report in fall. 6 addition juvenile cottonmouths have been found since Hurricane Sally.
    • The Great Scallop Search – Surveys are completed due to poor water quality. Report coming.
    • Manatee Watch – More of reports this week. Reports coming from all over the bay area.
    • 62 reports since Jan 1
    • – PLEASE CONTACT ME WITH SIGHTINGS (roc1@ufl.edu)
    • – ALSO, APPROACH SHORE AND DOCKS SLOWLY WITH A LOOKOUT IF YOU CAN

     

    Invasive Species Updates

     

    • Beach vitex – this is an invasive plant we are trying to stay ahead of. This time of year the lavender blossoms are falling and the spherical smoky gray seed pods are forming.  THESE SEED PODS ARE VIABLE IN SEAWATER FOR SEVERAL MONTHS – PLEASE REMOVE THEM IF YOU HAVE THIS PLANT GROWING ON YOUR PROPERTY.  If you would like information on how to remove this invasive plant, please contact me.
    • 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 – We will be removing beach vitex from Naval Live Oaks in Gulf Breeze if COVID will allow. More to come.
    • Lionfish
    • – Small lionfish have once again been reported from the Ft. Pickens jetties. Please contact us if you see any while diving there

     

    Seafood in Peak Season for September

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

     

    Upcoming Programs

     

    YOUTH SCIENCE LESSONS – every week

    October focus – The Water Planet

    September focus – The Nature of Science

    One a week posted early in the week

    You can find any of them by scrolling through the natural resource page of our website

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

     

    SCIENCE HOUR – FACEBOOK LIVE – Oct 15

    This month we will be with Jim Roberts (ECUA) discussing our drinking water. Join us at 12:00 PM CDT on the Escambia County Extension Facebook

     

    PANHANDLE OUTDOORS LIVE – WEBINAR – Oct 7

    Bats: A Misunderstood Beneficial Mammal   

    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 – Fall Semester  

    We will begin this month – the Spanish versions on Tuesdays and English on Thursdays

    The programs will begin at 3:00 PM CDT

    October Programs

    Tue Oct 6 – Los Manglares

    Thu Oct 8 – The Cost of Invasive Reptiles and Amphibians  

    Tue Oct 13 – Litorales Vivientes  

    Thu Oct 15 – Caribbean Spinty Lobster Biology & Ecology

    Tue Oct 20 – Praderes de Pastos marinos y Navegacion Segura

    Thu Oct 22 – Seagrass Biology

    Tue Oct 27 – La Enfermedad de Perdida de Tejido de Corales Duros

    Thu Oct 29 – Ocean Inspired Halloween  

    Pre-register is required, you can register at the link below.

    http://bit.ly/bite-sizedscience

     

    SEAFOOD @ YOUR FINGERTIPS

    MORE COOL RECIPES AND SEAFOOD DISHES FOR YOU TO TRY 

    5:00 PM CDT

    Oct 7 – Blackened Shrimp & Corn Tacos with cilantro jalepeno cole slaw

    Oct 14 – Oysters Empenadas Oysters in Pablomo Peppers

    Oct 21 – Cozumel Red Snapper Vera Cruz  

    You can view these, and 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?” – Resurrection Ferns        

    Carrie Stevenson – Escambia County

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

     

    Weekly “What is it?” – Gallberry         

    Carrie Stevenson – Escambia County

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

     

    Drifting Marine Fish of the Florida Panhandle

    Rick O’Connor – Escambia County    

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

     

    After Flooding, Test Your Well Water  

    Dr. Andrea Albertin – UF IFAS Northwest District Water Specialist

    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 33 12 12 .36
    Sanders Beach 30 5 2 .07
    Bayou Chico 24 7 7 .29
    Bayou Grande 23 9 9 .39
    Big Lagoon SP 20 1 1 .05
    Perdido Key SP 22 0 0 .00
    Casino Beach 22 1 1 .04
    Park East 22 2 1 .04
    Park West 22 2 1 .04
    Quietwater Beach 22 1 1 .04
    Ft. Pickens 7 0 0 .00
    Opal Beach 7 0 0 .00
    TOTAL 254 42 35 .14

    NOTE: SEVERAL OF THESE WERE DUE TO HURRICANE SALLY

     

    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  
    Sep 2 NR Fish kills occurred in two ponds (one in Pensacola and one in Gulf Breeze) during Hurricane Sally
    Oct 0 0  
    TOTAL 4 0