Perhaps the most well-known function of estuaries, such as Charlotte Harbor, is their role as nursery grounds for growing fish, shrimp and shellfish. Very few marine species spawn in estuaries, but estuaries are used extensively as nursery grounds.
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Seagrasses are flowering plants that grow underwater in marine and estuarine environments. In addition to flowers and their seeds, seagrasses, like plants on land, have roots and leaves that do different “jobs” for the plant... that is, ... READ MORE
Last month, I was asked why there is less natural relief and hard bottom habitats in the Gulf off of Charlotte Harbor compared to areas north and south. Not knowing the answer, I offered to do some research and write about my findings.
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Hurricanes are no fun! But, if there is a small silver lining to hurricanes, it’s that scientists are provided rare opportunities to gain new insights into some plant and animal species. It’s a field called disturbance ecology, and I ... READ MORE
March was National Seagrass Awareness Month. And although it's now April, one could argue that we should not ONLY be aware of seagrass one month out of the year. Seagrass is important and deserves our attention throughout the year!
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Late last month, an FWC officer observed a lionfish swimming off the Laishley Pier in Punta Gorda. This is the third documented lionfish sighting inside Charlotte Harbor, and it’s also the most up harbor. Laishley Pier is actually on the ... READ MORE
Sawfish are modified rays with a shark-like body. Sawfish get their name from their “saws”, which are used for defense and to locate, stun, and kill prey; mostly fish. The earliest sawfish arose about 200 million years ago. These sawfish ... READ MORE