Sea Grant Notes – Feb 21, 2019

Feb 22, 2019 Sea Grant Notes



Next Week is National Invasive Species Awareness Week

We will be posting articles on different local invasive species each day between Monday and Friday. You can find these at Panhandle Outdoors

We will end the week with our first Weed Wrangle. This annual event occurs all over the country at the end of NISAW. The community comes out and helps remove invasive plants from public locations. Our first Weed Wrangle will be the Blackwater Heritage Trail. We will be removing Chinese Privet from sectors 8,9, and 10 of the trail. Meet at the Heritage Trail Visitors Center – 5533 Alabama Street Milton FL. We will have a short orientation and then get to work. The event runs from 9:00 – 1:00. Please wear closed-toed shores, bring work gloves and a bottle of water, loppers if you have them, and snacks if you want them. Contact me if you have more questions.

Water Quality

Health Advisories


  • Rainfall collected weekly from East Hill (UF IFAS)
  • Jan (2.1”) Feb (0.4”)
  • NOTE: Pensacola received 90” of rain in 2018 (FDAC); this is a 38% increase over the norm of 65”
  • Pensacola received 90” of rain in 2017 as well (FDAC)

Red Tide

  • No red tide reported in the Florida panhandle (FWC)
  • Red tide continues to appear in low background levels along the SW coast of Florida.
  • No reports from the east coast of Florida this week.

Fish Kills

  • No fish kills reported from the Pensacola Bay area for February 2019 (FWC).

Oil Spill Publications

  • When an oil spill takes place, who is responsible for cleaning it up and—more importantly—who pays for it? A new Sea Grant fact sheet details two of the federal laws that govern oil spill response. Federal emergency response framework for oil spills: Stafford Act and Oil Pollution Act can be read and downloaded at I can also provide hard copies upon request.
  • Space is still available to attend Birds & oil spills in Baton Rouge on February 28. The free all-day event will feature a range of speakers on academic research, veterinary pathology, natural resource management, oil spill response, and other areas of avian expertise. Lunch will be provided to registered participants and a live webinar will be offered for those who cannot be there in person. To learn more about the seminar or sign up to attend, go to


Habitat Restoration


Clean Ups begin at 9:00 and supplies are provided

Wildlife & Fisheries


  • Diamondback terrapin survey trainings – Perdido Key area – Apr 10 – SW Branch Library on Gulf Beach Highway / across from state park – 10:00 AM-12:00 PM.
  • Diamondback terrapin survey trainings – Navarre/Garcon area – Apr 15 – Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center on Navarre Beach – 9:00-10:00 AM.
  • The 2018 diamondback terrapin survey can be found at
  • 2019 Port St. Joe Scallop Season set for Aug 16-Sep15.
  • Scallop search training – Apr 10 – SW Branch Library on Gulf Beach Highway / across from the state park – 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • The 2018 Great Scallop Search report can be found at (UF IFAS)
  • Horseshoe crab survey training – TBA
  • Killifish survey training – TBA
  • Shore-based Shark Fishing Rules
  • – All shore-based shark fishermen 16 years or older will be required to have a no-cost permit
  • – Those under 16 years of age will be required to complete an education program unless fishing with someone 16 years or older who has the permit
  • – No chumming
  • – Required to immediately cut line on all protected species of sharks – do NOT land the shark first – required to have tool to do such
  • – Required to use non-offset/non-stainless circle hooks when shark fishing (true from boats as well)
  • 2019 Red Snapper season set – Jun 11 – Jul 12 (with possible fall season if quota is not met). Applies to all private recreational vessels fishing state or federal waters. All charters who do not have federal reef fish permits and are limited to state waters.


Invasive Species


  • Feb 24 – Mar 2 – National Invasive Species Awareness Week – This annual event includes workdays and education. UF IFAS and the Six Rivers CISMA post articles on invasive issues each day during the week and end with a work day known as the Weed Wrangle. We will begin posting articles Feb 25 and you can find them at
  • Mar 2 – Six Rivers Weed Wrangle – The Weed Wrangle is an annual event held across the country where selected invasive species are removed from public areas. The 2019 Weed Wrangle will remove Chinese Privet from the Blackwater Heritage Trail in Milton. We will begin with a short orientation at the Heritage Trail Visitor Center. The event begins at 9:00 AM and ends no later than 1:00 PM. The center is at 5533 Alabama Street in Milton FL. You can park next to the library or the playground. Please wear closed-toed shoes, bring gloves, loppers, and a water bottle. Snacks if you want them.
  • New Prohibited Species in Florida – to be proactive, FWC has issued the following non-native species as PROHIBITED to avoid the potential of introducing new invasive species. They include:
  • – Mammals: meerkats, mongoose, raccoon dog, dhole, brushtail possum, flying fox
  • – Birds: red-whiskered bul-bul, dioch, Java sparrow, pink starling
  • – Reptiles: brown tree snake, yellow anaconda, Beni anaconda, Deschauensee’s anaconda
  • FWC moves forward with aquatic invasive plant management program – There has been concern surrounding FWC’s use of herbicide to treat aggressive aquatic invasive plants in some selected lakes. The new plan would include new plans and stakeholder involvement for selected lakes in the state.
  • Beach vitex – We are currently trying to remove beach vitex from Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key. If you believe you have this plant – let us know. Will be removing vitex during January and February 2019.
  • Giant salvinia – FWC is currently suspending all aquatic invasive removals using herbicides. They will host a series of public meetings to discuss the use of herbicides. Dates and locations TBA. Until then, citizens are asked to remove invasive from local waterways by hand. One local concern is Giant Salvinia. This plant has been found in the Jackson Lakes and upper reaches of Bayou Chico. It is still cold, but when temperatures warm – search for this plant and remove using a crab net (or something similar). Plants should be dried and bagged before disposal. This link has more about this plant.



  • Local Seafood in Peak Season for February

Clams (cultured), King Mackerel, Oysters, Pompano, Pink shrimp, Snapper (check

regulations on current harvest time), Spanish Mackerel

Environmental Literacy


  • 2019 SCIENCE HOUR SCHEDULE; programs are held at the Escambia County Central Office Complex; 3363 West Park Place; they begin at 6:00 PM and are free
  • – Mar 14 Emmanuel Point Shipwreck Nicole Grinnan, Public Archeology
  • – Apr 11 Beach Safety Dave Greenwood, Water Safety Chief
  • – May 16 NW Florida Aquatic Preserves Beth Fugate, FDEP
  • – Jun 13 Invasive Species Don Buchanon (FWC) Rick O’Connor
  • – Jul 11 Mosquito Control Matthew Mello, Escambia County
  • – Aug 8 Bears TBD
  • – Sep 12 Genetically Modified Organisms Libbie Johnson, County UF Extension
  • – Oct 10 Online Fact vs. Fiction Jane Daugherty, UWF
  • – Nov 14 Bay Bridge & Artificial Reefs Robert Turpin, Escambia County

New Articles


Upcoming Programs

  • Feb 24-Mar 2 National Invasive Species Awareness Week (NISAW) – UF IFAS Extension and the Six Rivers CISMA will be posting articles about local invasive species all week. You can find these articles at Panhandle Outdoors
  • Mar 2 – Weed Wrangle – The Six Rivers CISMA will be having an invasive plant removal workday. This year we will be clearing Chinese Privet from the Blackwater Heritage Trail. We will meet at the Heritage Trail Visitors Center – 5533 Alabama Street in Milton FL at 9:00 AM. We will have a short orientation and then begin work. We will work no later than 1:00 PM. Please wear closed-toed shoes, bring loppers, a water bottle, gloves, and snacks. For questions, contact me.
  • Mar 2 – Project Learning Tree – Project Learning Tree (PLT) is an award-winning, interdisciplinary, environmental education program designed for formal and non-formal educators working with students in pre-kindergarten through grade twelve.

Pensacola State College – Milton Campus room #4309

5988 Highway 90, Milton FL, 32570

9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Register at

  • Mar 8 – Roy Hyatt’s Night of Nature – This annual event will welcome the public to tour the facility at Roy Hyatt Environmental Center. There will be naturalist hikes down the trails, star gazing with telescopes, and live birds of prey and reptiles. There will be food, great for all ages. RHEC is at 1300 Tobias Road off of highway 97 in Cantonment. 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM. Free
  • Mar 14 Science Hour; Emmanuel Point Shipwrecks – Nicole Grinnan, from Public Archeology, will discuss urban coyote populations and their issues; SCIENCE HOUR; Escambia County Central Office Complex – 3363 West Park Place; 6:00 PM; free
  • Mar 26 – The Perdido Chamber Breakfast Event – Presentations will be made members of county staff and the extension office. $10 for breakfast if you are a member, $15 if you are not. The doors open at 7:00 AM and the event begins at 7:30 AM. Eden Condominiums 16281 Perdido Key Drive.
  • Apr 10 Seagrass, Scallop, and Terrapin Monitoring Training – This is for volunteers in the Perdido Key area. We will meet at the SW Branch Library on Gulf Beach highway across from the State Park entrance at 10:00 AM. Seagrass training will be first, the trainings will end no later than 12:00 PM. Contact me for more information.
  • Apr 11 – Science Hour; Beach Safety – Dave Greenwood from Escambia County Water Safety will discuss water safety issues as we enter the swimming season. Program will be held at the Escambia County Central Office Complex – 3363 West Park Place; 6:00 PM and is free.
  • Apr 13 – Earth Day – Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center – Lots of information tables, activities, and education on local natural resources. Fun for kids. 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM.
  • Apr 15 – Diamondback Terrapin Monitoring Training – This is for volunteers on Navarre Beach, Pensacola Beach, and the Garcon area. We will meet at the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center on Navarre Beach from 9:00 – 10:00 AM.




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


Data provided by the Florida Department of Health’s Healthy Beaches Program

Month Water Body Good Moderate Poor Health Advisory Issued
Jan Bayou Texar 3 1 1 1
  Sanders Beach 1 2 2 2
Feb Bayou Texar 1 1 1 1
  Sanders Beach 0 2 3 2

Health Advisory Frequency

Body of Water # of samples taken # of advisories issued % frequency of advisories
Bayou Texar 8 2 .25
Sanders Beach 10 4 .40

Fish Kill Data provided by FWC

Month # of Fish Kills reported # of Dead Fish reported Cause
Jan 0 0  
Feb 0 0  

Posted: February 21, 2019

Category: Coasts & Marine, Natural Resources
Tags: Sea Grant Notes

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