Sea Grant Notes – May 3, 2019

May 3, 2019 Sea Grant Notes


This Week

May 1 – Sea Turtle Nesting Season Has Begun

May 1 is the beginning of sea turtle nesting in Florida and runs through Halloween. During this time, we ask residents and visitors to adopt practices that reduce impacts on these protected animals. This includes:

  • – Removing tents and chairs from the beach at night
  • – Filling in large holes on the beach before leaving
  • – Removing all plastic waste and disposing of properly before leaving the beach
  • – Turning off lights, or using turtle friendly lighting, and closing curtains and blinds at night


May 1 – Mangrove Surveys Began

We are surveying the area for sprouting red and black mangroves over the next two months. We report each week areas that have been surveyed in the HABITAT RESTORTION section of NOTES. If you believe you have found a mangrove growing in a local salt marsh, please let us know.


May 1 – Seagrass Monitoring has begun in Big Lagoon

We will have a full update report in the fall.


May 1 – Diamondback Terrapin Monitoring has begun in Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Gulf Counties

We will be giving weekly updates on this in the WILDLIFE section of NOTES.


May 5 – New Moon and Time to Look for Nesting Horseshoe Crabs

We are searching for locations in our bay area where horseshoe crabs are nesting. They nest during the high tides of the full and new moons.

Sunday May 5 – new moon

Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday spring tides are running high

High tides are occurring around noon each day

Please let us know if you see any.


FWC Post New Fishing Regulations – read more in the FISHERIES section of NOTES.


Florida Master Naturalist Coastal Course Registration is now open!

This 40 hour course will be held on Tuesday from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM from May 21 – Jun 25. There will be classroom sessions and field trips. Cost is $275.

Register at



Water Quality

Health Advisories

  • 12 stations were sampled this week; 6 stations were sampled on Apr 29, and 6 others on Apr 30
  • Quietwater Beach had a POOR rating but a re-sample on May 1 was GOOD; no advisory issued
  • All other stations were GOOD
  • 2019 data at end of these notes


  • Rainfall collected weekly from East Hill (UF IFAS)
  • Jan (2.1”) Feb (1.5”) Mar (0.7”) – winter = 4.3”
  • Apr (6.3”)

Red Tide

  • Last report issued was Apr 26 (FWC)
  • Red tide was not reported anywhere in Florida

Fish Kills

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

LAKEWATCH Nutrient Data

  • Report will be out in August

Killifish Report

  • We are in the process of developing a killifish project that will help indicate problem stormwater issues. These surveys will occur once a season. More soon.


Bringing Back the Bayous Program – presentation on the state of the bay and how you can help

  • May 23 – Southwest Branch Library, 12248 Gulf Beach Highway, 6:00 PM
  • Aug 20 – Downtown Library, 239 N. Spring St. 6:00 PM
  • Oct 15 – Drowsy Poet, Pensacola Beach Marina (upstairs), 655 Pensacola Beach Blvd, 11:00 AM


Habitat Restoration

  • OCEAN HOUR Clean Ups May 4
  • – Naval Live Oaks – National Park Visitors Center – Gulf Breeze Parkway
  • – Bob Sikes Bridge – meet at the Grand Marlin

Clean Ups begin at 9:00 and supplies are provided

  • Mangrove Surveys Have Begun

We are surveying the area for sprouting red and black mangroves

  • – We surveyed Kees Bayou May 1 and did not find any
  • Seagrass Monitoring began May 1 a full update will be posted in the fall
  • Removing Invasive Species

The following invasive plants have been found on our barrier islands and estuarine coast



  • Horseshoe Crab Nesting Search
  • – New moon is Sunday May 5; the strongest high tides will be the following week around noon at the beginning of the week and 4:00 PM later in the week.
  • – Help us search for nesting horseshoe crabs. Contact me if you find one.
  • Diamondback terrapins
  • – Surveys began May 1 in Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Gulf counties
  • – May 2 – First nest of the season was reported in Santa Rosa County
  • – 25 heads seen in Santa Rosa County during week 1
  • Snakes
  • – Spring breeding season is still ongoing and encounters are still high. Remember they move more during rain events.
  • Invasive Wildlife
  • Brown (Cuban Anoles) – best time to deal with them is in winter. More then.
  • Cuban Treefrogs – The have been reported in the New Orleans area. We can show you how to set up a treefrog collector and assist monitoring for the presence of this invasive frog in our area.
  • Invasive Species Presentations
  • – Jun 25 – Downtown Library, 239 N. Spring St., 6:00 PM
  • – Aug 6 – Drowsy Poet, Pensacola Beach Marina (upstairs), 655 Pensacola Beach Blvd 11:00
  • – Oct 22 – Southwest Branch Library, 12248 Gulf Beach Hwy, 6:00 PM





  • The Great Scallop Search
  • – Training for scallop searches in Big Lagoon was Monday Apr 29, Southwest Branch Library. If you are interested in surveying Big Lagoon, contact me.
  • – Training for Santa Rosa Sound will be in May; more to come
  • Recreational Fishing for Greater Amberjack and Gray Trigger Closes Early in Gulf Waters
  • – Greater Amberjack will close May 3 and reopen Aug 1 until Oct 31.
  • – Gray Trigger will close May 11 and remain closed until federal waters open
  • 2019 Scallop Season
  • – Jun 15 – Sep 10: Dixie and parts of Taylor counties
  • – Jul 1 – Sep 24: Franklin, parts of Taylor, Levy, Citrus, and Hernando counties
  • – Jul 19-28: Pasco county
  • – Aug 16 – Sep 15: Gulf county
  • Scallop harvest is currently prohibited in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties; please let us know if you do find any live scallops.
  • Invasive Lionfish
  • Report Skin Ulcerated Lionfish. The University of Florida is asking divers to report any cases of lionfish with skin ulcers to the FWC. You can do this buy calling the FWC Hotline (1-800-636-0511), or visit, or use the FWC reporter app. Information needed includes: (1) date of occurrence, (2) location, (3) water temperature, and (4) photos. Read more at
  • 2019 Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day / Emerald Coast Open: The Largest Lionfish Tournament in History. This is the classic Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day (LRAD) we have had in Pensacola the last four years – this year, it moves to Destin. There will be cash, gear, and other prizes for spearfishing tournament participants. The pre-tournament submission in lionfish has begun and will continue until May 15. Entry fee is $75 before April 1 and $100 after. Learn more at The public event will be May 18-19 at AJ’s on the HarborWalk Village at Destin Harbor. 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM each day. There will be education and kid booths, lionfish tasting, and live music. Follow the festival on Facebook.
  • Nearshore Lionfish Surveys will begin in May. If you see a lionfish near the beach or in the bay, please let us know.



  • HACCP Training for Seafood Processors
  • – The 2-day face-to-face course will be June 5-6 in downtown Pensacola
  • – The online class and 1-day face-to-face course begins now and the face-to-face will be June 7 at the Escambia County Extension Office.
  • – Register at
  • Seafood @ Your Fingertips
  • – Presentation on local seafood, with samples
  • – August 6, Southwest Branch Library, 12248 Gulf Beach Highway, 6:00 PM
  • – October 15, Downtown Library, 239 N. Spring Street, 6:00 PM
  • Local Seafood in Peak Season for May
  • – Softshell blue crab
  • – Cultured clams
  • – Crawfish season!
  • – Mahi-Mahi
  • – Pink shrimp
  • – Brown shrimp
  • – White shrimp
  • – Snapper (check annual regulations)
  • – Spanish mackerel (no more than one serving per week)
  • Seafood Safety Guidelines – Escambia County Division of Marine Resources –

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
  • – 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 Agnotology Chris Fenner, UWF
  • – 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


  • Summer Fun at Summer Camp

  • Do you live in an area with a Basin Management Action Plan? If so, what does this mean?

  • Sea Turtle Nesting Season Begins

Upcoming Programs

  • May 16 – Science Hour; Florida Department of Environmental Protections Aquatic Preserves – Beth Fugate and Zach Schang will discuss the mission and projects with the Aquatic Preserve section of FDEP. Escambia County Central Office Complex – 3363 West Park Place; 6:00 PM. Free.
  • May 18-19 – Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day; This annual two day event will be held at the Harbor Docks in Destin this year.
  • May 21 – Florida Master Naturalist Program / Coastal Course – This 40 hour course will be held on Tuesday from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM from May 21 – Jun 25. There will be classroom sessions and field trips. Cost is $275. Register at
  • May 23 – Bringing Back the Bayous; A presentation on the health of our bay system and what residents can do to help improve it. The presentation will begin at 6:00 PM. Will be at the SW Branch Library on Gulf Beach Highway near Perdido Key. Free.
  • May 31 – Invasive Species and Air Potato Beetles – We will hold another lunch & learn at the Escambia County Central Office Complex. We will have information tables on a variety of invasive species, a guest speaker, and provide air potato beetles for those who are battling air potato. 11:00 – 1:00.




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 2 2
  Sanders Beach 1 2 3 2
Mar Bayou Texar 2   2 2
  Sanders Beach 3   1  
  Bayou Chico     2 2
  Bayou Grande   2    
  Big Lagoon SP 2      
  Casino Beach 2      
  Park East 2      
  Park West 2      
  Perdido Key SP 1 1    
  Quietwater 1   1  
Apr Bayou Texar 2   3 3
  Sanders Beach 3 1 1 1
  Bayou Chico 1 1 1 1
  Bayou Grande 2   1 1
  Big Lagoon SP 3      
  Casino Beach 3      
  Park East 3      
  Park West 2      
  Perdido Key SP 2      
  Quietwater 3   1  
  Opal Beach 1      
  Ft. Pickens 1      
TOTAL 66 samples 47 11 21 17
% OF SAMPLES         .22

Health Advisory Frequency

Body of Water # of samples taken # of advisories issued % frequency of advisories
Bayou Texar 18 8 .44
Sanders Beach 20 5 .25
Bayou Chico 5 3 .60
Bayou Grande 5 1 .20

Fish Kill Data provided by FWC

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

Posted: May 3, 2019

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

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