Sea Grant Notes – Aug 23, 2019

August 23, 2019                                             Sea Grant Notes

 

 

UF IFAS LAKEWATCH NUTRIENT POLLUTION MONITORING REPORT

The University of Florida IFAS Extension has a volunteer citizen science program called LAKEWATCH.  There are four volunteers monitoring nutrients and chlorophyll a within four estuarine waters in Escambia County.  You can read the 2019 update at https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/escambiaco/2019/08/22/nutrient-pollution-in-pensacola-bay-the-2019-lakewatch-report-for-escambia-county-waters/.

 

TWO LIONFISH WERE FOUND AT FT. PICKENS LAST WEEKEND

If you are diver, and dive Ft. Pickens, please let us know if you see any lionfish during your dive.

 

THE SEP 12th SCIENCE HOUR WILL BE MOVED TO SEP 19th

The topic for Sep is GMOs in our food systems.

 

COASTWATCH ALLIANCE IS SEEKING SPONSORS FOR THEIR FALL PENSACOLA LIONFISH CLASSIC

This non-profit is planning a lionfish removal event Oct 4-6 and is in need of sponsors.  Contact me at the extension office for more information on how.

 

This Week

 

Thursday Aug 29 – Ft. Pickens Aquatic Preserve Management Plan Public Comment

The Ft. Pickens Aquatic Preserve Council will host a public comment period to address management issues and plans for the preserve.

6:00 PM – Downtown Library – 239 N. Spring Street

 

Current Articles

 

Nutrient Pollution in Pensacola Bay; The 2019 LAKEWATCH Report for Escambia County https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/escambiaco/2019/08/22/nutrient-pollution-in-pensacola-bay-the-2019-lakewatch-report-for-escambia-county-waters/.

 

Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions About the Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill – recent findings

http://masgc.org/oilscience/2019-top-5-FAQ.pdf.

 

Water Quality  

 

Health Advisories

  • Rains continue but NO HEALTH ADVISORIES this week
  • MODERATE – Bayou Grande, Johnsons Beach
  • GOOD – Sanders Beach, Bayou Chico, Bayou Texar, Perdido Key SP, Big Lagoon SP, Quietwater Beach, Casino Beach, Park East, Park West, Ft. Pickens, Opal Beach
  • 2019 data at end of these notes

Rainfall

  • Rainfall collected weekly from East Hill (UF IFAS)
  • Jan (2.1”) Feb (1.5”) Mar (0.7”) – winter = 4.3”
  • Apr (6.3”) May (1.0”) June (7.4”) – spring = 14.7”
  • Jul (5.0’*) Aug (7.2”)
  • * Sea Grant was not available to monitor rain gauge in July – gauge indicated 5” during the month in East Hill

Red Tide

  • Last report issued was Aug 16 (FWC)
  • Background levels were found in one sample from Gulf County in the panhandle
  • Red tide was not detected anywhere else in the state.

Fish Kills

LAKEWATCH Nutrient Data

Killifish Monitoring

  • One species of killifish, the Longnose Killifish (Fundulus similis) has low tolerance for freshwater. Working with Auburn University, we will be monitoring selected estuarine tidal creeks for the presence of this fish.
  • Project still under development.

Salinity Monitoring

  • We have volunteers monitoring salinity around the Pensacola/Perdido Bay system
  • First report coming soon

REMEMBER

Florida Department of Environmental Protection opens their new interactive algal bloom dashboard https://floridadep.gov/algalbloom.

 

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

  • Rescheduling – Margaritaville, Pensacola Beach, 165 Ft. Pickens Road, 5:00 PM

 

 

Habitat Restoration

 

  • OCEAN HOUR Clean Ups August 24
  • – Sanders Beach – 913 S. “I” Street
  • – Bruce Beach – 601 W. Main Street

Clean Ups begin at 9:00 and supplies are provided – rain/lightning will cancel event

  • Living Shorelines

The best time to have a living shoreline planted is the fall and winter.  However, we can assist any coastal property owner with this anytime of the year.  Contact me if interested in learning more.

  • Seagrass Monitoring
  • – Monitoring of Big Lagoon grasses began May 1 and will run through the end of September; a full update will be posted in the fall
  • Mangrove Surveys
  • – We have surveyed 8 of the 10 selected locations – no mangroves have been found
  • – If you believe you have seen this plant growing in our marshes, please let us know

 

Wildlife & Fisheries

 

  • Horseshoe Crab Nesting Search
  • – Sightings of horseshoe crabs continues but no reports of nesting activity yet.
  • – We will continue searching in the fall
  • Diamondback terrapins
  • – Terrapin surveys have been completed. We will announce report later this year.
  • Snakes
  • – No snake programs planned this month.
  • Manatees
  • – Sightings continue around Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key.
  • – We lost three manatees in Escambia County in 2018. 2 to boat strikes and 1 to cold stress
  • – If you see a manatee, contact the manatee hotline at Dauphin Island Sea Lab; 1-866-493-5803 or manatee@disl.org.
  • The Great Scallop Search
  • – Scallop surveys in Big Lagoon are on-going. We recommend a team of three to do these.  If interested contact me.       
  • 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 Species

 

  • Eradicating Beach Vitex

Beach vitex (Vitex rotundifolia) is an invasive ground covering shrub that begins as a vine.  We may have discovered this plant early enough to eradicate it from our area. If you think you may have this plant, please contact us.

  • Coastal Invasive Plant Management

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

187 divers participated – record

$48,000 in cash prizes – most ever

5,048 LF turned in during pre-tournament – record

14,119 LF turned in during the weekend tournament – record

19,167 LF harvested total – record

  • Nearshore Lionfish Surveys will begin in June. If you see a lionfish near the beach or in the bay, please let us know.
  • Invasive Wildlife
  • Nutria – A dead nutria was found on the side of Perdido Key Drive near the Theo Baars Bridge. It was a large one and there are probably more.  If you live in the Perdido Key area and think you have seen a nutria, contact us and we can let you know how to control there.
  • 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.  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw259.
  • Invasive Species Presentations
  • – Oct 22 – Southwest Branch Library, 12248 Gulf Beach Hwy, 6:00 PM

 

 

Seafood

 

  • Seafood @ Your Fingertips
  • – Presentation on local seafood, with samples
  • – September 16, the 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 August   
  • – Cultured clams
  • – Flounder
  • – King mackerel – this fish has been known to have high levels of mercury, check county website for consumption recommendations – link below
  • – Rock shrimp
  • – Brown shrimp
  • – White shrimp
  • – Snapper (check annual regulations)
  • – Spanish mackerel
  • – Spiny lobster
  • – Yellowfin Tuna
  • Seafood Safety Guidelines – Escambia County Division of Marine Resources – https://www.myescambia.com/our-services/natural-resources-management/marine-resources/seafood-safety.

 

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
  • – Sep 19 Genetically Modified Organisms            Libbie Johnson, County UF Extension
  • – Oct 10 Harmful Algal Blooms                          Matt Schwartz, UWF
  • – Nov 14 Bay Bridge & Artificial Reefs                Robert Turpin, Escambia County

 

 

Upcoming Programs

 

  • Sep 16 – Seafood @ Your Fingertips – Sea Grant, Escambia County Extension, and Perdido Seafood, will have a presentation on local seafood topics. Southwest Branch Library – 12248 Gulf Beach Highway – 6:00 PM – Free.
  • Sep 19 Science Hour – Escambia County Extension will have a presentation on GMOs in our food systems. Escambia County Central Office Complex – 3363 West Park Place – 6:00 PM – Free.

 

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

 

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      
May Bayou Texar 2   2 2
  Sanders Beach 3 1    
  Bayou Chico 1   1 1
  Bayou Grande 1   1 1
  Big Lagoon SP 2      
  Casino Beach 2      
  Park East 2      
  Park West 2      
  Perdido Key SP 2      
  Quietwater 1 1    
  Opal Beach 1      
  Ft. Pickens 1      
Jun Bayou Texar 3 1    
  Sanders Beach 3 1    
  Bayou Chico 1 1    
  Bayou Grande 2      
  Big Lagoon SP 2      
  Casino Beach 2      
  Park East 2      
  Park West 2      
  Perdido Key SP 2      
  Quietwater 2      
  Opal Beach 2      
  Ft. Pickens 2      
Jul Bayou Texar 3   2 2
  Sanders Beach 3 1    
  Bayou Chico 2   1 1
  Bayou Grande 3      
  Big Lagoon SP 2 1    
  Casino Beach 3      
  Park East 3      
  Park West 3   2 1
  Perdido Key SP 3      
  Quietwater 3      
  Opal Beach 3   1  
  Ft. Pickens 1 1    
  Johnsons Beach 3      
Aug Bayou Texar 1   2 2
  Sanders Beach 3   2  
  Bayou Chico 1   2 2
  Bayou Grande   3    
  Big Lagoon SP 2   1  
  Casino Beach 3   1  
  Park East 3      
  Park West 3      
  Perdido Key SP 3      
  Quietwater 3   1  
  Opal Beach 3      
  Ft. Pickens 3      
  Johnsons Beach 2 1    
           
TOTAL 178 126 20 34 25
% OF SAMPLES         .14

 

Health Advisory Frequency

Body of Water # of samples taken # of advisories issued % frequency of advisories
Bayou Texar 34 14 .41
Sanders Beach 36 5 .14
Bayou Chico 15 7 .47
Bayou Grande 15 2 .13
Park West 16 1 .06

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  
May 0 0  
June 0 0  
July – Johns Beach report – # unknown Unknown May have been discolored water
Aug 1 Unknown Dead catfish in lower Perdido Bay