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 – https://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 email@example.com. 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 – firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com. 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.
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.
Water Quality Updates
- 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 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”)
- 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
- No fish kills reported this week.
- See 2020 numbers at the end of this newsletter
- Report fish kills to FWC at – https://myfwc.com/research/saltwater/health/fish-kills-hotline/.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- – 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 –
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.
- – 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.
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
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
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
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.
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/.
Weekly “What is it?” – Resurrection Ferns
Carrie Stevenson – Escambia County
Weekly “What is it?” – Gallberry
Carrie Stevenson – Escambia County
Drifting Marine Fish of the Florida Panhandle
Rick O’Connor – Escambia County
After Flooding, Test Your Well Water
Dr. Andrea Albertin – UF IFAS Northwest District Water Specialist
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