This blog is dedicated to the environmental well-being of our Florida coastal habitat.

This blog is
dedicated to the environmental well-being of coastal habitat.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Don Pedro State Park Kayak Trip

A quiet water kayak trip on beautiful Lemon Bay to Don Pedro State Park, guided by naturalist, John Sarkozy, is scheduled for Tuesday, June 30, 9:00am to 12:00pm.

Call John at (941)966-7308 for reservations.

Don Pedro State Park description:

Robinson Preserve - Flora and Fauna

Atlantic Marsh Fiddler Crab with image of crab on back...this female has small claws

Limpkin and Fiddler Crab

Mature Ball Moss with seed

Shallow, brackish water, 1" - 2" long. What kind of fish is this?

Robinson Preserve Trail and Paddle Trail Maps

Robinson Preserve Kayak Trip Photo Report

Under the Boardwalk

Green turtle makes rare appearance
- Venice Gondolier Sun

A clash of dolphins and anglers
- Sarasota Herald Tribune

Friday, June 26, 2009

Robinson Preserve Kayak Trip - June 28

An ALS Kayak Trip will explore Robinson Preserve on Sunday, June 28. Call John at (941)966-7308 for reservations.

-Photo from Google Earth

See: for photos of the May 2009 Manatee County Fish Survey at Robinson Preserve.

Algae bloom in Tampa Bay
- Associated Press in Sarasota Herald Tribune
- St. Petersburg Times


Monday, June 15, 2009

Coquina Renourishment on Schedule
-- Anna Maria Islander

Sarasota Bay Speed Zones

To Sarasota County Commissioners:

The SE chapter of the American Littoral Society would like to comment on your deliberations concerning boat speed zones in Sarasota Bay. We are concerned that any speed zone increases would further endanger the manatee. We would also like to point out that the majority of boaters in the Bay are not power boaters but kayakers and their numbers are rapidly growing. Of the long-time kayakers I have talked to, to a person, they all have had unpleasant experiences with power boat wake and ignorance of right of way. Until mandatory training is required to operate a powerboat (where rules of the road, wake responsibility, and right of way are made clear) we feel lower speed limits and increased enforcement are necessary to protect both manatees and humans in the Bay.

Dave Bulloch - regional director

Ref: Manatee Zones Get New Look - Sarasota HeraldTribune

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Bird Key Boat Roach

The creature above is isopod Ligia, most likely the boat roach, L. exotica. The extended urosomes (rear projections) and the antennae make it possible that it's something else. It's less than one inch long and lives on sea walls and rocks along the shore.

A well-known marine scientist says, "
Boat roaches are used to teach students how to derive population estimates. By drying their backs one can apply a dab of nail polish. Then they are let go in the same area they were collected in. Come back a day or so later and recapture them. The ratio of marked to unmarked critters allows an estimate of the total population."

(It has been suggested to the photographer that she capture a shot of its underside and side view. HA !)

(Web viewers are welcome to send in their photos of this creature.)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Poachers take eggs from four sea turtle nests

Poachers take eggs from four sea turtle nests
- Sarasota Herald Tribune

Manatee Protection Alert

Sarasota County and FWC are holding a series of public meetings on reducing
speed zones in Sarasota Bay for manatee protection.
Unfortunately the people who are attending these meetings and signing up to
speak only represent boaters who do not want speeds reduced. There are very
few voices speaking out for non-motorized boaters and manatee protection.

Please attend the next manatee meeting called on Monday, June 15th at 4:00pm
in the large conference room on the 1st floor of the Federal Building (111
South Orange Ave, Sarasota).
Attend the meeting and sign up to give YOUR public comment about protecting
manatees in Sarasota Bay. Slow speed zones protect human life and wildlife.
Let the government officials know YOUR thoughts for balance in the plan.
Please see public comments from last meeting attached as well as a map of
zones to be considered. Zones b5-c6 through the heart of Sarasota will be
voted on at Monday's meeting.
Please pass this along to anyone else who may be interested in attending the
meeting or interested in speed zone issues.

If you can not attend the meeting please consider writing a letter as your
public input and send Rachel Herman via email or snail
mail to:
Rachel A. Herman
Project Scientist, Resource Protection
Sarasota County Natural Resources
1301 Cattlemen Rd., Bldg. D
Sarasota, FL 34232

Julia Burch
Public Outreach Coordinator
Sarasota Bay Estuary Program

Thursday, June 11, 2009

South Lido Kayak Trip Today

Lead on, John.

... through the canals of lovely Bird Key and South Lido Mangrove Tunnels.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Shorebirds on our Beaches

This is a great time to visit our Florida west coast beaches.
Not only are the temperatures ideal, but the shorebirds are all
dressed up in their Sunday best. Their hormones have kicked in
and they are in breeding plumage. While some are foraging for
food along the shore, fattening up for their northern migration,
others are exhibiting courtship rituals and mating behaviors and
are nesting on our local beaches. It can be downright amusing to
watch them.

Images by Lou Newman, Sarasota, Florida, May/June, 2009.

Sandwich Terns

Royal Terns

Least Terns


Long-billed Curlew

Black-bellied Plover

Beer Can Island Sand Movement

Above the most recent Google map of "Beer Can Island" at the north tip of Longboat Key. (It may be 2008.)

Next is a more recent 2009 Google Earth map.

Below are June 2009 photos of the same area. Note the expanding northwest point (offshore from the pines)

....and the growing spit of land under/next to the bridge.

The channel was dredged in the past few years. Mother Nature is taking over and rearranging the sand.

Turtle Walkers Designing Flags
- The Islander

Loggerhead found in rare daylight nesting event

- Anna Maria Island Sun : Vol. 9 No. 38 - June 10, 2008

It was a rare daylight event, and Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch volunteers are still thrilled about it. A female loggerhead marine turtle was found nesting near La Costa Condos in Bradenton Beach as a volunteer was checking her section of beach between 26th Street and Cortez Road.

"It was so wonderful," said AMITW Director Suzi Fox. "We so rarely get to see the turtles, and it’s even more rare to witness a nesting during daylight hours."

Kassy Guss, a longtime AMITW volunteer walker, found the turtle during her Saturday morning monitoring walk. She called Fox to come and see the rare event.

"The turtle laid 128 eggs in the nest," Fox noted. "The nest was too close to the waterline, so we relocated it up further on the beach."

There are now four nests in about a 30-foot area in front of La Costa now, according to Fox.

"This is a good location for them, because the La Costa folks are very good about lights and about keeping things safe for the turtles," she said.

Locations on spreadsheets

It’s not all about thrilling sights and digging in the sand for AMITW volunteers.

The organization has to keep track of each nest, of each false crawl, of each due date, of each hatchling. It’s a tedious task.

But now, volunteer Pete Goss has designed a spreadsheet that pinpoints the location of every nest along with information about when it might hatch.

It’s an information package that Fox said helps her organization and will help the Island cities as well. The spreadsheet was e-mailed to each city.

"We’ll be following up with all the adjacent properties regarding the hatch dates, as well as warning them that nesting continues," Bradenton Beach Building Official Steve Gilbert wrote in an e-mail to Fox after he got the spreadsheet.

Fox said she’s had very positive response from all the Island cities.

"Everyone likes it, and I think it’s amazing," she said. "I have the best volunteers. Pete Goss is so great! What a volunteer!"

Monday, June 8, 2009

Snowy Plover caring for Lest Tern chick

Narrative by Rick Greenspun
Images by Lou Newman
North Lido Beach,
Sarasota, FL, May 24, 2009

I witnessed something today that I have never seen before. A Least Tern chick had wandered too far away from its nest (scrape) and the parents, who were looking after another chick and egg, ignored it. The Least Tern chick repeatedly went to a Snowy Plover that was brooding two newly hatched chicks and incubating a third egg. It would rush out begging to be fed by approaching Least Tern adults and when rebuffed or attacked (pecked on the head) return to the Snowy Plover scrape. The Least Tern chick would snuggle up to the Snowy or crawl under the Snowy and the Snowy would stand up and let the Least Tern chick join the other Snowy chicks. The Snowy adults even drove off non-parent Least Tern adults that attacked this chick.

Have you ever seen a bird accept a different species into the nest? The Least Tern chick remained with the Snowy family until we scooped it up following one of the attacks by an adult Least Tern and placed in its original nest. One of the Least Tern parents then arrived with a fish and ed it to the returned chick without fanfare. The chick then settled back into its original scrape along with its sibling. Amazing!.

Perico Coastal Preserve
-Bradenton Herald

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Siesta Key Turtle Nest

There's just one turtle nest in sight on Siesta Key near Stickney Point Road.

Manatee Grass Reaches Sarasota

Manatee grass has reached north to Turtle Beach (above). Pieces were mostly 1-2 inches long and looked like spaghetti.

It is also evident on Siesta Key Beach (near Stickney Point Road) below.

looking north

looking south

South Lido Beach
also has its share of
manatee grass.

Bleached seagrass washing ashore, perplexing scientists
- Sarasota Herald Tribune