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.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

State mulls extending permit rules
- KeysNews

Sarasota County’s Seagrass Survey program has won 3 awards!

Two notable awards from the National Association of Counties:
- an Achievement Award honoring its unique and effective program

- a Best of Category Award, which marks it as a model program for outstanding and creative

In addition to these two awards the Environmental Protection Agency’s Gulf of Mexico Program honored the SEA Team with a Gulf Guardian Award for finding innovative solutions to improve the environmental health of the Gulf, in concert with economic development.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Pat Jones' Special Report: Mote Turtle Release

We couldn't stay away this morning even though it meant getting up before dawn AGAIN. This turtle has been in the sea turtle hospital since April when she washed ashore sick at Naples. She was first tagged in 1988 when she had to be at least 30 years old. Since then she's been tagged numerous times in Sarasota County, Casey Key. Without Mote's intervention she surely would have succumbed to her illness. You can read more about her and follow her path on It was an emotional experience, as always.

Vickie Lee in her corral before being prepped for her transmitter and release:
First you sandpaper an area on her carapace in preparation for the expoxy.
After sandpaper, acetone and water,
Dr. Tony applies a mixture of expoxy.

Next the transmitter is set.
Everytime she comes up for air the satellite will read her position.

Next anti-fouling marine paint is applied.
After about 30 minutes in the corral she's ready to go!
Good close-up. So pretty and clean - that won't last.
Soon she'll have barnacles.

Almost there. Tough crawl to the water.
She weighs 248 lbs. AND, she's about 50 years old!

Hooray! The Gulf of Mexico surf at last!

Good bye, Vickie Lee.
Have a nice long life. Come back to Sarasota County.

It's nice to have a happy ending. : )

Turtle tagged 21 years ago by Mote to be released Friday
- Mote Marine Lab

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Blackburn Point Park

The spit of land just east of the Blackburn Point bridge
over the Intercoastal Waterway has become a nice little park.
One can picnic, launch a kayak, dock a small boat, or fish.

New trails offer more access to Ten Thousand Islands
- Naples News

Residents on Naples Bay growing oysters to improve water quality
- Naples News

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Back and forth beaches

On South Lido, the beach was eroded away in Fall 2008.
September 2009: After renourishment, a wide beach beckons bathers.

The following view is looking south with Siesta Key in the background.
The large sand bar in 2008 has been cut back,
but currents are pushing sand out into Big Pass again.

Not here, not now: the case against drilling Title=Not-here-and-not-now-the-case-against-drilling
- Sarasota Herald Tribune

Ernst- A first step to measure local bays cleanliness
- Sarasota Herald Tribune

Friday, September 11, 2009

St. Augustine: Erosion closes stairs for beach access
- St. Augustine Record

Bird Key - Bay Shore BioSearch

Explore the sea life near our beaches with American Littoral Society biologist, Bruce Dayton. We’ll be searching shallow shorelines and sea grass beds, observing, collecting, and discussing the natural history of some of the many interesting fishes and other animals that inhabit Sarasota Bay. No charge but donations always welcome.
Wading shoes suggested.
Bird Key
Saturday, Sept. 12, 9:30-11:30 am.

Call Bruce at (941) 493-5087 for reservations.

Town seeks sand removal extension

Seawall solution
- Naples News

Monday, September 7, 2009

Sarasota Seawalls on the Wane

This condo complex near the north tip of Longboat Key was built very close to the edge of the Gulf. The beach around the seawall has eroded to the point that there is no public access to beaches further north... and Longboat's ever popular destination, Beer Can Island.

Looking south from the same point,
we see that other condos are built far back from the beach.The satellite photo ( dated earlier 2009),
shows the condo next to a wide beach.

(Click to enlarge)
The following article by Dave Bulloch in the Winter 2009 issue of "Littorally Speaking" addresses the issue:
Sarasota Seawalls on the Wane

The Sarasota County commissioners have just revamped the County coastal setback code to all but make it impossible to build a seawall on the Gulf side of the County shoreline. Seawalls along an active coastline are an invitation to future disaster. They are eventually undermined and fall into the water and almost immediately enhance rapid erosion at one end or the other on someone else’s property.
The new rules require that the seawall be in the public interest: (1) it cannot impede public access to the beach,(2) it cannot harm adjacent property, and (3) it must be unfeasible to move or elevate the structure to be protected and to replace lost sand or other habitat. The new code bans walls, groins or other protective structures for any new structures. Sixty years ago, most local people understood the dangers of building so close to active shores. Beach homes were small and built to move or lose and put as far back from the waterline as feasible. As wealthy people from inland arrived with no storm experience (and a lull in intense storms) the McMansions went up along the Gulf. Our filled-up barrier islands are a catastrophe waiting to happen. Consider this: in the 1920’s when practically no one except a few fishermen lived there, the surge from a hurricane went over the tops of the red mangroves, about 14 feet in height. Caveat emptor. (Read more about why seawalls don’t work in the Summer 2006 issue of Coastal Reporter, available in PDF format at under the Resources/Newsletters tab.

Tampa Bay Estuary Program: Featured Creature
- Tampa Bay Estuary Program

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Beach Access near Longboat Key Bayfront Park

Driving north on Longboat Key on Gulf of Mexico Drive (approaching the 4000 address number and just before you come to the Manatee County boundary) , you will find the Bayfront Park Recreation Center. Park here. There are athletic facilities and a kayak launching platform.
To get to the beach on the Gulf side of the road,
you will need to walk about a block south.

Then, enter at the north gap in the mangrove hedge.
There are one or two signs which say "Beach Access".

Most of the signs on the property say,
"Private, Longboat Key Estates, Residents Only".

Run quickly down to the shore.
You are allowed to walk on the public shoreline and WADE or SWIM !

Here is the view to the north.

Sarasota County neighborhoods involved in watershed projects

"The Neighborhood Environmental Stewardship Team, or NEST, promotes neighborhood involvement in environmentally friendly projects to protect and restore our shared water resources. The NEST program operates at the neighborhood-level to improve watershed-scale resources, and no matter where you are in Sarasota County, you are in one of the County's watersheds. NEST projects focus on both education and hands-on activities like storm drain marking, neighborhood cleanup, watershed friendly landscaping, pond, lake, and bay shoreline restoration, and water body monitoring. In addition, the NEST program assists participating groups with the resources needed to complete projects. Currently the NEST program has over 15 participating sites that are improving five Sarasota County watersheds."

Friday, September 4, 2009

Feds OK plan for Gulf fish farming
- Bradenton Herald

Manatee-Sarasota Sierra - general meeting
Lecure: Mote makes case for fish farming
Thursday, Sept. 10, 7 p.m.
Edson Keith Mansion, Phillippi Estate Park

Marine Fish Conservation Network is dismayed

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Live Turtle Webcam in Lower Keys

Sarasota Bayfront Park: boat mooring changes coming soon..

The restuarant, tiki-bar, and boat rental areas are looking great on the Sarasota downtown bayfront.
Live-aboard boats are moored further out in the Bay.
A dredge is making tests for a new mooring field.
Derelict boats still remain along the shoreline.
Plans are in progress.
Mooring plans for Bayfront (click on photo for closeup)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

MIT creates robotic fish

Venice Inlet - South Side

Casey's Pass is now called Venice Inlet. Jetties, north and south, line the inlet which provides passage to mostly pleasure boats. There are walkways out to the end for people to stroll and fish.

Wind and waves work hard to change the work of man, so huge, new boulders are brought in to replace those fallen into the water.

The largest boulders are found on the south side. Venice Condos line the shore. The jetty park is one of the few places where non-residents can park and walk the beach.