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, August 22, 2010

Marine Science of the Gulf of Mexico (including Dr. Eugenie Clark)

Pieiran Spring Academy is offering a course this Fall with a lecture given by Dr. Eugenie Clark at Argosy University.
(This is a life long learning group.)

  • F10E03-A • Marine Science of the Gulf of Mexico
  • Survey the ecology and animals of Gulf and Bay waters. As part of this course, Dr. Eugenie Clark, Mote Marine Laboratory founding director, will lecture on the behavior and conditioning of Gulf sharks, and the amazing hermaphroditic fish, Serranus.
  • Thursdays, October 28-November 18 (4 weeks)
  • 9:30-11:30 am, Argosy University
  • $50

Manatees hold mating ritual on beach
- Ft. Myers News-Press

Looking for the bathrooms on South Lido Beach?

Look more closely, and you will see
that they are surrounded by a native plant garden.
The plants and trees here like to be close to salt water beaches.
Orange Trumpet Plant

Oil damaged marshes making a comeback
- Sarasota Herald Tribune

Scallops tell a tale of a troubled bay
- Sarasota Herald Tribune

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Florida StingRay

We're reposting this Florida StingRay Photo because it is so popular.
Click to Check out Mote Marine Lab's stingray page

Baby Stingrays

South Lido Park Landscaping

Native plants, trees and picnic tables are new at South Lido Park.
(See map in previous post.)
COONTIE -- A very old and Native Floridian

Looking for trouble on manatee highways
- New York Times

Algae in water spur calls about oil
-Sarasota Herald Tribune

Friday, August 20, 2010

Sarasota County Boat Launches
- Sarasota County Government

South Lido Park Kayak Launch

South Lido Park (on Taft off Benjamin Franklin Dr. on South Lido Key)
has been renovated to be more kayak friendly.An outdoor shower, foot wash and kayak wash have been added.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

White Ibis

"As we entered that well-known place, we saw nests on every bush, cactus, or tree. Whether the number was one thousand or ten I cannot say, but this I well know: -I counted forty-seven on a single plum -tree. These nests of the White Ibis measure about fifteen inches in diameter, and are formed of dry twigs intermixed with fibrous roots and green branches growing on the island . . . ."

". . . As birds of this genus feed by night as well as by day, the White Ibis attends the tides at whatever hour they maybe. Some of which bred on Sandy key would go to the keys next the Atlantic, more than forty miles distant, while others made for the Ever Glades; (Everglades) but they never went off singly. They rose with common accord from the breeding ground, forming themselves into long lines, often a mile in extent, and soon disappeared from view. Soon after the turn of the tide we saw them approaching in the same order. Not a note could you have heard on these occasions; yet if you disturb them when far from their nests, they utter loud hoarse cries resembling the syllables hunk, hunk, hunk, either while on the ground or as they flop off."

-- John Audubon's account of the White Ibis in the Florida Keys

Monday, August 16, 2010

Reminder: Sarasota Bay Watch Scallop Search: Saturday, August 21

Volunteer for the 3rd Annual Sarasota Bay Watch Scallop Search!

• Saturday August 21, 2010
• 9 am until 1 pm (on-site check-in begins at 8 am)
• Meet at the docks of Mar Vista, Longboat Key
• Registration is required and limited to 150 participants

Bay scallops are an important component of Florida’s coastal marine ecosystem and an indicator of ecosystem health due to their sensitivity to changes in water quality. The annual Scallop Search is an important component of assessing the overall health of bay waters.

Tropical depression impacts turtle nests
- Longboat Key Observer

Petticoat Algae

Just lovely! This lacy, low-growing algae has fan-like fronds
resembling a petticoat with horizontal lacy bands.

It grows on rocks and dead coral heads in or below the intertidal zone.
This speciman was found on Bird Key off the Ringling Causeway in Sarasota.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Miguel Bay

Sunshine State Bridge across Tampa Bay

Zoom in to see linear patterns on the island at the southern end of the Sunshine State Parkway. They are mosquito ditches probably dug when the Inland Waterway was being created.

View Larger Map
Also, zoom in to see W.E. "Bill" Dean Bridge, a fishing bridge/pier
off the southwest corner of the Sunshine Parkway.
Miguel Bay as seen from road off Sunshine Parkway

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Bird Key Renovation

Bird Key has been undergoing renovation for months.
The east end of the park is open now
with new tree plantings and grassy spots.
There are shell and concrete paved areas,
shady sitting areas, and kayak/canoe facilities.

The park is KAYAK FRIENDLY !!
Below are kayak cleaning racks and a launching dock.
The west end of the park is closed for construction.

Deaths show secluded beaches carry some risk
- Sarasota Herald Tribune

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bayport Shorelines

Gulf Shoreline vegetation at Bayport
at the mouth of the Weekiwachee River

Bayport is less than 50 miles north of Tampa.
36 people lived there during the 2000 census.

The channel was dredged recently. In the process, seagrass was being killed. To compensate, much of the seagrass was moved to another area close by. These markers were placed to warn off boats and give the seagrass a chance to grow.
Just a few palmettos on an island.
A little creek and a fishing pierBait and blue crab catch in the same bucketEarly in the 1860s, clumps of locals' white tents lined the landing at Bayport. Large plantations nearby were exporting sugar and other crops for the Confederacy. Salt works operated along the shores. In July 1864, Union ships arrived offshore to pick up the United States 2nd Florida Cavalry soldiers after the Raid on Brooksville.Sentry - Herring Gull

Monday, August 9, 2010

Tate's Hell restoration may offset wetland losses
- Apalachicola and Carrabelle Times

Announcing the 49th Annual Meeting of the American Littoral Society


Montauk, New York - October 21-24, 2010

Montauk Bluffs · Seal Haul Out · Montauk Lighthouse · Evening Programs

The 49th annual meeting of the Society will be held at Montauk, NY, near the eastern end of Long Island, starting Thursday evening, October 21, and ending around noon on Sunday, October 24. As usual, the long weekend is an excuse to get out into littoral territory to see nature in action; there will be evening programs, maybe an owl/star walk, and a brief business meeting and election.

Where: Headquarters will be at Montauk Manor - which includes lodging and meals starting Friday breakfast to Sunday breakfast.


What: The Montauk area is laced with nature trails, parks, beaches and dunes, all open to exploration and discovery. We'll see migrating birds, seals, tide pools, rock outcroppings and the famous Montauk Lighthouse. Trips will run from Friday a.m. through Sunday a.m. There will be a special dinner on Saturday evening. This year, for an additional fee, we're offering an optional striped bass fishing trip with our tagging director, Jeff Dement. Spaces on the boat are limited so we advise early registration to secure a spot. There will be a special dinner on Saturday evening.

Cost: Prices vary depending on the length of your stay. Download the registration form below for options and pricing. These prices are for double occupancy only, and are based on the price per adult. There is a special rate for kids under 12.

Other Info: Dress is casual all weekend.....Field trips go rain or shine..... The Manor boasts a hot tub and indoor pool. No car? Take the LIRR to Montauk train station - the Manor will pick you up.

To Reserve Your Place: Mail form and payment to American Littoral Society, 18 Hartshorne Dr., Suite 1, Highlands, NJ 07732
Please note that this is a members only event. There is plenty of time for you to become a member in time for the meeting. An individual/family membership is ony $35. Add it to your registration fee and make a note on your registration form.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Lou Newman's Black Skimmers

Images and text by Lou Newman, Sarasota, Florida, June and July, 2010. Images captured with a Canon EOS-1D Mark IV camera and a Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO lens.

Hey! My name is “Jake.” I am a member of the class of ’10 (Black Skimmers that hatched in 2010). I am now seven weeks of age and almost as large as my parents (see last image). I’m one of the lucky ones; only 25% of my class has made it this far. Since our parents nest in colonies on the beach by making a “scrape” in the sand, we are very vulnerable to a host of perils, including high tide flooding, predation by crows and laughing gulls, infanticide by neighboring adults and sibling rivalry. It is a wonder any of us make it. The photographer taking the images that follow documented nestlings killing their siblings, adults chasing, mauling and taking off with chicks and gulls swooping in to grab chicks. And you would not believe the competition and squabbling within the colony. We grow fast and start to fly at four weeks. However, our lower bill does not start to grow longer than our upper bill until about 28 days, so we remain dependent on our parents until we can learn to skim for fish ourselves. I can’t wait to be able to explore this crazy world. All the best, Jake

Check out Lou’s 2010 Art Gallery Exhibit “Wild and Wonderful” on his web site beginning August 14th:

Bayport, FL : a Civil War shoreline story

"The Village of Bayport, located at the mouth of the Weekiwachee River sprang up in the early 1850s as a supply and cotton port. During the American Civil War, Union naval squadrons blockaded Florida's coasts to prevent goods and supplies from passing into and out of the State. By 1863 the East Gulf Blockade Squadron effectively closed the larger ports along the Gulf Coast. Small rivers, such as the Weeki Wachee, became important trade routes. Shipping at Bayport attracted the attention of The Union Blockade Squadron which intercepted eleven blockade runners near there between 1862 and 1865. Various skirmishes took place at Bayport between Union troops and the Confederate Home Guard during the course of the war. The Confederate cannon battery site can still be seen on the wooded point just north of the Bayport fishing pier at the mouth of the Weeki Wachee River. "


See photos here:

Note: The great-great-grandfather of this webmistress was one of the Union soldiers (from Florida and enlisted in 2nd Florida Cavalry, Co. B) who took part in the Raid on Bayport. We'll have some more shoreline photos one of these days.

Beach Hazards

Hardhead catfish
Red tide
- Ft Myers News-Press

Sonar maps Lee County Waters
- Ft. Myers News Press

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Coastal Cleanup coming to Key Biscayne in September
- Miami Herald

Spanish Bayonets says, "Yucca gloriosa grows on sand dunes along the coast and barrier islands of the southeastern USA, often together with Yucca aloifolia and Yucca recurvifolia. In contrast to Y. recurvifolia, the leaves of Y. gloriosa are hard stiff, erect and narrower. On the other hand, Y. aloifolia has leaves with denticulate margins and a sharp-pointed, terminal spine. The flowering period is the end of summer and autumn whereas Y. recurvifolia blooms in spring."

We're not sure which ones are pictured here.
The photos were taken on S. Turtle Beach.

Turtle Time rescues tiny hatchlings
- Ft. Myers News Press

Animal research relies heavily on satellite tracking
Ft. Myers News Press