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, March 29, 2011

April Kayak Trips canceled

John Sarkozy will not be able to kayak for 4-6 weeks
due to medical problems.
There will not be any kayak trips in April .
April trips are all canceled.

John is scheduled for a hospital procedure but will be good as new soon and will be kayaking again. That is something he loves and looks forward to.

See you on the water as soon as possible!
Get well quick, John.

New Jersey: Marshbird Point Count Technicians

Here's a job for us. Let's go.

Osprey Nest Encouragement in New Jersey

Here's what is being done for ospreys in New Jersey:
Are there similar projects in SW Florida?

Do we need to be more proactive in SW Florida?
We do react to problems here. One case was the removal of an osprey nest with chicks from the baseball stadium lights. The chicks were raised elsewhere.

Laying the Bradenton Beach Pipeline

What a mess at this point!

The end of pipes is fenced so little varmits won't enter. Sand is periodically covering the track.

This looks like it is going to be a pathway over the pipeline.
However, there is no ramp on the other side...just a drop-off.

Sand blowers to keep the sand moving through the pipe.
There are also banks of lights which fit over the top of pipes so they can be seen by boats and beach goers in the dark.

Special jaws on the tractor . . . made especially for picking up pipe.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Bradenton Beach: Here come the pipe that will carry the sand......

What's going on here?????
Great Lakes Dock and Dredge is laying a pipeline to transport sand from miles offshore to Bradenton Beach. Much of the line is being installed offshore and will come on the beach just south of the Beach House (about 2nd St. North).

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Palmer Point Restoration Project

Our John Sarkozy and the Southeast American Littoral, with help from Sarasota County Natural Resources, the Selby Foundation, Friends of Oscar Scherer State Park, and a local homeowner, completed the Palmer Point restoration. The project is seen over time below.
1993 - Looking north. Australian Pines almost hide the buildings at Turtle Beach and are progressing across the dunes from the bay side to the high-tide area of the gulf.
2001 - Looking north. Australian Pines have been removed up to the private property, native dune grasses have returned, and the dune has grown several feet higher.

Exotic tree invasions - mainly Australian Pine and Brazilian Pepper - crowd out native plant species and thus reduce the diversity of native plants and wildlife. Many native plants, such as Red Mangrove, play a vital role in the local ecosystem as a source of food, a sink for excess nutrients and pollution, a soil stabilizer, and a buffer against storms.

2011 - looking north from Palmer Pt Park.
This is what the beach looks like today.

The OSPREYS have a say....

--Photo from John Sarkozy

Friday, March 25, 2011

Venice Beach Concession Stand

The concession stand, with soaring roof,
is a pleasant place to end up a walk on Venice Beach.

Great photos of Robinson Preserve
- Bradenton Herald

Bradenton Beach Renourishmen Project

Pipes will first be laid from a borrow pit north of Anna Maria Island to Coquina and Cortez beaches.
Most of the pipes will be underwater. For two weeks, the last mile or so of pipe will be on beach edge.

Venice Beach Safe Again

The red flag warnings have been lifted. Bacterial levels have reduced to the point that it's safe to go in the water again at Venice Beach.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wiggins Pass channel debate rages on
- Naples News

Designs for Siesta Beach upgrades unveiled today
- Sarasota Herald Tribune

White seaweed

White seaweed on Venice Beach:
This sun-bleached specimen is probably a spineweed or redweed.
White seaweed next to sargasso.

Marine Invasions Research Lab

Venice Ghost Crab

The ghost crab's eyes are on stalks, allowing it to see 360 degrees, an adaptation that helps it avoid predators. This Venice Beach crab didn't budge an inch when I walked right up to him. His hole was not near by.

This crab usually forages at night. Could he be smart enough to know that some of us are afraid of him? Probably not. Perhaps, the thought of all the picnic crumbs nearby overcame his fear of people.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Venice Beach Today - Red Flag Alert

Venice Beach near the public parking lot was filled with people enjoying the sand and sun. Despite the warnings of high bacterial level, several people were wading. The sources of contamination are still unknown.
Is this the source of the contamination? There is still doubt about the answer.

A new bid to reopen Midnight Pass
- Sarasota Herald Tribune

No-swim advisory returns to Venice beach

- Sarasota Herald Tribune

Sunday, March 20, 2011


This is probably Mesoglea, "the translucent, inert, jelly-like substance that makes up most of the bodies of most comb jellies and some other primitive sea creatures. It acts as the creatures' structural support in water, as they lack bones or cartilage, -endo or exoskeletons or similar means of support. Because mesoglea is a gel with such a high water content, these creatures tend to collapse on land. " -- Wikipedia

These globs are often found in the seagrass beds off Ken Thompson Park on Sarasota's City Island.

In Memoriam ... David Bulloch

If we wanted a really accurate and meaningful celebration of Dave's life, we'd all take off our shoes and socks, and wade into the surf with a seine net. We'd place the critters we had collected onto slides and then examine them under one of Dave's ever-present microscopes and enjoy sharing and identifying our finds.

Dave always took a leadership role in the field trips, one of the key activities in the society's educational programs. ALS initiated them as one of the earliest formal recognitions of the importance of the littoral zone; these field trips have helped generations of shore-goers and beachcombers get acquainted with its inhabitants, and their role in a vital global ecology.

As many of you know, Dave was a founding member of ALS, what used to be called in the maritime services "a Plankholder".

I first met and got to know Dave Bulloch during our years of joint attendance at advisory council meetings. Dave was involved in every aspect of ALS activities, ---- field trips, seminars, conservation education, tagging fish to trace their migration patterns, and scuba diving.

It was while on a scuba diving trip off the coast of New Jersey that Dave suffered the classic symptoms of the bends. He never let the increasingly limited mobility of his decompression sickness affect his productive mind or the prodigious quantity of work he turned out.

As one of the founders of the Society, involved in every aspect of governance and policy, he was eventually elected its President. It meant a great deal to me when I found myself transitioning to that position . I could always count on his rare combination of low-key good humor, serious purpose, and common sense to get us through any problems. -- Hal Pelta

Farewell, Dave

Dave Bulloch's Memorial Service was held on March 19 at Mote Marine Lab in a lovely setting overlooking New Pass,. Thanks to ALS leader, Tim Dillingham and Mote's Ernie Estevez for organizing the event and bidding Dave a fond farewell.

Are lionfish coming to a plate near you?
- Huoma Today

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Kayak fishing on Sarasota Bay

Kayak fishermen often put in on City Island at the Ken Thompson Park to fish in Sarasota Bay.
When asked to see the fish catch, we were told, "No fish. We practice 'catch-and-release'.
Small trout were today's catch.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sarasota Bay Bio Cruises

Hands on learning experience about the critters of the Bay and views of nesting bird life on board the Carefree Learner. Leave from Bayfront Park . The Carefree Learner is docked next to Le Barge, near Marina Jack's.

All trips are on Tuesdays, from 1 to 3 pm.

Members $12, non-members $18.

Make reservations early, Call Bobby at (941) 927-3409.

Mar. 1, 15, 29
Apr. 12, 1 9, 26
May 3

Sunday, March 13, 2011

LaBarge Tours on Sarasota Bay

The boat docks at Sarasota's downtown marina, near Marina Jack's. Food, drink, music, mermaids... this tour has it all.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Bird Key Park: Kayak Racks

There are now kayak washing racks at both ends of Bird Key Park on Ringling Causeway!!

Beach water inequality
- Sarasota Herald Tribune

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


The BAY LIFE SEARCH /SEINING TRIP scheduled for March 19 at Blackburn Point has been pushed back to March 26th.

If enough people are interested, we'll do the PICNIC right afterward. Picnickers should call Chuck at 488-8998 or email . We need an idea of numbers and will ask folks to bring something. Basic items (dogs, burgers, condiments, plates, charcoal, etc.) will be supplied.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Iridescent swimming crab

The small Iridescent swimming crab, Portunus
is found from Massachusetts to the Gulf.
It is a relative of the blue crab.
(I just noticed that there appears to be button-like eyes on the back side of the main shell. The real eyes are on the claw-side/mouth-side. I'll have to do a bit more research on crab eyes. -ed)
(Photo by Dave Bulloch)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Neath Southern Skies

Following is an article about a trip to the Everglades from "Field and Stream", January 1919.
(You can either click on the "Neath Southern Skies" link and read the article from Florida International University's Library or read each of the 4 .jpgs below in your photo reader.)