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, July 31, 2011

Willit flock on North Lido Beach

The Willet is known by its piercing calls and bright black-and-white flashing wings. 
Willets nest on the ground, usually in well-hidden locations in short grass, often in colonies. These birds forage on mudflats or in shallow water, probing or picking up food by sight. They mainly eat crusteans, insects and marine worms, but also eat some plant material.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Weedon Island Coastal Classroom (north St. Petersburg)

Coastal Classroom: Discover the Hidden World of Plankton with Your Child
August 20, 2011, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pmDiscover the hidden world of the estuary with some of the smallest critters that live in Tampa Bay. The classroom will have live samples of plankton from Tampa Bay to examine and identify.  Plankton is a diverse group of organisms suspended in the water of estuaries, oceans and all other bodies of water. Microscopes will help reveal these fascinating creatures which exhibit a wide variety of bizarre shapes and adaptations.  Activities are self guided, just stop by the classroom.  No pre-registration required.  Free

Wee-Time at Weedon: Harry the Horseshoe Crab
August 25, 2011, 10:30am – 11:15am
This week’s book, Harry the Horseshoe Crab: A Tale of Crawly Creatures, by Suzanne Tate, tells many amazing facts about horseshoe crabs.  Recommended for ages 3 to 5.  Pre-registration required.  Free

Sarasota County Manatee Protection Plan

Olive Snail on Lido Beach

The olive snails are all carnivorous sand-burrowers. They feed mostly on bivalves and carrion and are known as some of the fastest burrowers among snails.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

SBEP Contracts with Eckerd College to Conduct Economic Value Study of Sarasota Bay

SARASOTA, FL The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP) has contracted with Eckerd College in St. Petersburg to complete an economic value study of Sarasota Bay. The study launching this summer will evaluate the economic benefits of the Sarasota Bay Estuary and its adjacent natural resources spanning Sarasota and Manatee County. The comprehensive analysis will focus on the direct and indirect use values of coastal recreation and coastal residential real estate.

The decision to do an economic value study of Sarasota Bay is timely given its importance to our region,” said Mark Alderson, the SBEP Director. “This is the first major economic study focused on the key assets associated with Sarasota Bay.”

Dr. Paul Hindsley, an assistant professor of Environmental Studies at Eckerd College, will complete phase one of the study. Dr. Hindsley is the Coordinator of Eckerd’s Coastal Management Program. He earned his Doctorate Degree in Coastal Resource Management at East Carolina University in 2008. He completed his Masters of Science Degree in Applied and Resource Economics at the same university. His Bachelor of Science Degree in Resource Conservation was completed at the University of Montana in 1999.
Dr. Hindsley has expertise in coastal resource management, environmental policy analysis, natural hazards research, and applied statistics and econometrics. He is highly credentialed in the fields of environmental and resource economics. A member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Dr. Hindsley has completed numerous research projects, written many technical papers, and has made presentations at conferences throughout the U.S. He has been published in the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Land Economics and the Southern Economic Journal.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Friday, July 22, 2011

Common yellow back beach flower

Sarasota Bay Watch - Upcoming Events

Check out the August Scallop Search and other upcoming events:

The Scallopalooza Event at the Sarasota Yacht Club will feature story teller Rodney Potter. Rodney will tell you about the glory days in Sarasota Bay. Days we want to revive.

Sanibel boasts 15 snowy plover, two Wilson's plover nests

- Sanibel Captiva Islander

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Coquina shells

Variable Coquina average 1/2 to 1 inch long and live in the swash zone.  They are often found in large colonies on North Lido Beach (Sarasota, FL)..   The shells of coquina and other mollusks are formed from lime which they extract from the sea.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Lido Wildflower

 This lovely spherical bloomed wildflower with fern-like leaves has been planted near Lido Beach parking.
(It is also growing in my flower beds.  I have been weeding it out.  Now, that I see the blooms, I think I'll let it take over as a ground flower. Next, we have to identify it.)

First nest yields 100 plus hatchlings

- Anna Maria Islander

Weekend Washout (of turtle nests)

- Anna Maria Island Sun

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Boca Grande Lighthouse

 Boca Grande Lighthouse at the north entrance to Charlotte Harbor (SW Florida)
Only the top shows in the above photo. 
The lighthouse has been turned into a museum with information about the the lighthouse and Charlotte Harbor History. 
Frank Mittelstadt painting in Lighthouse Museum

Erosion has changed the shoreline here over time. Many attempts have been made to buttress the shoreline and re-nourish the beach with sand.
Exhibit in Lighthouse Museum

Monday, July 11, 2011

Turtles are nesting at S. Turtle Beach

Gobs of Goo at Turtle Beach Boat Launch

 The shore at the launch site was covered with gelatinous globs a week ago. They were palm size down to quarter size and may be some creatures'  egg masses. 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Native Planting at North Lido SBEP Restoration Site

seagrass map 3
Sarasota Bay Guardians Host Volunteer Event

Local contractors working with the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program have completed the development of a new tidal tributary at North Lido Park adjacent to the beach access.
The tidal wetland was created to provide essential habitat for estuarine dependent fish species, according to Jay Leverone, PhD, SBEP's staff scientist. "The restoration also provides improved habitat for birds, reptiles and other wildlife," he added. "Local citizens have already reported seeing eagles, ospreys, a gopher tortoise, and numerous schools of small fish in the park."
Sarasota Bay Estuary Program is partnering with the City of Sarasota and Around the Bend Nature Tours to bring you this native planting event.
 A crowd of volunteers showed up to help.

John Sarkozy from SE American Littoral Society donated many of the plants
and Mary Jelks lent a hand.
Families working together to restore our back dune areas

Friday, July 8, 2011

Leathery sea squirt

Squeeze me, please.
Aim the siphon (lower left) away from you. 
Sea squirts are tunicates in the phylum Chordata.
  They are round gelatinous animals with two short siphons projecting from the body. 
Water laden with planktonic food is drawn into one of these tubes, 
the food is digested and the water is forced out the other tube.

Ruddy Turnstone in Winter Plummage

This photo was taken in March.
The turnstones often allow people to get up close.  We have several photos of turnstones on this blog which were taken at different times.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Holiday warning: Beware of flying Sturgeons

Editor's Note: We've encountered these fish when kayaking on the Suwanee .   They're for real!

Is this the weekend you want to go to the Bay?

- Sarasota Herald Tribuen

South Lido Beach Dune Flower - Seaside Gentian, Catchfly Gentian

This herbaceous annual grows to about 3 feet tall. It has gray green opposite leaves that clasp the stem.  Bloom time in Florida is December through August.
Catchfly gentian has fruits that are ellipsoid capsules and seeds that are small and globose.

Youth Sailing Classes

Youth Sailing Classes are in progress near the Sarasota Sailing Squadron on City Island

Friday, July 1, 2011

Spider Crab at Beer Can Island "Bay"

The spider crab is common in quiet, shallow estuarine water.  This recently expired specimen blends in with the vegetation at the "bay" which has formed on north Longboat Key.
Beer Can Bay

Friends of the Narcissus Meeting (Florida Underwater Archaeological Preserve)

The Florida Aquarium, 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa, Florida 33602
The Taylor Great Room (use the Business Entrance)
Wednesday July 13, 2011 from 6 to 8 p.m., free parking in Aquarium lot

Initial Meeting of the Friends of Narcissus to elect officers to the Board, approve the Mission Statement, gain public support for the nomination by submitting a letter with signatures to be sent to the US Navy, gauge interest and resources to form future Committees to address specific needs with creating the plaque, getting mooring buoys, public relations and site monitoring. This is an open meeting and The Florida Aquarium encourages everyone to invite others who are supportive of the SCUBA diving community, protecting Florida’s Archaeological Preserves and Tampa’s historical shipwrecks.

The creation of a Florida Underwater Archaeological Preserve at the wreck site of the USS Narcissus establishes a precedent for cooperation between the United States Navy, the State of Florida, residents around the Tampa Bay region and The Florida Aquarium.
As a war grave from the American Civil War the Narcissus represents far more than a simple ship loss site; it is indeed hallowed ground where 26 Union sailors were lost at sea and deserves reverence and honor, as well as, preservation.
The Florida Aquarium and the Friends of Narcissus are dedicated to preserving and interpreting the final resting place of this historic vessel, her crew and the vibrant and thriving ecosystem it has become for the diving community, as well as, the public at large with all of the dignity and respect that is due.