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.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hidden Sarasota: Bay Preserve at Osprey

- Sarasota Herald Tribune

Zebra Longwing

Florida's State Butterfly....
The Zebra Longwing has disappeared from the southernmost tip of Florida due to loss of habitat, but can be seen  here mostly from December to February. 
It has a wide range of habitats, including hardwood hammocks, thickets, and gardens.  
This specimen was photographed amid beach debris.
The zebra longwing butterfly lays its eggs on passion vine leaves. Passion vines contain toxins that are consumed by the caterpillars, which make the adult butterflies poisonous to predators.
Photo by John Sarzoky

Casey Key shoreline -1951

Nokomis Beach is on south Casey Key.  Palmetto forests lined the shoreline of Casey as late as 1951.
Photos are from the "Florida Memory Collection" online.

Heavy dune system at Nokomis Middle Beach

Photo by John Sarkozy

Yellow Bluffs - Sarasota Shoreline , 1851

"In 1851, Bill Whitaker is granted the deed for his homestead on Yellow Bluff – a total of 144.81 acres. To this land, Whitaker added another 48.63 acres which he purchased from a fisherman who was moving back to Cuba. The total tract ranged from the city’s property north of 10th Street all the way to 33rd Street along the bay front. The cost? $1.25 per acre for the 48.63 acres. The rest was free."
     - Reprint from "Sarasota History Alive" (email news)
     - photo credit: Sarasota County History Center 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Frigate bird

The magnificent frigate bird is often seen flying high above Cortez, FL, in summer time. Some roost on the islands in Tampa Bay. The frigate bird photo here was taken by John Sarkozy near the beach in Naples, FL.

"Frigatebirds are large, with iridescent black feathers (the females have a white underbelly), with long wings (male wingspan can reach 2.3 metres) and deeply-forked tails. The males have inflatable red-coloured throat pouches called "gular pouches", which they inflate to attract females during the mating season.
Frigatebirds are found over tropical oceans and ride warm updrafts. Therefore, they can often be spotted riding weather fronts and can signal changing weather patterns.
These birds do not swim and cannot walk well, and cannot take off from a flat surface. Having the largest wingspan to body weight ratio of any bird, they are essentially aerial, able to stay aloft for more than a week, landing only to roost or breed on trees or cliffs.
As members of Pelecaniformes, frigatebirds have the key characteristics of all four toes being connected by the web, a gular sac (also called gular skin), and a furcula that is fused to the breastbone. Although there is definitely a web on the frigatebird foot, the webbing is reduced and part of each toe is free. Frigatebirds produce very little oil and therefore do not land in the ocean. The gu"lar sac is used as part of a courtship display and is, perhaps, the most striking frigatebird feature."  --

Divers find invasive lionfish in Gulf off Florida Panhandle

- Naples News

Monday, August 29, 2011

Dozens turn out to clean Keewaydin Island, raise awareness of litter

- Naples News

White Beach Morning Glory

Ipomoea imperati  is similar to the lavender morning glory, but has shorter runners.
These beauties were photographed by John Sarkozy at middle beach Nokomis.

Slash pines

A group of 3 gallon slash pines were planted by John Sarkozy
at the middle beach in Nokomis.
They're.part of the Hammocks of Nokomis Waterways project.
Aug 2011.
Historically, slash pines were a major resource for the naval stores industry. Pines produced turpentine and crude rosins that were used for a variety of purposes.
A 2 year old slash pine was added to existing pines.
It may live as long as 200 years.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

EVENTS: SE Littoral Society

If you are having trouble getting to
Try the link below:

Hopefully, the problem will be solved this coming Monday or Tuesday.

Black Mangrove "Fruit" in season at Ken Thompson Park

White flowers preceded the seeds.  Black mangroves are the ones with leaves that are coated with excreted salt.  Fresh water is not needed to grow.  The trees have vertical "snorkel roots" to "breathe" through.

Algae bloom growing in Tampa Bay

- Sarasota Herald Tribune

Saturday, August 27, 2011

County hosts marine rescue headquarters open house
- Anna Maria Islander

Photos Needed

Send in your shoreline scene and flora and fauna photos and photo reports. 
This blogger can't do it all by herself.

Send to

September Kayak Trips

 Sept 3 - Little Sarasota Bay / Palmer Point Park   8:30 am - 11:30 am
......  and lots more.

Look for Events at

Leisurely paddling and observation at a variety of sites difficult to visit by any other means. Kayak, paddle, life vest, etc supplied. If you haven’t used a kayak before, a short training session before the trip will get you going.
Call John at (941)966-7308 for reservations. Members who own a kayak and life vests are welcome to go on trips marked with an asterisk(*) for a $5 donation to ALS. Cost is $20 members, $25 non-members unless otherwise noted. Trips into State parks require an additional entrance fee.

Scallop search turns up great numbers (Pine Island Sound/San Carlos Bay)

-Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Blue Crab

This blue crab was caught in a cast net on City Island, Sarasota.

Friday, August 26, 2011

New Pass Grill

First stop on left on Frank Thompson Parkway, City Island, Sarasota...
Driving North from downtown Lido Key, turn just before the bridge over New Pass,  The fish is great,  but I always have onion rings.
Many folks come in by boat.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hurricane effects on coastlines

The storm could be disastrous for turtle nests in the sand,   Storm surge coinciding with high tide is a scenario that could wash eggs out to sea where they will never hatch.

Here's a Florida Shore & Beach Preservation Association report on the effects of Hurricane Charlie on the SW Florida Coastline focusing on Lee County:

Kayak - Bye, bye Beauty

This sexy Viking model kayak is over at Silent Sports Outfitters in Osprey.
It is FOR SALE...proceeds to Southeast American Littoral Society.
(We'll try to find a better photo.)

Science needs Snook

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Friday, August 19, 2011


SHARE THE SHORE From Montauk to Delaware BaySaturday, August 20, 2011  
 Help mark our 50 years of caring for the coast and kick off our next half century by joining shore lovers from Montauk to Delaware Bay to show the world your favorite coastal place, what you love to do there, and what needs to be done to protect or restore it. NOT TOO LATE TO SIGN UP FOR THIS FREE EVENT! To learn more

-American Littoral Society ,

American Littoral Society celebrates 50 years of fighting for our environment

Siesta Key Beach Access #12 at Old Stickney Pt. Rd. is closed

Siesta Key Beach Access #12 at Old Stickney Pt. Rd. is closed for renovations. Work on the parking lot is scheduled through Sept. 3, 2011.

Siesta Public Beach: Number 1 in the Nation

(Click on image to better read)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Teens 4 Oceans

Jellyfish launch seasonal invasion of South Florida beaches


The white, pink or red flowers grow in clusters at the end of each branch; Oleander grows well in warm subtropical regions.  The above plant at Siesta Beach was over 8 ft tall. 
Oleander is one of the most poisonous of commonly grown garden plants.

Siesta Beach Pavillion: You are now entering a Blue Wave Beach

The Blue Wave Campaign is America's first environmental certification for beaches.  Qualifying beaches fly the Blue Wave flag- the symbol of clean and well-managed beaches.

Blue Wave beaches pledge to uphold the following responsible beach management practices.
  • water quality
  • beach and intertidal conditions
  • safety
  • services
  • habitat conservation
  • public information / education
  • erosion management

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Squid on North Lido Beach

This dead squid washed up on North Lido Beach. It was about 1 foot long.  The eyes can be seen between the tentacles and the main body.  Blood rushed to the surface of the body making the grayish animal appear reddish.

"The Caribbean Reef Squid is found throughout the Caribbean Sea as well as off the coast of Florida, commonly in small schools of 4-30 in the shallows associated with reefs. The habitat of the Reef Squid changes according to the squid's stage of life and size. New hatchlings tend to reside close to the shore in areas from 0.2-1 meters below the surface on or under vegetation. Young small squid typically congregate in shallow turtle grass near islands and remain several centimeters to two meters from the surface to avoid bird predators. Adults venture out into open water and can be found in depths up to 100 m. When mating, adults are found near coral reefs in depths of 1.5-8 m. The Caribbean Reef Squid is the only squid species commonly sighted by divers over inshore reefs in the Florida, Bahamas and Caribbean region." --


 We all love periwinkles and they love the sun and sand.

From "Gulf to Lagoon" at Blind Pass Beach

Guided Walks from "Gulf to Lagoon" at Blind Pass Beach on the following dates:
Nov.11 (Veteran's Day)            
Jan. 16 (MLK's Birthday)           
Feb. 20 (President's Day)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sarasota Bay scallop count down again
- Sarasota Herald Tribune

Sarasota Bay Watch Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

Monofilament Cleanup

October 01, 2011
Monofilament Cleanup - Seabird Rescue

Sister Keys Cleanup 2012

April 21, 2012
Sister Keys Cleanup 2012

Live Bay Scallop (August 2008)

The bay scallop grows to 3".  One valve is white, the other dark.  Once common in Tampa Bay, they then vanished.  This is the first one Dave Bulloch saw in Sarasota Bay in eleven years of seining.
We hope that Sarasota Bay Watch's 4th Annual Great Scallop Search  found  a few scallops today. 

Note the blue scallop eyes in the close-up above. (Above photos by Dave Bulloch)
The closer-up photo below is from a Duke University Physics website.

"Scallops have eyes (the blueberry-like object on right) that instead use reflection of light by a curved spherical mirror to form an image."  --

Friday, August 12, 2011

Gulf crab

Callinectes similis  (male)
Three other species  look like the gulf crab and are difficult to tell apart. All have four “teeth” between their eyes whereas the blue crab has two.  The Gulf crab is noticeably smaller than the  Blue crab at maturity. --Photos by Dave Bulloch

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Starfish on Sarasota Bay

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is located in Sarasota, Florida. It opened in 1969   
 and is shaped like a starfish.  The purple and lavender color scheme was suggested by Frank Lloyd Wright's widow.  
This photo was take from the fishing pier under the Ringling Causeway.

Scientists unsure of cause of Collier fish kill

- Sarasota Herald Tribune

Scallop Search Reminder

PURPOSE OF EVENT: Help to monitor annually the number of scallops in bay waters and support scientists at the Florida Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI).
This is a NO HARVEST event.

WHEN:  Saturday, August 13, 2011 from 8:00am - 12:30pm

              8am - Caption's meeting;  9am-12:30pm - Scallop Search   
              12:30pm - complimentary lunch at Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant

WHERE: Mar Vista Restaurant, 760 Broadway Street, North Longboat Key

WHAT TO BRING:  Sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, mask, snorkel and water shoes (fins optional). Boats limited to 50, kayaks welcome! No boat? Sign on as a crew member!

Participants will be equipped and trained on how to search for scallops in seagrass.  Experts from the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) will be on hand to answer questions and there will be a touch tank on display.  Come by boat to the Mar VIsta dock. By car, park on the streets in Longboat Key Village where parking is allowed.  Please try not to park in the restaurant parking lot and park considerately in the Village.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sarasota Bridge Park, Fishing Pier and John Ringling Bridge

Photo: Hart's Landing & Capt. Terry Reelin and Chillin Charters

August Kayak Trips

Leisurely paddling and observation at a variety of sites difficult to visit by any other means. Kayak, paddle, life vest, etc supplied. If you haven’t used a kayak before, a short training session before the trip will get you going.
Call John at (941)966-7308 for reservations. Members who own a kayak and life vests are welcome to go on trips marked with an asterisk(*) for a $5 donation to ALS. Cost is $20 members, $25 non-members unless otherwise noted. Trips into State parks require an additional entrance fee.

Aug 7              Bird Key / South Lido Park
Aug 10             Nokomis Waterways
Aug 17             Sunset/Moonlight Paddle
Aug 20             Palmer point/ Little Sarasota Bay
Aug 21             Palmer Point/ Little Sarasota Bay
Aug 24             Stump Pass State Park
Aug 28             Bird Key / South Lido Park
Aug 31             Sister Keys / Longboat Key

Save the Date: Sarasota Bay Watershed Symposium 2012