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, November 29, 2011

Tampa Bay, Sunshine State Parkway Rest Stop

We always stop at the rest area on the north end of the Sunshine State Parkway to stretch our legs.  There are picnic tables, restrooms, bay views and a couple of memorials to those who have died in shipwrecks on the Bay..  Those exotic Australian Pines provide welcome shade and large rocks have been brought in to prevent shore erosion. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

American Littoral Society News

COASTAL REPORTER                     November 2011
NJ Supreme Court rejects attempts to gut clean water regulations, but fight not over: The NJ Supreme Court has rejected a request from the developer's lobby to overturn a lower court decision upholding New Jersey regulations preventing sewers in environmentally sensitive areas. The American Littoral Society participated in the lawsuit as a friend of the court in defending the clean water regulations. The ink had not dried on the high court's rejection of the developer's request before the New Jersey legislature introduced a proposal to do what the developers wanted. The Littoral Society will continue its fight to prevent development in environmentally sensitive areas and will oppose this bill.  Read proposed bill
Society Fights Plan to Dump Toxic Chemicals into Jamaica Bay:  JFK International Airport has proposed a plan to increase the amount of toxic plane de-icing and other chemicals it dumps into Jamaica Bay. Don Riepe, Northeaset Chapter Director and Jamaica Bay Guardian opposed this plan at a recent meeting of the Jamaica Bay Task Force. To learn more

NJ Fertilizer Law Takes Effect: Help spread the word, not the fertilizer! As of November 15, NJ residents cannot apply fertilizers to their lawns until next spring. Commercial applicators of fertilizer have until December 1 to complete their customer service cycle of late Fall fertilization. Fertilizers cannot be applied onto lawns again until March 1st. NJ's Fertilizer Law was established as part of the Governor's 10-point action plan to restore and protect Barnegat Bay and is one of the most stringent fertilizer laws in the country. The Society played a key role in passing this law. To learn more

ALS LOGORestoring Shrewsbury Island:  Earlier this month, Society staff and members joined forces with volunteers from the J. M. Huber Corporation to remove marine debris from a dredge spoil island in the Shrewsbury-Navesink estuary, a few  miles south of Sandy Hook.

Call for Proposals: 6th National Conference on Coastal & Estuarine Habitat Restoration: The Restore America's Estuaries (RAE) National Program Committee is accepting proposals for dedicated sessions, presentations, & posters for this conference, which we co-host. To learn more...

 Celebrating 50 Years of Caring for the Coast

Casperson Beach Scenes

Sandpiper at Casperson Beach

It's not easy to tell the sandpipers apart.  Above is either a semipalmated sandpiper or a western sandpiper.  Black bills and feet, dark mottled back, and streaked breast, both are about the same size.  The books say that some "cherp" and some "cheep".  (My parakeet "cheeps".)

As task force prepares oil spill report, questions arise on who will pay to restore the gulf

- St. Petersburg Times

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wave barriers promise erosion control for wading bird habitat

- The  Observer News
(contributed by Naturelady, Apollo Beach)

Varnish Leaf

Having a  really pretty flower, this shrub was found on the near beach dunes at Caspersen Beach.  The Varnish Leaf usually grows to less than 10 feet tall.  
In Florida, it is restricted to coastal strand and coastal hammocks.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Casperson Beach: New Buildings still in progress

 Gulfside Pavillion
 Bayside Pavillion  (Restrooms?)

Beachside Pavillon

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sarasota Bay Watch Featured on "A Gulf Coast Journal"

This Thursday November 24, 2011, Thanksgiving evening, please join us in watching
"A Gulf Coast Journal" with Jack Perkins
on WEDU Channel 3 at 8:30 PM. 

  In August a production crew from "A Gulf Coast Journal" filmed the 4th Annual
Sarasota Bay Watch Scallop Search and president Rusty Chinnis speaking about the vision of Sarasota Bay Watch.  The segment will include footage from the Scallop Search and Sister Keys, as well as interviews with our board members John Ryan and Ed Chiles.

December Programs at Weedon Island Preserve

December Programs
Weedon Island Preserve Cultural and Natural History Center
1800 Weedon Dr. NE, St. Petersburg, Fl. 33702

Register at least 24 hours prior by visiting, and click on the “Events, Classes, & Hikes” button on the homepage.  Event information call (727) 453-6500. 

Salty Topics: Global Change in the 21st Century – Do Coral Reefs Have a Future?
Thursday, December 1, 2011, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Presented by Dr. Pam Hallock Muller of the University of South Florida College of Marine Science. Studying both the geologic record and modern coral reefs, students gain insight not only into environments of the past and present, but also the effects of human activities on future tropical benthic ecosystems. Their work has implications for cell biology, coral-reef ecology, environmental management, global environmental change, evolution, paleoceanography, sedimentology and hydrocarbon exploration.  Pre-Registration required.  Free

Weedon Walkabout
Saturday, December 3, 2011, 9:00am – 11:00am
Enjoy this guided walk through coastal mangrove and upland ecosystems of the preserve while learning about the coastal environment and the early residents of Weedon Island Preserve.  Water and a snack, along with a hat and closed toe shoes are recommended.  All ages welcome, children younger than 6 may find this hike challenging.  Pre-registration required.  Free

Wee-Time at Weedon
Thursday, December 8, 2011, 10:30am – 11:15am
In this week’s book, children will hear a great story about, Great Sharky Shark: A Tale of a Big Hunter, by Suzanne Tate.  Recommended for ages 3 to 5.  Pre-registration required.  Free

Great Weedon Bird Quest
Friday, December 9, 2011, 8:00 am – 10:00 am
Learn identifying marks and behaviors of the feathered year-round residents and seasonal visitors while helping to compile an annual checklist of the preserve’s birds.  Hikes are designed for all levels of birding experience.  Binoculars and bird guides are available.  Recommended for adults.  Pre-registration required.  Free

Holiday Arts and Crafts
Saturday, December 10, 2011, 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Enjoy creating special holiday decorations and gifts with Environmental Educator, Colleen Gray.  Pre-Registration required.  Free

Archaeology Lecture Series: Competition and Cooperation at Crystal River
Thursday, December 15, 2011, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Thomas Pluckhahn, PhD, presents a National Science Foundation project to examine the formation of early village societies using the important Crystal River site as a case study.  Pre-Registration required.  Free

Photography Hike
Saturday, December 17, 2011, 8:00 am – 10:00 am
After a brief classroom session, center volunteer guides highlight seasonal features of the preserve, as well as specific wildlife behaviors that help participants capture the natural beauty of Weedon Island preserve.  Recommended for Adults.  Pre-registration required.  Free

Weedon Walkabout
Saturday, December 17, 2011, 9:00am – 11:00am
Enjoy this guided walk through coastal mangrove and upland ecosystems of the preserve while learning about the coastal environment and the early residents of Weedon Island Preserve.  Water and a snack, along with a hat and closed toe shoes are recommended.  All ages welcome, children younger than 6 may find this hike challenging.  Pre-registration required.  Free

Monday, November 21, 2011

Feds scrub colored lobster trap line idea

- Florida Keys News

Roseate Spoonbill and White Ibis at Myakka River State Park

As you might expect, the spoonbill and white ibis are closely related.
To help confuse things, the immature white ibis is brown and
the immature roseate spoonbill is white.

 ...and some other water creatures (below) enjoying a pleasant cruise.
Photos by Peg Conklin

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Wood Ibis at Myakka River State Park

3-foot tall coastal wading storks, wood ibis are really ugly!  
Well, at least their heads are ugly.
They catch fish in shallow waters using "grope feeding". 
Touch their bill underwater and you get snapped up!
Photo by Peg Conklin

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Puerto Rico - View from Fort San Felipe del Morro

"Morro Castle" is a 16th-century citadel located on a peninsula
jutting out on San Juan Bay, Puerto Rico.   
The City of San Juan can be seen in the background. 
San Juan is the capital of Puerto Rico and  is the 
second oldest European-established city in the Americas.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Beach south of Ponce (town in south central Puerto Rico)

 4 feet long tarpon cruised by the shoreline docks waiting for handouts.
There are also many of these 5 inch wide red starfish
in shallow waters near docks.
 Lookout tower near picnic area
 Boat basin near beach....  Here, as in many places in Florida, 
Australian pines are used as a wind and water break 
on the outer rim of the bay.
What do you see in the background? A Thing of the Dead?
Looking south at the profile of Caja de Muertos Island off the south coast of Puerto Rico, 
which is so named because it looks like a coffin. The island is visited by 
tourist ferries and yachts, but is uninhabited.

Puerto Rico: A Southeast American Shoreline at Las Cabezas de San Juan Reserva

Lonely Planet review for Las Cabezas de San Juan Reserva Natural ‘El Faro’

"A 316-acre nodule of land on Puerto Rico’s extreme northeast tip, the Las Cabezas de San Juan Reserva Natural ‘El Faro’ protects an historic lighthouse, a bioluminescent bay, rare flora and fauna, lush rainforest, various trails and boardwalks, and an important scientific research center. Despite its diminutive size, the reserve shelters seven – yes seven – different ecological systems, including beaches, lagoons, dry forest, coral reefs and mangroves. Animal species that forage here include big ­iguanas, fiddler crabs, myriad insects and all kinds of birds. Such condensed biodiversity is typical of Puerto Rico’s compact island status and ‘Las Cabezas’ is highlighted as an integral part of the commonwealth’s vital – but dangerously threatened – northeast ­ecological corridor."

December 2011 Quiet Water 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(*) or a $5 donation to ALS. Cost is $20 members, $25 non-members unless otherwise noted. Trips into State parks require an additional entrance fee.

Dec 1     Myakka River State Park  8:30am - 11:30 am
Dec 4     Cockroach Bay State Park  10am-2pm $30mem-$35 non-mem
*Dec 7   Blackburn Pt. / Oscar Scherer State Park 10am-12:30pm
Dec 10  MYAKKA DAZE all day down the Myakka River $50 includes kayak -- $35 own kayak
    Call John for details.
Dec 17   Myakka River State Park  8:30am-11:30am
*Dec 18  South Lido Park/Bird Key 10am-1pm
Dec 23    Myakka River State Park  8:30am-11:30am
Dec 24    Myakka River State Park  8:30am-11:30am
*Dec 25 Little Sarasota Bay/Palmer Pt. Park  10am-1pm

Saturday, November 5, 2011

AH, a week's vacation....

to a more southeastern shoreline....
Puerto Rico with Road Scholar.
     - Marinell

Group funds ship's sinking

- Key West Online News

Friday, November 4, 2011

Saw palmettos at Oscar Scherer State Park

Shorebird walks with Audubon Society

 Lido Key

Saturday, Nov 5th: Kathryn Young (612-760-1771), leader. Meet at N. Lido parking area at 8am. Directions = Lido Key – follow John Ringling Dr. to the end small parking lot at very west end of J.Ringling Dr.  If you get to the public beach you have gone to far.  This small parking lot is right after N. Polk Dr.

 Anna Maria Island Shorebirds
Tuesday, Nov 15th: Dan Irrizary (305-585-5786) will help us find shorebirds. Meet at Holmes Beach parking area (where Rt 64 ends) at 8am.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Poison Ivy

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Blue Porterweed

All so familiar, blue porterweed 
is found in plantings at Siesta Beach park.
 They are drought tolerant evergreens, 
but may die back a little in winter.