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.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Just one of LOU NEWMAN's photos and his commentary

Hi!  My name is “Willie.”  I am a Least Tern so that is “Willie Least Tern” for your information.  The first image is a picture of me on the beach with my Mom; Well, actually I am just an egg in the picture :>)   It will be 21 days until I hatch.  Mom and Dad are one of 15 pairs of Least Terns in our “colony.”  We started out with 15 scrapes (nests), most of which contained two eggs.  Predators, mainly crows and ghost crabs, got the eggs in three of the scrapes.  The remaining dozen pairs of adults successfully hatched 21 chicks.  To say we were precocious at hatching is an understatement.  Mom and Dad were often at their wits end trying to keep track of us.  At first we would run back to the scrape or Mom would chase us and dig a new scrape so we could huddle under her, but as we became more venturesome they would simply come back with a fish and call and look for us until they found us.  Unfortunately, during the first few days we were very vulnerable to being seized by ghost crabs and gulls.  Some of my “classmates” ventured too close to nearby Black Skimmer scrapes and were driven off or killed by the skimmers.  Now that was scary.  Only ten of us made it to two weeks of age, but we grew fast and were flying by three weeks.  Although we were still being fed by our parents, at four weeks we were flying all over the beach and out over the water.  Learning to hover and dive for fish is next if we are to survive.  I am ready!
Images by Lou Newman, Sarasota, FL, USA.  May & June, 2012.
Web Site:

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bay Guardians to Plant Natives at North Lido Beach Park

Our group of student and adult volunteers will be planting native plants at North Lido Beach Park on Saturday, July 14. The group will include 20 middle school students from the Duke University Talent Identification Program, a marine biology summer camp focused on estuaries and marshes. Bay Guardian volunteers planted more than 2,000 plants last year at the same site.

The new tidal tributary at North Lido Beach Park was completed in March 2011. The restoration project improved 30 acres on the 70 acre site. The effort removed non-native vegetation, excavated the tidal wetland, contoured the upland area, created dunes, and planted thousands of native plants. The tidal wetland was created to provide essential habitat for estuarine dependent fish species. 

This is the fourth Bay Guardian outing for 2012. Prior volunteer projects occurred at Emerson Point Preserve in Manatee County, North Water Tower Park in Sarasota County and Quick Point Preserve on Longboat Key.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


SARASOTA, FL – The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP) is continuing to do habitat restoration at FISH Preserve, a 100-acre parcel adjacent to Sarasota Bay within the Village of Cortez in Manatee County. The latest plan includes the removal of exotic plants later this fall followed by the conversion of two stormwater retention ponds into additional wetland habitat. New creeks, ponds and trails will also be created as part of the plan. The project is expected to take up to two years to complete. Dr. Jay Leverone, the SBEP Staff Scientist, will manage the project.

FISH is an acronym for Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage, a non-profit organization that purchased the property in 1999 to help restore, conserve and protect the upland and wetland habitats and adjacent waters. The ongoing restoration at FISH Preserve is supported by major funding from the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD).

The first phase of the large-scale restoration project was completed in 2009 and involved the removal of exotic vegetation, creation of a tidal wetland, and mangrove restoration. Last year, two bridges were constructed to connect hiking trails thanks to support from the Bonefish Grill. Volunteers with the SBEP Bay Guardians, including students from Martha B. King Middle School in Bradenton, have completed small projects that support the restoration plan.

The restoration will increase wetland acreage, improve tidal circulation, and reestablish natural water flow. Exotic Brazilian pepper and Australian pine trees that currently dominate the landscape will be cleared and replaced with native trees and shrubs. Trash piles will also be removed.

The Florida Department of Community Affairs designated Cortez a Waterfront Community in 1997. Since that time, the community has worked to preserve their community through policy change, land acquisition, the development of a maritime museum, and other projects. The creation of the FISH Preserve is a cornerstone of the longer term preservation plan.

Saturday, June 9, 2012


Island Beach State Park, Seaside, New Jersey
September 20 - 23, 2012

     This 51st annual meeting of the Society will be held at Seaside Park, NJ, starting Thursday evening, September 20, and ending Sunday, September 23. As usual, the long weekend is an excuse to get out into littoral territory to see nature in action.

Headquarters will be at the Island Beach Motor Lodge, almost directly next to Island Beach State Park.
A great deal of our time will be spent on Island Beach State Park exploring beach areas, trails on both the ocean and bay side, looking for migrating birds, shelling, and enjoying a kayak trip (must have kayaked before) along the bay side of the Park. Fishermen bring your rods, swimmers your bathing suits, and birders your binoculars. Trips will run from Friday a.m. through Saturday p.m., with breakfast on Sunday morning.

NOTE: The weekend is informal including dress.....Field trips go rain or shine.....  This area has no public transportation - try and carpool or join someone else going from your area. If you are willing to take another member let us know. Cost is based on double occupany.

Mail to: American Littoral Society, 18 Hartshorne Dr., Ste 1, Highlands, NJ 07732
If you do not plan on kayaking deduct $20 off the cost of the weekend.

Plan A: 3 nights at Island Beach Motor Lodge, all meals-- Fri a.m. to Sun a.m.:
$375 per adult - $150 per child under 12.   Total: $________________   Kayaking ___Yes ___No

Plan B: 2 nights at Island Beach Motor Lodge, all meals-Fri lunch to Sun a.m.:
$325 per adult - $135 per child under 12.   Total: $________________   Kayaking ___Yes ___No

Plan C: Commuters....everything except rooms, meals Fri a.m. to Sun a.m.:
$255 per adult - $150 per child under 12. Total: $________________   Kayaking ___Yes   ___No



City:____________________, State___________ Zip________

Phone day_______________________________


 Yes____   No____   Check to receive all information by email or enclose  a check for $_________ and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to mail confirmation, directions, and details if not using email. Questions: ask Pat - 732-291-0055 or

Monday, June 4, 2012

Bay Partners Grants

Sarasota Bay Estuary Program has awarded eight local organizations grants through its annual Bay Partners Grant Program. The local recipients include the City of Sarasota, Florida House, Founder’s Garden Club of Sarasota, Nature’s Academy, Sunbow Bay Condominium Association, Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota Bay Watch, and Keep Manatee Beautiful.

SBEP has awarded more than $213,000 to support 109 local grant requests since 2003. Recipients have included many area schools, non-profit organizations, condominium associations, and other groups. All of the grants have supported projects that focus on Bay Education, Bay Restoration or Bay-Friendly Landscaping.