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4/18/2014

Register now for "Ag Module 2014: Innovation in the Water Space"

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On April 24 and 25, Florida Earth, in partnership with Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD), University of Florida IFAS, Florida Farm Bureau and Crystal Springs Preserve, will host the SWFWMD Edition of the Ag Module Series.

​What: The Ag Module: SWFWMD Edition
When: April 24 & 25, 2014, 8:30 AM to 4 PM each day
Where: Crystal Springs Preserve, Crystal Springs, Florida
Cost: $95 for the first day, $195 for both days

The first day of the two-day forum will be held at beautiful Crystal Springs Preserve just south of Zephyrhills, northeast of Tampa, and will feature speakers addressing agriculture's interaction with water and programs designed to enhance stewardship in this space. The second day will be in the field visiting sites talked about on the first day including a tour of the UF IFAS Gulf Coast Research & Education Center and SMR Farms. For agenda and registration, visit the link below.

Featured Speakers:
• Craig Stanley (UF/IFAS)
• Ernie Cox: Family Lands
• Mac Carraway: SMR Farms
• Eric DeHaven: SWFWMD
• Michelle Hopkins: SWFWMD
• Robert Thomas: Two Rivers Ranch

Draft agenda and online registration

4/17/2014

Bay Guardians plant thousands of native plants at Perico Preserve

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Photo: Bay Guardian volunteers included Felicia Burks and her family. Ms. Burks is the Program Manager for NEP, under the EPA.

SARASOTA – The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP) Bay Guardian volunteers planted thousands of Florida-native plants April 12 at Perico Preserve. More than 100 volunteers including boy scouts, girl scouts and a 4H group installed 12,000 plugs of marsh grass that were donated by FWC Redfish Hatchery at Port Manatee. Perico Preserve is located on the west side of Manatee County near Anna Maria Island.

The project was the fourth volunteer outing for the Bay Guardians in 2014. Prior projects were completed at Bowlees Creek Island, Jiggs Landing and Arlington Park.

The Bay Guardians are the largest and most active volunteer program in the region focused on Sarasota Bay. The award-winning program is managed by SBEP in partnership with Around the Bend Nature Tours. New volunteers receive a blue tee shirt featuring the Bay Guardians logo. Each outing features environmental education and a picnic lunch. Join the Bay Guardians for a single project or as an ongoing commitment. Local school, scout and church groups interested in volunteering should contact Sara Kane.

Learn More about Perico Preserve

4/17/2014

Plan to inject Piney Point water into aquifer raises concerns

By Eric Ernst

MANATEE COUNTY – A plan to inject water from the Piney Point gypsum stacks into the Floridan aquifer has raised protests not only from environmentalists but also from Manatee County farmers who fear it could contaminate drinking and irrigation wells.

“We've sat and watched it go on for years, the algal blooms in Tampa Bay. Now the latest is they want to pump it down our aquifer. This is where I have to stand up and say, 'This isn't right,'” Alan Jones said Wednesday.

Jones, the owner of Jones Potato Farm, cultivates 3,700 acres of potatoes, green beans and citrus about five miles from the proposed well site at Port Manatee.

At a Florida Department of Environmental Protection permit hearing scheduled for Wednesday evening in Bradenton, officials from DEP and the county are expected to review the plan and try to allay concerns.

In November, Manatee County Utilities applied for two permits. The first, for two Class V wells, has drawn no opposition. It would allow the utility to inject 15 million gallons of treated wastewater into the aquifer each day.

Continued in the Herald Tribune...

4/16/2014

Parts of Kingfish Boat Ramp on Anna Maria Island to close 6 weeks for repairs

HOLMES BEACH -- Sections of the Kingfish boat ramp in Holmes Beach will be closed for about six weeks beginning Wednesday, April 23, while crews make repairs following recent damage, according to Manatee County government.

Alan Lai Hipp, environmental program manager with Manatee Parks and Natural Resources, said crews will replace the understructure and decking of the docks at the ramp, a news release states.

"The aging eastern dock section was recently damaged, possibly from an impact by a large vessel or barge. Other sections of the docks are also very aged so the decision was made to update all of them at this time," the release states.

Lai Hipp said Kingfish, 752 Manatee Ave. W., will remain open throughout the six-week project. At times, one or more of the launch lanes will be closed while work is done on the adjacent docks.

The repair work is intended to keep the docks safe and functional until a major renovation project scheduled for the fall of 2015, according to the county.

Continued in the Bradenton Herald...

4/16/2014

Three new PSAs from Sarasota County urge watershed protection

Sarasota County has produced three new 30-second public service announcements to educate residents about the importance of watershed protection and how stormwater runoff can negatively affect surface water quality. Watch them here or find them on the Sarasota County Water Atlas website's video gallery.

"Runoff Isn't Cute"

"More Time for Fun"

"Scoop the Poop"

4/15/2014

Do you know what to do if you hook a pelican?

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Photo by C. Frank Starmer

Catch fish, not pelicans! With just a little extra attention to your surroundings, you and your pelican friends can both have a great day out on the water.

The brown pelican is now a common sight on the coasts. Pelicans eat smaller fish that are not preferred by recreational fishermen and that are not commercially important. Pelicans are protected by federal and state laws.

A brown pelican’s keen eyesight allows it to spot fish from high in the air. Plunge-diving for fish is their specialty. After surfacing and draining water from its pouch, the pelican swallows its well-deserved catch. Even though pelicans are large birds with broad wingspans, their feathers and hollow bones are very light, exquisitely designed for agile and expert flight.

Entanglement in fishing gear may be their number one enemy, leading to slow death from dehydration and starvation. Bony fish scraps are also a killer, tearing the pouch or lodging in the throat. Feeding pelicans draws them to fishing areas and puts them in danger. Shorebirds, storks, herons, terns and gulls are also casualties. We can all help keep pelicans alive and healthy.

Audubon Florida has produced a handy brochure that gives step-by-step instructions for safely removing a fishing hook from a pelican or other shore bird. Print it out and keep one in your tackle box… Just in case!

"What to do if you hook a pelican" brochure

4/14/2014

Register now for STEM Outdoors

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Dates: June 16 through 20, 2014
Time: 8 AM to 4 PM (start times may vary due to field trip locations and travel)
Where: Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center, Alligator Creek Preserve, 10941 Burnt Store Road, Punta Gorda, FL 33955
Cost: $25 (checks to be made out to CHEC)
To register, visit the link below.
Registration deadline: June 6, 2014

Participants will receive:

  • Newly published Aquatic WILD and WET 2.0 Manuals
  • Project Learning Tree EE Manual

For further information: Contact Eileen Tramontana at 941-575-5435

Dress comfortably. Daily bring a bag lunch, snack, and water bottle!

Print-friendly flyer… Invite a friend!

Take a walk on the WILD side with us!

The Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center is offering a fun-filled, 5-day institute for educators that combines field experiences with classroom activities. Participants visit different fresh and salt water, and upland ecosystems to compare and contrast the habitats, fisheries, water, and wildlife under the tutelage of experts. To become truly effective with STEM, educators need to build their skills and learn how to incorporate their learning into classroom activities. This Institute will help you do that.

Participants will be given an opportunity to:

  • Acquire and then use STEM content skills while at the same time providing a real world application of science.
  • Develop an understanding of the complexity of sustainability issues by comparing and contrasting vastly different ecosystems.
  • Produce a plan to deliver active, interdisciplinary, and enriching educational experiences for their students using the outdoors as a key resource.
  • Identify, select, and address appropriate Florida Curriculum Standards in STEM outdoor activity planning.

Instructors are from: Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center, Florida Gulf Coast University, UF Program of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, UF School of Forest Resources and Conservation, and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network.

Click here for FAQs and online registration...

4/14/2014

Seasonal manatee speed zones in effect statewide

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Now that weather and waters are warming, manatees are disbursing into their popular feeding and loafing areas. To ensure manatee safety, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) law enforcement officers, along with federal and local law enforcement partners, will be increasing patrols in these areas.

This effort coincides with seasonal manatee zones that went into effect April 1 and run through Nov. 15. The speed zones are intended to protect the state’s official marine mammal from collisions with boats.

Warming weather increases boat traffic too, which is why the FWC also reminds operators of boats and personal watercraft to slow down and watch out for manatees in springs, rivers and Atlantic and Gulf waters. The state’s lumbering “sea cows” are leaving the warmer enclaves such as freshwater springs, power plant outflows and canals, where they spent the winter, and migrating into more open waters.

Boaters should pay strict attention to signs that delineate each seasonal manatee protection zone and their boat’s speed. For information on manatee protection zones and maps, go to MyFWC.com/Manatee and select “Protection Zones.” That page contains a link for county maps; select “Click here for maps of these areas.”

In addition to obeying speed regulations, boaters and operators of personal watercraft can avoid collisions with these large marine mammals by:

  • Wearing polarized sunglasses to help spot the creatures in the water.
  • Watching for large, telltale circles on the water’s surface (manatee footprints) indicating the presence of manatees.
  • Looking for a snout just above the surface.
  • Slowing down when the presence of manatees is indicated.

Boaters and others who find sick or injured manatees should report the animal and its location to the Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922.

For more information about Florida manatees, visit MyFWC.com/Manatee, where you can access the Boaters Guide To Living With Manatees brochure.

4/9/2014

Sarasota County & North Port issue RFP seeking operator for Warm Mineral springs

SARASOTA COUNTY – Sarasota County and the city of North Port have begun an international campaign seeking prospective long-term vendors to operate and/or develop Warm Mineral Springs, 12200 San Servando Ave., North Port.

Advertisements seeking proposals for consideration have been placed in both print and online newspapers and trade publications. Prospective bidder requests for further information must be submitted online no later than May 12, 2014, to https://eprocure.scgov.net. Completed bid packages must be submitted online no later than May 23, 2014, to https://eprocure.scgov.net.

The request for solicitation has also been advertised in Sarasota County Procurements new BidSync online system. BidSync allows Sarasota County Procurement to advertise solicitations to a national database of more than 750,000 qualified suppliers and service providers nationwide. For more information contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000 or email Carmen Gomez.

Learn more about Warm Mineral Springs

Contact Information
Sarasota County Call Center
phone: 941-861-5000.
4/9/2014

Sarasota County selected by UN to host World Environment Day in North America

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SARASOTA COUNTY – Sarasota County has been selected by the United Nations Environment Programme's Regional Office for North America (UNEP RONA) as the official North American host community for World Environment Day (WED) 2014.

Established in 1972 and celebrated every year in more than 100 countries on June 5, WED is one of the UN's primary vehicles through which it stimulates environmental awareness and action worldwide. The awareness campaign comprises more than a single day of concentrated efforts. WED, which launches on Earth Day, April 22, offers North America a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between two important days on the global environment calendar, and provides the community a six-week period during which they can organize activities and events culminating on June 5.

According to UNEP RONA, Sarasota County was selected because of its positive and proactive environmental track record. The WED theme is Small Island Developing States, and Sarasota, which is itself a coastal community, faces similar environmental challenges as small island nations.

"We are impressed by the number of innovative environmental protection initiatives undertaken by Sarasota County," said UNEP RONA Acting Director Elliot Harris. "The 21st century has been a game changer for the county, and the leadership shown on the sustainability front by its citizens has been exemplary, and we look forward to engaging the support of Sarasota's numerous institutions and other partners in the upcoming WED celebrations."

Sarasota County's long legacy as one of the nation's leading sustainable communities committed to the environment has a balanced approach using education, incentives and policy from government combined with initiatives from citizens and community organizations.

The WED program and events in Sarasota County will be shared and highlighted on the Sarasota County WED webpage at and will give the world a unique opportunity to learn more about the county and its environmental initiatives and programs.

"Sarasota County is a 'lighthouse' community, and we look forward to this opportunity to serve as a guiding light for other coastal communities searching for environmental best practices. Plus, we embrace this worldwide platform as a chance to learn from other communities facing similar environmental concerns," said Sarasota County Commission Chair Charles D. Hines.

One of the county's programs, the Green Business Partnership (GBP), provides technical assistance, certification and marketing support to local businesses and nonprofits of all size in their efforts to improve the sustainability of their operations. To date, about 200 area businesses have achieved the GBP certification, reducing energy, water use and waste generation from the private sector.

Sarasota County was the first county in the country to adopt the American Institute of Architects 2030 Challenge to design and construct new buildings to be carbon neutral by 2030.

Sarasota County has the third highest number of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) projects per capita in Florida. In 2005, Sarasota County was the first county in Florida to make a commitment that all new construction and major renovations would meet green buildings standards. The county followed up that promise by being the first Florida county to have a certified green local government building with the completion of the Twin Lakes Office Complex.

More than a third of Sarasota County's land is under preservation as a result of acquisitions by both county and state agencies. About half the world's population lives within 124 miles of a coastline, according to UN Atlas of the Oceans. Almost 40 percent of the United States' total population lives in coastal shoreline communities like Sarasota County, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) State of the Coast.

"The environment knows no borders," said Tom Harmer, Sarasota County administrator. "And we welcome the world's spotlight on our community. One of our community's goals is to be environmental stewards, and we are steadfast in our commitment. We recognize that our local actions and decisions will have a ripple effect that surpasses our county boundaries."

For more information and about Sarasota County and WED, visit Sarasota County WED webpage or call the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000. ​

World Environment Day website

4/9/2014

Sharks sense prey in surprising ways during pioneering study

By Hayley Rutger, Mote Marine Laboratory

SARASOTA – A team of scientists have unmasked the intricacies of how sharks hunt prey—from the first whiff to the final chomp—in a new study about shark senses that was supported by the National Science Foundation and published in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE.

The study, led by scientists from the University of South Florida, Mote Marine Laboratory and Boston University, is the first to show how vision, touch, smell and other senses combine to guide a detailed series of animal behaviors from start to finish. Results show that sharks with different lifestyles may favor different senses, and they can sometimes switch when their preferred senses are blocked. That’s hopeful news for sharks trying to find food in changing and sometimes degraded environments.

Nose plugs were used to block the sense of smell on a blacktip shark in the study.

“This is undoubtedly the most comprehensive multi-sensory study on any shark, skate or ray,” said Philip Motta, a USF biology professor and internationally-recognized shark expert who co-authored this study.

Continued on news.usf.edu...

4/7/2014

Senate committee approves estuary reauthorization bill

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Legislation Would Reauthorize Program First Established by Sen. John Chafee

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee today approved the Clean Estuaries Act of 2014, introduced by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), to reauthorize the National Estuary Program (NEP). The legislation, crafted with Committee Ranking Member David Vitter (R-LA), was approved with bipartisan support. The program was first established in 1987 by the late Republican Senator John Chafee to protect and restore estuarine habitats threatened by pollution and overdevelopment. Authorization for this important program expired in 2010.

“Estuaries are important for fisheries and wildlife, for tourism and recreation, and they are disappearing,” Whitehouse said. “Estuaries also provide buffers against dangerous winds and storm surges, protecting homes and critical infrastructure in our coastal communities. Protecting and strengthening our estuaries is our defense against these threats, and our way of protecting the economic and social value they provide.”

Although the program expired in 2010, it has continued to receive funding through the congressional appropriations process. Reauthorizing the law, however, provides an opportunity to make needed improvements to the program. Whitehouse’s legislation would maintain the funding authorization for the NEP at $35 million per year while also limiting the amount of the funding that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – which administers the program – can use for overhead. This change will help ensure that more funds are directed straight to the field programs.

Source: News release from Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)

4/3/2014

Charlotte Harbor Coastal Awareness Day event promotes community resilience

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The Nature Conservancy in Florida is hosting Charlotte Harbor Coastal Awareness Day on Saturday, April 26 from 10 am – 3 pm at Laishley Park Municipal Marina. This family-friendly event highlights Punta Gorda’s efforts to become a more resilient coastal community. Learn about the Conservancy’s work in Punta Gorda to restore oyster reefs, volunteer to make oyster mats, and meet leaders in the city who are planning ahead for sea level rise.

Coastal Awareness Day highlights the Conservancy’s efforts to develop natural solutions to help coastal communities weather the impacts of storms and prepare for sea level rise in Florida. The Nature Conservancy is collaborating with the Florida DEP-Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserves, Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program, and the City of Punta Gorda to create oyster reef habitat adjacent to Trabue Harborwalk – and you can help!

Join us on April 26 at Laishley Park Municipal Marina to get your hands dirty and experience first-hand the power of communities working together to return critical oyster reef habitat to Charlotte Harbor. Volunteers will help prepare oyster mats for deployment in Charlotte Harbor and learn how Punta Gorda is leading the way in buffering its coast against storms and sea-level rise.

Charlotte Harbor Coastal Awareness Day is hosted by The Nature Conservancy and the City of Punta Gorda, with support from Florida Weekly and WCGU – Southwest Florida Public Broadcasting. For details, visit www.nature.org/coastalawarenessday.

WHAT: Charlotte Harbor Coastal Awareness Day
WHEN: Saturday, April 26, 2014, 10 am – 3 pm
WHERE: Laishley Park Municipal Marina, 120 Laishley Ct., Punta Gorda, FL 33950

A Family Friendly Event — No RSVP Necessary

Schedule of Activities:
  • Oyster Mat Making: 10 am–3 pm
  • Kid’s Craft Station: 10 am–3 pm
  • Nature Can Help! Panel Discussion hosted by John Davis of WGCU: 11 am–noon
    • Christine Shepard – Director of Science, Gulf of Mexico Program, The Nature Conservancy
    • Laura Geselbracht – Senior Marine Scientist, Florida Chapter, The Nature Conservancy
    • Joan LeBeau – Chief Planner, City of Punta Gorda
    • Lisa Beever – Director, Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program
  • Coastal Resilience 2.0 (There’s an app for that): 1:30 pm–2 pm

Contact Information
Rocio Johnson, Marketing Manager, The Nature Conservancy, rocio_johnson@tnc.org
phone: (305) 432-2440.
http://www.nature.org/florida/
4/3/2014

Environmentalists fight proposed bill that reduces local control of water resources

By Jessie Van Berkel

TALLAHASSEE — Environmentalists across Florida are on edge as a bill that would reduce local control over environmental protection moves through the state Legislature.

The House bill would limit counties’ ability to enforce regulations on springs, stormwater and wetlands adopted after July 2003, and allow local government officials to change their long-range growth plans with a simple majority vote. Currently, if Sarasota County and other communities change their plans, by increasing density in a certain area, for example, a supermajority — four of the five commissioners — must support the move.

The bill would also allow for decades-long water use permits to be granted to major developments on rural land.

“This bill not only wreaks havoc with the environment, it hits at our ability to have local control,” said Gerry Swormstedt, a conservation chairwoman for the Manatee-Sarasota Group of the Sierra Club.

Continued in the News-Journal Online...

4/2/2014

New! Learn about oyster and beach monitoring programs in Sarasota County

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Just added to the Sarasota County Water Atlas are two new features designed to keep the public informed about environmental monitoring efforts by the County to ensure good water quality.

The new Oyster Mapping & Monitoring section of the Atlas has general information about the eastern oyster,Crassotrea virginica—its life cycle, how it affects and is affected by water quality, global threats and restoration efforts—and describes the habitats and locations where oysters may be found in Sarasota County's bays and creeks. The results of two different monitoring efforts are provided: one of these mapped the types and location of oyster habitat, and the other monitored the health of oysters in different locations in the County. The interactive map provided graphically displays these results. The section also has links to research papers and websites with information about oysters and how environmental managers around the world are working to restore their habitat.

Also new is the Beach Action Plan page. It describes the efforts of Sarasota County and its partners (the Sarasota and Manatee County Health Departments, the Town of Longboat Key, the Cities of Sarasota and Venice, and the Englewood Water District) to establish an "Action Plan" to minimize adverse human health impacts from bacteria exposure and avert "No-Swim Advisories" at County beaches. The project produced individual "sanitary surveys" for 16 area beaches that map potential sources of water contamination; project partners monitor these regularly to ensure swimmer safety. You can view the survey maps, read the full "Beach Bacteria Incident Action Plan", see photos of the beaches, and find out about beach amenities on this useful page. Also provided are links to research papers and websites about beach water quality and monitoring.

Learning & Education Tools on the Sarasota County Water Atlas

3/31/2014

Federal judge rules Okeechobee pumping illegal

TALLAHASSEE – A federal judge says pumping water from farmlands into public water supplies such as Florida's Lake Okeechobee violates the Clean Water Act.

Environmental groups say Friday's ruling by U.S. District Judge Kenneth Karas in New York's Southern District was "long overdue."

The nonprofit environmental law firm Earthjustice first filed its case in 2002 over polluted water from sugar cane and vegetable fields pumped into Lake Okeechobee. Earthjustice argued that the South Florida Water Management District violated federal law by allowing agricultural companies to send polluted water into southern Florida's water supply without decontaminating it first.

The Florida case was bundled with similar claims from several other states and heard in New York federal court.

Environmental groups say stopping pollution at its source is key to fixing South Florida's water problems.

Source: Associated Press

3/26/2014

Opinions sought on new Watershed Stewards Academy program

A team of faculty from the University of Florida (UF) is working on the development of a new educational program. They are reaching out to environmental organizations to get input about the level of interest and curriculum content.

The proposed program is called the Watershed Stewards Academy and it will be offered through UF/IFAS Extension. The program will be modeled after many of the other “Master” programs the University of Florida offers (like Master Gardener, Master Naturalist, etc.) with 7 to 12 sessions over a period of time. It will focus on enhancing Floridians’ connection to water; relationships with the watershed in which they live, work and play; and the dynamic interaction of water quality, quantity and their associated policies and regulations. It could include potential action projects and lead to volunteer service in local communities.

The Watershed Stewards Academy team has developed a state-wide needs assessment to aid in the development of this program and they want to hear from you! Your responses to this survey will help them design the program to best meet the needs of potential participants like you. Based on this brief description, they would very much appreciate your time in completing this survey. Approximate survey time: 10 minutes.

Take the survey

Contact Information
Lara Miller, Natural Resources Agent, Pinellas County Extension, lmiller@pinellascounty.org, 12520 Ulmerton Road, Largo, FL. 33774
phone: (727) 453-6905.
http://pinellas.ifas.ufl.edu/
3/26/2014

House, Senate differ sharply over agricultural water spending in their budget proposals

The proposed House and Senate fiscal year 2014-15 budgets are close on several key programs within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services budget but are far apart on the department's water programs.

The House budget would provide $47.7 million for agricultural water policy programs including $34.3 million from general revenue. The Senate budget includes $20.5 million for those programs including $7.1 million from general revenue.

The House water programs proposal provides $24.5 million for agricultural nonpoint source best management practices including $5 million for springs, $3 million for the Lake Okeechobee and the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers and $1.5 million for the Bessey Creek hybrid wetland treatment system.

The Senate proposal provides $16.5 million for those programs with the only specified spending being $3 million for the Lake Okeechobee and the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers.

In addition, the House provides $9 million for hybrid wetlands treatment projects in the Everglades region and $10 million for Okeechobee restoration and agricultural projects.

Continued in The Florida Current...

3/24/2014

Modeling study adds evidence that oil compounds traveled to West Florida Shelf

Scientists from the University of South Florida used circulation models to conduct a tracer simulation and compared output patterns with ecological analyses to determine the possibility that hydrocarbons from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill could have moved onto the West Florida Shelf (WFS).

They found “plausible and consistent” evidence that currents caused by “an anomalously strong and persistent upwelling circulation” drove oil compounds through subsurface waters to the WFS. The researchers published their findings in the February 2014 edition of Deep-Sea Research II Topical Studies in Oceanography: Did Deepwater Horizon hydrocarbons transit to the West Florida Continental Shelf?

The coastal ocean region known as the WFS includes waters east of the DeSoto Canyon and south to the Florida Straits. Oil from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead landed on northwestern Florida panhandle beaches in June of 2010. For three weeks, satellite and aerial images with accompanying model simulations showed oil moving on surface waters further east, close to Cape San Blas, then it receded and was no longer visible in that area. However, public and scientist findings were emerging that indicated compounds from this oil – though no longer visible – continued to impact the WFS marine environment.

Continued on the Gulf Research Initiative''s website...

3/21/2014

Reprise of Oral History program April 7th in Laurel

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Reservations are suggested, as seating is limited.
Please contact Sarasota County Historical Resources to RSVP: (941) 861-6090.


If you missed their debut in January, you will have a second chance to enjoy the four new oral history videos created by New College anthropology students.

They will be shown on Monday, April 7th at 7 p.m. in Sarasota County at the Sandra Sims Terry Community Center, 509 Collins Road, Laurel, Florida 34272.

The four interviewees and the four New College students who will introduce them are as follows:

Interviewees: Sandra Sims Terry and Betty Nugent from South Sarasota County and Waldo Profitt and Bob Richardson of North Sarasota County.

Students who conducted the interviews, working under the direction of Erin Dean, Asst. Professor of Anthropology, New College are:
Anne McCabe, Julianne Ohanian, Jessica Wopinski and Chelsea Driver.

John Ryan, representing Sarasota County Environmental Utilities, will act as master of ceremonies.

Lorrie Muldowney of Sarasota County Historical Resources was also part of the collaborative process.

The interviewees' personal narratives are intertwined with southwest Florida's story—water conservation, environmental stewardship, urban development and growth management—and highlight the beauty and importance of rivers, beaches and shorelines to Southwest Florida... These are just some of what the students elicited from the four they interviewed.

Refreshments will be served by SHORE (Southwest Historical Organization of Resources & Education).

This event is free and open to the Public.

View recent oral histories, including slideshows and transcripts

3/20/2014

Estuary Programs team up for volunteer planting at new Perico Preserve!

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Sarasota Bay Guardians join Give a Day for the Bay Volunteers at Perico Preserve: Saturday, April 12th

The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program's Bay Guardians are teaming up with the Tampa Bay Estuary Program, Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources and Around the Bend Nature Tours for a volunteer workday on April 12th.

The native planting will take place at Perico Preserve with plants donated by FWC Redfish Hatchery at Port Manatee. We will be planting 12,000 plugs of marsh grass. Some of the plants will be installed in shallow water. Get a sneak peak at one of Manatee County's newest conservation sites! Plans at the site include seagrass restoration and a bird rookery.

This event is suitable for ages 6 and up.

The preserve is not open to the public and has no shaded area. There will be tents and water for volunteers, and lunch after the planting is finished. Please wear hat, sunscreen, close-toed shoes (old tennis shoes or water shoes), and clothes that can get dirty and wet. Shovels and trowels will be provided, but feel free to bring your own. Reusable water bottles will be given to all volunteers.

Parking is limited. Please carpool if you can! Watch for parking guidance upon arrival from the helpful staff of Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources.

WHAT: Give A Day for the Bay/Bay Guardians Volunteer Planting
WHERE: Perico Preserve 11700 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton, FL 34209 Map to Site
WHEN: Saturday, April 12th, 2014, 9:00am-12:00pm

Lunch will be provided for all volunteers after the planting is done!

RSVP Required — Choose your favorite NEP below!
Click here to register with the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program
   —OR—
Click here to register with the Tampa Bay Estuary Program

Questions? Contact SBEP's Sara Kane at 941-955-8085 or TBEP's Colleen Gray at 727-893-2765

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