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Snook Harvest Season begins September 1st

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The recreational harvest season for snook opened statewide September 1, and researchers are asking anglers who harvest Florida's premier sport fish to save filleted carcasses and take them to a participating bait and tackle store in their area. These carcasses provide information on the size, age, maturity and sex of the catch, and this "citizen science" program allows anglers to participate in the collection of data for one of Florida's most popular sport fish. More information on this effort, including a list of carcass drop off locations, can be found by visiting: http://bit.ly/1jEaXmk

All regulations still apply, and it's important to donate only legal snook during snook season. To view our snook regulations for both Gulf and Atlantic state and federal waters, please visit: http://bit.ly/1NGDKVj

Photo credit: Tory Kallman https://www.flickr.com/photos/toryjk/


EPA: Clean water rule in effect despite court ruling

The Environmental Protection Agency says it is going forward with a new federal rule to protect small streams, tributaries and wetlands, despite a court ruling that blocked the measure in 13 central and Western states.

The EPA says the rule, which took effect Friday in more than three dozen states, will safeguard drinking water for millions of Americans.

Opponents pledged to continue to fight the rule, emboldened by a federal court decision Thursday that blocked it from Alaska to Arkansas.

"We see this (rule) as very hurtful to farmers and ranchers and we're going to do everything to stop it politically," said Don Parrish of the American Farm Bureau Federation, one of several farm and business groups that have filed suit against the regulation.

Lawsuits to block the regulation are pending across the country, and the Republican-controlled Congress has moved to thwart it. The House has ignored a White House veto threat and passed a bill to block it, and a Senate committee has passed a measure that would force the EPA to withdraw and rewrite it.

Continued on Phys.org »


Sea Level Solutions Center launches

With rising seas threatening coastal communities all across the world, FIU has launched the Sea Level Solutions Center to help people understand, adapt and persevere. FIU ecologist Tiffany Troxler will serve as director.

The center combines expertise in the natural, physical and social sciences, along with architecture, engineering, computer sciences, law, communications, business, health and tourism management to develop long-term strategies in the face of rising seas. FIU’s Miami location will be key in advancing the center’s mission. South Florida is particularly vulnerable because of the large number of assets exposed to the effects of sea level rise.

“Rising seas are a topic of grave concern around the world, and most societies will feel the effects,” said FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg. “While successful adaptation to sea level rise is local in nature, it will take international, national, regional, as well as local cooperation to develop and implement the necessary policies and strategies to address this global threat.”

The FIU Sea Level Solutions Center will focus on envisioning and designing safe, resilient, prosperous and sustainable 22nd century coastal communities by focusing on the science behind the rising seas, preservation of governance systems, infrastructure challenges and solutions, business impacts, supply chain challenges, ecosystem dependencies, and personal assets. It will work with local governments, business and community leaders to accelerate adaption planning.

Continued in FIU News »


Are you storm ready, Sarasota County?

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As Tropical Storm Erika continues to move through the Eastern Caribbean, it's a good time for local residents to take precautions for hazardous weather and ensure their disaster supply kits are complete, according to Sarasota County Emergency Services officials.

"Residents need to take this opportunity to finalize their personal and family disaster plans and get their disaster kits ready," Emergency Management Chief Ed McCrane said.

While the current forecast does not indicate a direct threat for Sarasota County, residents and visitors are advised to monitor local media stations and the Sarasota County Emergency Management Facebook and Twitter pages for updates on the storm.

County officials continue to monitor TS Erika, participating in conference calls with the State Emergency Operations Center, National Hurricane Center and local city partners, and are prepared to take action based on the storm's track.

For more information on how you and your family can be prepared, visit www.scgov.net/allhazards.

Information on Erika from the National Hurricane Center »


SBEP, TBEP remind residents not to use fertilizers with nitrogen or phosphorus through Sept. 30th

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The Tampa Bay Estuary Program (TBEP) and the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP) remind residents not to use fertilizer products with nitrogen and phosphorus on their lawn or flower beds through the end of September. Urban fertilizer ordinances in Pinellas, Sarasota and Manatee Counties and the City of Tampa prohibit fertilizer use from June 1 through September 30. Using too much fertilizer with nitrogen and phosphorus in the summer has an adverse impact on water quality and aquatic life. Excess chemicals are flushed into Tampa Bay and Sarasota Bay through tributaries and storm pipes following heavy summer rains.

Alternative products are available with iron, magnesium and manganese. Slow-release products with these micronutrients feed lawns and plants gradually and for a longer period of time. The chemicals are easily absorbed by plants and less likely to end up in local waterways with other stormwater runoff following heavy rains.

Learn more by visiting BeFloridian.org, the TBEP website, or the SBEP website.

Florida Friendly landscape care products »


Is too much fresh water used to irrigate Florida lawns?

"...researchers from the University of Florida examined the perceptions of homeowners in Orange County, Florida who have automated irrigation systems and looked deeply into their water conservation knowledge and practices."

Wasting fresh water is a real concern. A recent study conducted with homeowners in central Florida found that, on average, 64 percent of the drinking water used by homes went to irrigation. In the summer months, this percentage increased to 88 percent. As the population increases, conservation of fresh water becomes increasingly important.

The Special Issue Section of the current Technology and Innovation – Journal of the National Academy of Inventors focuses on challenges to fresh water from environmental changes and from the human population.

Florida homeowners—ready and willing to comply with government agency-imposed lawn watering restrictions—want to conserve water, although many are confused about how to conserve water. At the same time, many homeowners are also required to have perfect, green lawns or risk being penalized by their Home Owner's Associations (HOAs).

What is a homeowner to do?

In a study entitled "It's Going to Take More Innovation than Technology to Increase Water Conservation Practices," researchers from the University of Florida examined the perceptions of homeowners in Orange County, Florida who have automated irrigation systems and looked deeply into their water conservation knowledge and practices.

"The purpose of [our] study was to examine the perceptions of homeowners…who have automated irrigation systems [about] the use of norms that could be employed to reduce water used for lawn care," said study co-author Liz Felter of the University of Florida.

The researchers also looked at the role of "social marketing" efforts to encourage people to conserve water, the barriers to water conservation, and how peer pressure might be involved in successfully implementing water conservation measures. They wanted to know what barriers might exist to increasing water conservation even when community- based social marketing (CBSM) was employed to encourage conservation.

Continued... »


Carlos Beruff resigns from SWFWMD board

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MANATEE COUNTY - Manatee County developer Carlos Beruff resigned Wednesday from the Southwest Florida Water Management District, a day after supporting the approval of a controversial permit allowing his friend and fellow developer Pat Neal to build on an environmentally sensitive shoreline.

On Tuesday, Beruff made the motion to approve a wetlands mitigation permit so Neal can build a family compound on mangrove-fringed land facing Anna Maria Sound.

With Beruff leading the way, the water district board approved Neal's request for an “environmental resource permit” for 3.46 acres of a 40.36-acre site on Perico Island where he wants to build a four-home subdivision for his family. After the approval, Beruff said he was not acting on his friendship with Neal but on a favorable recommendation about Neal's application by the staff of the water management district (commonly called Swiftmud).

Beruff had already sent a letter to the governor giving Wednesday as his last day as a board member

Continued in the Bradenton Herald »


Peninsular Florida in “cone of uncertainty” for Tropical Storm Ericka

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(WWLP) – Florida and now the Carolinas are potentially in the path of Tropical Storm Erika, which is gaining strength in the Caribbean. Ericka’s track has the storm potentially making landfall on Puerto Rico late Thursday night or early Friday morning, and then continuing northwestward. Tropical Storm watches have now been issued for the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, as well as the Bahamas.

There is a chance Erika could substantially weaken, or even break up altogether due to strong wind shear. If Erika holds together, however, she is expected to strengthen to a Category 1 hurricane over the warmer waters near the Bahamas.

From there, most of Florida is now within the storm’s “cone of uncertainty,” meaning Erika could make landfall pretty much anywhere on the Florida or Georgia coast on Monday into Tuesday, or turn out to sea and never make landfall at all. Also potentially under threat are North and South Carolina, though long-range forecasts on Erika do not have her having an impact on New England.

Even if Erika doesn’t make landfall, she could still bring very heavy rain to the Southeast coast.

Source: Channel 22 WWLP News »


Prepare now for tropical storms and hurricanes

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PALATKA – With tropical storm Erika brewing in the Caribbean, now is the time to prepare your home for potential high winds and heavy rain. Following these few simple tips can help protect your property:

  • Remove debris from storm drains and ditches

  • Report clogged ditches to local governments

  • Clean out gutters and extend downspouts at least four feet from structures

  • Build up the ground around the home to promote drainage away from the foundation

The St. Johns River Water Management District's website provides additional tips and easy access to valuable information to assist the public before, during and after severe storm events. The District's web pages (floridaswater.com/storm) include links to flood statements and warnings, river stage and flooding data, and local government emergency contacts. Links to the National Weather Service, Florida Division of Emergency Management and the U.S. Geological Survey's interactive map of current conditions in the state are also available via the website.

Local governments are the primary entities responsible for emergency responses during storms, such as implementing state-of-emergency declarations, evacuations and rescue efforts during flood-related disasters. In the event of a tropical storm or hurricane, the District assists local governments by issuing emergency orders that allow for the pumping of water to alleviate flooding when public health and safety are at risk.


New sea level-rise handbook highlights science and models for non-scientists

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Coastal managers and planners now have access to a new U.S. Geological Survey handbook that, for the first time, comprehensively describes the various models used to study and predict sea-level rise and its potential impacts on coasts.

Designed for the benefit of land managers, coastal planners, and policy makers in the United States and around the world, the handbook explains many of the contributing factors that account for sea-level change. It also highlights the different data, techniques, and models used by scientists and engineers to document historical trends of sea level and to forecast future rates and the impact to coastal systems and communities.

The scope and content of the handbook was developed from feedback received at dozens of training sessions held with coastal managers and planners of federal, state, and private agencies across the northern Gulf of Mexico. The sessions aimed to determine what tools and resources were currently in use and to explain the broad spectrum of data and models used in sea-level rise assessments from multiple disciplines, including geology, hydrology and ecology. Criteria were established to distinguish various characteristics of each model, including the source, scale and quality of information input and geographic databases, as well as the ease or difficulty of storing, displaying, or interpreting the model output.

USGS News Release continues »


Local research team competes for grant with innovative new water treatment system

By Michael Pollick

Imagine a filter-less water filter that runs on the heat of the sun.

Two streams would come out from the other end. One would be very pure water that would be refreshing to drink. The other stream would have a higher concentration of whatever you are trying to get rid of.

The system already HAS been made and tested in a configuration the size of a traveling coffee mug. Theoretically, it could be scaled up to deliver millions of gallons of potable water per day.

Now, because of an old friendship and a challenge by the Gulf Coast Community Foundation to find sustainable ways to work with our watery environment, the project has one foot in Sarasota.

The story starts with the guy who wrote the book on water.

Gerald Pollack, who teaches bioengineering at the University of Washington and runs the Pollack Laboratory there, won a U.S. patent in 2010 on his method for “separating components of aqueous mixtures.”

His 2013 book, titled “The Fourth Phase of Water: Beyond Solid, Liquid and Vapor,” presents the theory that living things create a type of water that is not H2O, but H3O2. This structured water, which he calls "EZ water," is denser than regular water and can hold and delivery energy, like a battery. He believes this structured water works at the cellular level to facilitate everything from transferring nutrition to keeping your knees from creaking.

With his invention, Pollack has figured out how to replicate this process using modern chemistry, to separate this very pure form of water from whatever else is in there.

Continued in the Bradenton Herald »


Webinar on August 27 to provide more details on the Clean Water Rule

A webinar will be held on Thursday, August 27 at 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm EST to provide more details about the final Clean Water Rule. This webinar will provide a review of the final rule, answer some commonly asked questions, and discuss what to expect as the rule is implemented.

In a historic step for the protection of clean water, EPA and the Army signed the Clean Water Rule on May 27, 2015, to protect the streams and wetlands that form the foundation of the nation’s water resources from pollution and degradation. The final rule is effective August 28, 2015.

Register for the webinar

For more information visit: www.epa.gov/cleanwaterrule and http://www.army.mil/asacw.


Public meetings scheduled to discuss DEP water quality prioritization and assessment efforts

DEP's Division of Environmental Assessment and Restoration (DEAR) is holding public meetings in several locations throughout the state to discuss DEAR's planned water quality prioritization and assessment efforts. These meetings will take place during two sessions according to the schedule below.

Part I: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Priority Waters for Site-Specific TMDL Development

Part II: 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM Revised Assessment Lists for the Group 2 (Cycle 3)

These public meetings are to present and request input on the methodology used to prioritize future Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP) development for specific waterbodies and water segments throughout the state. Any comments and/or questions on the TMDL and BMAP prioritizations should be directed to Erin Rasnake, Water Quality Evaluation and TMDL Program, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, 2600 Blair Stone Road, M.S. 3555, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2400 or by e-mail: Erin.Rasnake@dep.state.fl.us.

DEAR will also present the revised assessment lists for the Group 2 (Cycle 3) basins, developed pursuant to Chapter 62-303, Florida Administrative Code. The revised assessment lists will be available on the Department's Watershed Assessment website (www.dep.state.fl.us/water/watersheds/assessment/index.htm) by August 24, 2015, and will be provided upon request to interested parties by mail or via email distribution. Any comments and/or questions on the Revised Assessment Lists should be directed to Kevin O'Donnell, Watershed Assessment Section, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, 2600 Blair Stone Rd, MS 3560, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2400 or by email: Kevin.ODonnell@dep.state.fl.us.

A copy of the agenda may be obtained by contacting: Ms. Linda Quinn-Godwin, Water Quality Evaluation and TMDL Program, MS 3555, Department of Environmental Protection, 2600 Blair Stone Road, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2400 or by calling: (850)245-8449.

Meeting Dates and Times:

DATE AND TIME: August 26, 2015, 10:00 a.m. for St. Lucie - Loxahatchee Basins
PLACE: Martin County Building Department, Building Department Conference Room, 900 Southeast Ruhnke Street, Stuart, Florida

DATE AND TIME: August 27, 2015, 10:00 a.m. for Charlotte Harbor Basin
PLACE: South Florida Water Management District Lower West Coast Service Center, Main Conference Room, 2301 McGregor Boulevard, Fort Myers, Florida

DATE AND TIME: September 2, 2015, 10:00 a.m. for Tampa Bay Tributaries Basin
PLACE: Florida Department of Environmental Protection Southwest District Office, Main Conference Room, 13051 N. Telecom Parkway, Temple Terrace, Florida

DATE AND TIME: September 3, 2015, 10:00 a.m. for Middle and Lower St. Johns Basins
PLACE: Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum of Art at the Museum of Arts & Sciences, Education Room, 352 South Nova Road, Daytona Beach, Florida

DATE AND TIME: September 10, 2015, 10:00 a.m. for Apalachicola-Chipola Basin
PLACE: Florida Department of Environmental Protection, BMC Conference Room 609, 2600 Blair Stone Road, Tallahassee, Florida


Hydrilla help needed from Florida LAKEWATCHers

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From the UF/IFAS Hydrilla IPM* Team & Florida LAKEWATCH

Florida LAKEWATCHERs, your help is needed!

Did you attend a Florida LAKEWATCH regional meeting last year (2014) and receive educational materials on hydrilla management? The UF/IFAS Hydrilla IPM Team in partnership with Florida LAKEWATCH would like your input on the materials so we can improve them and produce new materials that would be useful to you!

If you did not receive the educational materials but would still like to provide input you can review the material online while doing the survey.

Please use this link to complete the survey: https://ufl.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8q3CWXe3ScSzNbv

Please complete the survey if possible using the web link, if this is not possible you can call 352-273-3954 so that a person can record your survey answers. Please leave a message with your number and someone will call you back.

The survey will remain open for 6 weeks, closing on August 12th 2015.

* IPM=Integrated Pest Management

What is Florida LAKEWATCH? »

Contact Information
Dr. Emma N. I. Weeks, Asst. Research Scientist, Entomology & Nematology University of Florida, eniweeks@ufl.edu, Bldg. 970, Natural Area Dr., Gainesville, FL. 32611-0620
phone: (352) 273-3954.

East County neighborhood's stormwater system suffers

In the midst of weeks of heavy rains and gusty winds, Heritage Harbour South's stormwater system has taken a beating.

The system, which filters rain through its ponds before emptying water into nearby rivers and wetlands, has various blockages and structural damages that are preventing water from flowing through the weirs, or outfall windows that control water levels of ponds.

As a result, residents are seeing standing water near the metal structures that comprise the stormwater system. Should more rain pelt the ponds and the blockages aren't cleared, standing water levels could rise and potentially flood community streets, Heritage Harbour engineer Rick Schappacher said.

"If water isn't flowing then we know we’ve got potential blockage downstream or the entire system is backed up," Schappacher told Heritage Harbour's Community Development District board at its Aug. 4 meeting.

Some structures, such as those in Lake No. 6, have more than five inches of still water that isn't flowing through ponds.

The filter system in Lake No. 9 has seven inches of standing water surrounding it.

Standing water more than three inches grabs Schappacher's attention.

Pond and wetland maintenance vendor Aquatic Systems is working to determine where and what is blocking the system. The company hopes to have the work covered in its $55,000 contract and completed by the end of August, before the height of hurricane season.

Schappacher estimates 95 percent of the blockages are due to tree branches, litter and other easily removable items. Issues not covered in the Aquatic Systems contract, such as any structural work to the inlets and control structures or areas of weirs that have eroded, could cost a few hundred dollars. Clearing debris and overgrown vegetation shouldn't cost the community more than $400 per location, Schappacher said.

"This community is being maintained well, with its proactive approach on frequently checking the stormwater system, especially before summer rains," Schappacher said. "We're not having the flood issues Pasco and other northern counties are having, and we've had a lot of rain. These blockages will be sorted out soon."

Click here to view original article »


Apply now for CHNEP Public Outreach grants and Micro-Grants

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The Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program (CHNEP) is a partnership to protect the natural environment of Florida from Venice to Bonita Springs to Winter Haven. The CHNEP offers two types of grants to help others in their efforts to protect the environment and solve issues of concern as identified in CHNEP's Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP). The CHNEP is proud to have supported more than 800 projects with grants.

Citizens, organizations, businesses, government agencies, schools, colleges and universities may apply for grants to support projects that occur within the CHNEP study area that includes Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota, Manatee, Polk Hardee and DeSoto counties. While all efforts supported by CHNEP with a grant help implement the CCMP, they are varied in their purpose and scope. Additional information about the grant-making process is available at www.CHNEP.org/grants.html and at the link below.

The CHNEP offers Public Outreach Grants once a year, with applications due September 2. The maximum grant request is $5,000 but most applications are funded in the $2,500 to $3,000 range. Review the guidance document to learn more and to obtain the two one-page forms that must be part of each application.

The CHNEP offers Micro-Grants throughout the year for projects that can begin after October 1 and concluded by August 31. Most grant requests are up to $250 but a few requests for more support have been approved. Applications are considered when they are received. Awards are made until funds for the year have all been obligated. The project must be completed so that a final report and invoice are received by CHNEP no later than August 31, 2016. Applicants are reimbursed funds once a final report and an invoice for work accomplished are accepted.

The CHNEP also offers grant-writing and administration assistance for projects that help protect and restore our estuaries and watersheds. Contact Liz Donley (LDonley@chnep.org) to discuss possible assistance.

Thank you for your efforts to protect the natural environment of southwest Florida.

Photo by Melissa Nell, Manatee County Natural Resources Department

Grant information and Mini-Grant Application »

Contact Information
Maran Hilgendorf, Communications Manager, Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program, maran@chnep.org, 326 West Marion Avenue, Punta Gorda, FL. 33950
phone: (941) 575-3374.

Register now for CHNEP Retreat on Friday, Sept. 11th

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The Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program (CHNEP) invites everyone with an interest in driving actions that protect the natural environment of southwest Florida to participate in a retreat to help plan the future of the program. Attendees are asked to please register online and complete a one-question survey: www.EventBrite.com.

The retreat will be an opportunity to discuss how to implement CHNEP's Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan, changes that should be made to the current plan, and to identify qualities required of the next CHNEP director. (Current director Lisa Beever will be retiring in October, 2016.) The Charlotte Harbor Events and Conference Center has been reserved for September 11, 2015 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. NOAA Certified Professional Facilitator Ann Weaver has agreed to assist.

By characterizing the direction that the Management Conference wants to take the CHNEP, a better consideration of CHNEP director candidates can take place, as well as overall staff workload commitments. The workshop result should be a characterization of CHNEP's existing roles (what makes us great?), all potential future roles (where could we go?), primary future roles (where will we go?), and what are the most practical ways to get there related to current and potential staff capacity.

CHNEP invites everyone with an interest in guiding its future activities to participate in the retreat, and to invite others who may have an interest in participating.

Thank you for helping to protect the natural environment of southwest Florida!


DEP accepting comments on water reclamation/reuse study; meeting and webinar Aug. 20th

Senate Bill 536, which passed in the 2014 legislative session, requires the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), in coordination with stakeholders to conduct a comprehensive study and submit a report on the expansion of use of reclaimed water, storm water, and excess surface water in the state. The report is due to the Legislature on Dec. 1, 2015.

Below is information about the draft study report and upcoming meetings/webinar where DEP will present the draft study report and receive public comment.

The draft study report is available for review on the DEP SB536 Study web page, http://www.dep.state.fl.us/water/reuse/study.htm.

FDEP will accept written comments on the draft report until Sept. 18, 2015. Comments may be emailed to sb536study@dep.state.fl.us or mailed to:

Janet Llewellyn
Office of Water Policy
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
3900 Commonwealth Blvd.
Mail Station #46
Tallahassee, FL 32399

FDEP will hold a statewide meeting/webinar to present the draft study report and receive public comment. The meeting will be held on Aug. 20, 2015, at 9:30 a.m. in Conference Room A of the Douglas Building at 3900 Commonwealth Blvd. in Tallahassee. The meeting will be available as a webinar for those who do not wish to travel to Tallahassee. Click here to register online. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

A second opportunity to provide in-person input will be available on Aug. 25 at 1 p.m. at the St. Johns River Water Management District office at 601 South Lake Destiny Road, Suite 200, Maitland, FL. FDEP will present the same information at this meeting that was presented at the Aug. 20 meeting.

DEP Water Reuse Study »


Do you garden like a Floridian? Take the survey!

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Tell Us What You Think and How You Garden Like A Floridian

The Tampa Bay Estuary Program has been working on this Be Floridian thing for a few years now.

Yes, we love our plastic pink yard flamingo mascot, and you've told us you do too!

But, can we talk?

Actually, we want YOU to talk, to us, by taking our short survey at this link:

If you live in Hillsborough, Manatee, Pinellas or Sarasota counties, we want to know what you think about Be Floridian. We ask about changes you've made in your landscape to protect the waterways that make living here fun.

And, we ask if you think your fellow Tampa Bay neighbors are willing to make changes too.

Your time is valuable, so the survey only takes about 10 minutes.

The Flamingo Flock thanks you!

Visit the Be Floridian website »


RESTORE Council announces draft selections

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Comments are due on draft selected projects and programs by September 28, 2015

The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council announced their Draft Initial Funded Priorities List (draft FPL). The 45 projects represent components of those submitted by the state and federal Council members.

Public comment on the selections will be open through September 28, 2015. The public is encouraged to provide comments online (preferred method); by mail to Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council. Attention: Draft FPL Comments, Hale Boggs Federal Building, 500 Poydras Street, Suite 1117, New Orleans, LA 70130; email to draftfplcomments@restorethegulf.gov; or in person during formal public comment periods at any of the public meetings (see list below).

Public meetings are scheduled to hear from regional constituents before the selections are made final. Those meetings will be:

  • Aug. 20, 2015 - 6 p.m. Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi, TX 48412
  • Aug. 26, 2015 - 6 p.m. FWC Fish & Wildlife Research Institute, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
  • Aug. 27, 2015 - 6 p.m. Gulf Coast State College, Panama City, FL 32401
  • Sept. 1, 2015 - 6 p.m. Battle House Renaissance Mobile, Mobile, AL 36602
  • Sept. 10, 2015 - 5 p.m. Coast Coliseum & Convention Center, Biloxi, MS 39531
  • Sept. 15, 2015 - 5:30 p.m. Homer L. Hitt Alumni Center, New Orleans, LA 70148
  • Sept. 16, 2015 - 5:30 p.m. Morgan City Municipal Auditorium, Morgan City, LA 70380

This first round of selections will be funded from the settlement with Transocean Deepwater Inc. Once final, the projects will be included in the Deepwater Horizon Project Tracker. To view project locations now, view the Council-created story map.


New insights on hurricane intensity, pollution transport

Researchers study currents that fuel hurricanes and transport pollutants to coastal beaches

As tropical storm Isaac was gaining momentum toward the Mississippi River in August 2012, researchers were dropping instruments from the sky above to study the ocean conditions beneath the storm. The newly published study showed how a downwelling of warm waters deepened the storm's fuel tank for a rapid intensification toward hurricane status. The results also revealed how hurricane-generated currents and ocean eddies can transport oil and other pollutants to coastal regions.

Continued... »


Participants still needed for 8th Annual Sarasota Bay Great Scallop Search!

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Saturday, August 29

BOATERS... we need you!
Non-boaters will be placed on boats as space permits.

What: 8th Annual Sarasota Bay Great Scallop Search
When: Saturday, August 29th, 2015, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Why: Help to monitor annually the number of scallops in Sarasota Bay waters and support scientists at the Florida Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI).
Where: Mar Vista Restaurant
Registration:    Required and opens July 24 (link below).
What to bring:   Sunscreen, hat and sunglasses, mask, snorkel and water shoes

The Scallop Search is Sarasota Bay Watch’s signature event. It launches from the Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant, 760 Broadway Street, North Longboat Key. Lunch is provided for participants by Mar Vista Restaurant. This water-based family event fills to capacity every year!

HISTORY: Scallops have been largely absent from Sarasota Bay waters since the 1960s due to dredging and land development (the Florida Land Rush), the accompanying population boom and associated water quality issues. Today there have been improvements in water quality and a resurgence of seagrass beds to levels that may once again support these important bivalves in Sarasota Bay.

In 2008 Sarasota Bay Watch was launched with its first scallop search in Sarasota Bay waters. Since that time SBW has held an annual scallop search every August. The search benefits scientists, environmental organizations, local businesses and the citizens of Sarasota and Manatee Counties by documenting the health of the Bay through the presence of scallops. Our annual Scallop Search is one component of a community-lead restoration project to re-establish scallops in Sarasota Bay.

Reservations are required to participate in the event (see below). Space is limited, 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.


Register online »

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