Monthly Archives: September 2011
Water LIFE / SeaGrant
On August 27th, approximately 120 citizen-scientists participated in the third annual Great Bay & Sound Scallop Search in Charlotte County. The search is a way of assessing bay scallop distribution and trends in abundance over time in local waters. The Charlotte County event was one of four volunteer based scallop searches scheduled in southwest Florida. The others occurred in Pine Island Sound and Sarasota Bay on August 13th. The Tampa Bay search scheduled for August 27th was cancelled due to the weather.
All total, 30 teams went out in the Charlotte event. Each team was assigned an area to sample. Sites ranged from just north of the Tom Adams Bridge down to Boca Grande and then east to Turtle Bay. The methods we useare designed to provide uniform data that can compare different areas of the bay, different areas of southwest Florida (Tampa to Pine Island Sound) and one year to the next. (see chart)
We monitor bay scallops in southwest Florida because they are an important species to both humans and the environment. When coastal waters are able to support bay scallops it is a sign of reasonably good water quality and seagrass conditions. But water quality and seagrass health are only part of a complicated scallop picture.
Charlotte County Sea Grant Extension
This article appeared in the September 29, 2011 edition of Waterline Magazine
Have you ever been out on the water at night and observed the water glowing? The glow may be shades of blues or greens and seem to occur when the water is disturbed by anything from a moving fish to a paddle swept through the water. Many people have observed this phenomena and they often wonder:
Q: What’s causing this glow?
A: The glow is caused by bioluminescent producing plant and animal organisms (small and large). Many forms of life produce bioluminescence including small single celled bacteria, dinoflagellates, diatoms, copepods and comb jellies just to name a few. Bioluminescence is the term used to describe light generated by living organisms. In nearshore waters the glowing light is most likely the result of bioluminescent dinoflagellates, although zooplankton could also be the cause.