Monthly Archives: February 2013

Learning To Live With Red Tide

Concentrations of this organism (Karenia brevis) can reach millions of cell per quart of water during red tide events. Photo: FWC.

Check out the Beach Conditions Report

Since the devastating red tide of 2005, we have been fortunate in that there have only been infrequent minor red tide events along Florida’s southwest coast. During 2005, residents and tourists were subjected to what seemed like endless months of dead fish washing up on our beaches and beach-goers fled our beaches due to the respiratory distress caused by the neurotoxin produced by the red tide organism – the stench from rotting fish didn’t help matters. Newspapers trumpeted headlines about “dead zones” in the Gulf where essentially every living creature had died.

Red tide is caused by the presence of a microscopic plant-like organism that secretes a nuerotoxin.

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When Hurricanes Make Landfall

Salty Topics Marine Research Speaker

Register at http://hurricanelandfall.eventbrite.com

Aerials of Dauphin Island, Alabama in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Photo by Tyrone Turner.

Dauphin Island, Alabama in wake of Hurricane Katrina
Photo Credit: National Geographic

Hilary Stockdon, PhD
Thurs, March 7, 6:45 pm-8:00 pm
Weedon Island Preserve
1800 Weedon Drive NE
St. Petersburg, FL 33702

Hurricanes generate dangerous waves and surge capable of moving large amounts of sand, destroying buildings and infrastructure, and even taking lives. Storm forces reshape our nation’s coastline by removing protective sand dunes that line much of our shorelines, making the coast vulnerability to future storms.

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2013 Florida Seafood Brown Bag Webinar Series

Current recommendations include eating two seafood meals a week. Seafood is a nutritious, high protein food but confusion exists about the risks associated with consuming and preparing seafood. 06778S_jpg The Florida Sea Grant Extension Program is offering a Brown Bag Webinar Series to discuss balancing the benefits and risks of consuming seafood.  Spend your lunchtime with us learning about seafood health and safety.

Webinars are offered select Thursdays and Wednesdays from 12:15-12:45 EST

Click here to register

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Thirty-First Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival

There's something for everyone at this year's festival!

There’s something for everyone at this year’s festival!

February 16 and 17, 10 – 6.

Festival Website click here

Get ready for two unique days of fun and family entertainment along the historic and picturesque shoreline of Cortez.  If you love seafood and want to savor a taste of Florida’s history, don’t miss the Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival.

The Festival is a special event: visitors will be welcomed to help Cortezians celebrate their love of marine life and pride in their heritage.  Festival goers will enjoy a variety of live entertainment, music, clog dancing, boat rides, marine life exhibits, plenty of delicious seafood, and the beautiful vista from the Cortez shoreline will provide a day you won’t soon forget.  You will also be treated to a nautical Arts and Crafts Show and tours and displays on local marine life and the commercial fishing industry.

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“Salty Topics” Speaker Series Kicks off with Red Tide Talk

I am pleased to announce the Spring 2013 Kick Off of  “Salty Topics,” a Sea Grant sponsored speaker series at Weedon Island Preserve, St. Petersburg, Florida that connects the community with local marine research. We have a great line-up, starting February 14th with Dr. Alina Corcoran, Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, presenting Marine Algae: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Registration is available at  http://marinealgae.eventbrite.com/# .

Dr. Corcoran in the FieldMarine algae form the base of the food web in the ocean and produce nearly half of the world’s oxygen.  They are extremely diverse, ranging widely in size (from micro- to macroscopic), color (not just green!) and function (from plant to animal).  During this talk, Dr. Alina Corcoran will guide you through the algal world, highlighting the value of algae to ecosystems and people and presenting current work on the Florida Red Tide and other Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs). 

The series is held at  Weedon Island Cultural and Natural History Center at 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St Petersburg, FL 33702, with refreshments donated from the Friends of Weedon Island (http://fowi.org). The public is encouraged to attend. I hope to see you there!

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