Monthly Archives: April 2014

Help Minimize Dolphin/Angler Interactions

Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) are a common inhabitant of southwest Florida’s bays, inlets, and estuaries. The social nature and behavior of these mammals OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAmake the chances of seeing one very likely while out on the water. While seeing dolphins can enhance the quality of a trip, increased encounters between dolphins and anglers can create a negative experience for both groups.

The Sarasota Dolphin Research Program (SDRP), a collaboration between the Chicago Zoological Society and Mote Marine Laboratory, has been studying bottlenose dolphins along southwest Florida’s coastline for over 40 years. The SDRP has observed that many of the dolphins that inhabit southwest Florida’s coastal waters are long-term, year-round residents. In recent years, the SDRP has documented increased incidents of dolphins stalking fishing boats, waiting for released fish, and depredating (stealing bait or catch) from fishing lines near piers and boats. In addition, SDRP has received numerous reports and feedback from local charter guides, anglers and eco-tour operators about increased incidences of dolphins approaching fishing boats.

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photo credit: Kim Hull

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Register Today for Earth Day Everyday!

Earth Day comes but once a year! However, there are simple actions you can take in your daily life to contribute to the well-being of your family, your community, and your planet.

Florida Sea Grant and UF/IFAS Extension in Pinellas County are offering 2 Earth Day Programs-one for Youth and Family and a program for Adults.IMG_1043

On Friday, April 18th, students will learn about the habitats and critters that live in estuaries like Tampa Bay. Then, they will interact with a hands-on model of our coastal environment to learn how their actions can positively impact the Tampa Bay environment. Finally, utilizing a kill a watt meter, students can discover how much energy average household appliance use. The program best suited for children 6-12 years. Youth must be accompanied by parent or guardian. Register at https://youthearthday.eventbrite.com.

IMG_1647On Saturday, April 19th, the 3-hour hands-on workshop will include rainwater harvesting, energy conservation, and estuary-friendly living complete with 1-hour canoe excursion. Each participant will receive an Estuary to Friendly Living booklet, guide to Rain Barrels, insulated shopping bag, and home energy saving kit.  Participants may choose to purchase a completed barrel for $30, paid in advance (see ticket type). Barrel quantities are limited. Register at https://ufifasearthday.eventbrite.com.

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