The Florida Middle Ground is a set of ridges that lie in 85-165 feet of water, approximately 120 miles northwest of Tampa Bay. The Florida Middle Ground is a fisherman’s paradise. The complex structure of ridges and valleys far from shore attract marine life including fish and invertebrates. Until recently, scientists believed that the ridges are a relict coral reef
However, a 2010 US Geological Survey (USGS) expedition uncovered a different story. Join us for Salty Topics on Thursday, December 5th at 6:45pm as Chris Reich, USGS, shares the new discover in the Florida Middle Ground! Salty Topics is at Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33702. Register online at http://floridamiddleground.eventbrite.com/
Underwater drilling at 85 feet revealed that the core of the eastern ridge of the Florida Middle Ground complex consists of muddy sand that is capped by a 12-ft-thick sequence composed primarily of a single species of marine snail (Vermetid gastropods). The worm rock formed between 8,200 and 8,900 years ago.
Climate Change and associated Sea Level Rise are complex topics. To interpret the science, the Salty Topics Marine Research Seminar Series is pleased to present Dr. Don Chambers, University of South Florida College of Marine Science, presenting “Sea Level Rise: What do We Know?”
The program will begin at 6:30pm, Thursday, November 7th with light refreshments & a viewing of the Tampa Bay Estuary Program King Tide Traveling Photo Exhibit. The series is hosted at Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33702. Register online at https://sealevelrise2013.eventbrite.com/.
Dr. Chambers will discuss the various tools that have been used to observe sea level rise since the early 1700s and present a summary of what we know about sea level rise, especially new insight gleaned from nearly global satellite and in situ measurements over the last two decades. We will discuss the relationship of sea level rise to climate change and the melting of the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets and discuss what we still need to understand in order to make more accurate predictions for future sea level rise.
Sea level rise, shifting seasons and extreme weather are some of the climate change buzzwords that have become increasingly common. But do we really understand what they mean or how they will impact our lifestyles? Two forums are being held that will engage the public in a conversation about these important issues. You are invited to join the discussion.
“Climate: Change the Conversation” will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 24, at the Weedon Island Preserve Cultural and Natural History Center in St. Petersburg. A second forum will be offered from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26, at the St. Petersburg College, Fine Arts Auditorium in Tarpon Springs.
The program will include an introductory presentation and small group discussion about the potential effects of climate change in the Tampa Bay region. Each interactive station will highlight one local aspect of climate change and its associated impacts.
The Salty Topics Marine Research Seminar Series is excited to Kick off its 3rd year! The UF IFAS Pinellas County Sea Grant Extension series has presented topics such as Red Tide, Fisheries Management, Hurricane Damage Assessment and Prediction, Oil Spill Updates, Real-Time Ocean Monitoring, and More!
The Series will kick off at Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33702 on Thursday, October 3rd at 6:45pm. Holly Greening, Director of the Tampa Bay Estuary Program, will present “Restoring Tampa Bay: 25 Years of Progress”. Register online at https://restoretampabay.eventbrite.com/.
Effective September 3rd, 2013 fishermen targeting reef fish such as grouper and snapper in the Gulf of Mexico will no longer be required to use venting tools to treat fish suffering from barotrauma. Barotrauma is the rapid expansion of gases inside a fish’s swim bladder due to changes in pressure when brought to the surface. Venting is the process of releasing these trapped gases by inserting a sharpened, hollow needle into the side of the fish, which has shown to be a useful method for returning fish back to depth. However, while venting can be attributed to increased survival rates for some species, research for many other is either lacking or inconclusive, particularly in deeper waters. In addition, new gear known as fish descending devices can be used to return fish back to depth without the need of venting in many cases. Research from the U.S. Pacific coast has shown that fish descending devices have been highly effective at increasing the survival rates of several species of released rockfish. It is hoped that these devices will have similar results for reef fish in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic. Because of the reasons, the Gulf Council voted to remove the venting requirement. It is important to note, however, that both venting and descending devices are options of last resort and should only be used if fish can’t get back down on their own. Knowing when and how to properly use these devices is key to improving the survival rates of fish that are released. To learn more Florida Sea Grant will be hosting an online webinar Wednesday, Sept 11 from 6:30-7:30 pm that will discuss barotrauma and tools and tips for releasing fish in deep waters. The webinar is free, but you must register by visiting: www.fsgbarotrauma.eventbrite.com.
For any questions, contact Bryan Fluech at email@example.com
A visit to Florida’s Nature Coast is like a step back in time to a Florida before high rise buildings, cell phones, and jam packed schedules. Recreational Scallop Season is a great reason for Tampa Bay residents to grab friends and family and head north. At one time scallops ranged abundantly across the state, from Palm Beach on the east coast to Pensacola on the west coast. Today, however, healthy populations can only be found in selected locations along the Gulf coast. The most popular destinations for recreational scallopers are Steinhatchee, Crystal River and Homosassa. The Florida bay scallop, a bivalve mollusk, grows and lives in the shallow (4 to 10 feet deep) seagrass beds that are common to these areas.
Recreational scallop season is open from June 29th-September 24th, 2013. Recreational scallopers between the ages of 16 and 65 must have a current Florida saltwater fishing license to collect scallops. Harvesting is allowed from the west bank of the Mexico Beach Canal (in Bay County) to the Pasco-Hernando county line (near Aripeka). The bag limit is 2 gallons of whole scallops (in the shell), or 1 pint of scallop meat per person per day. In addition, no more than 10 gallons of whole scallops or 1/2 gallon of scallop meat may be possessed aboard any vessel at any time. You may harvest scallops only by hand or with a landing or dip net. Scallopers must remain in the legal scalloping area while in possession of scallops on the water, including the point where they return to land.
Be sure to follow safe snorkeling and boating procedures. When snorkeling from a boat, regulations require a dive flag displayed on your boat. When snorkeling from shore, you must keep a floating dive flag with you . Boaters should recognize your dive flag and its meaning, however always err on the side of caution and pay close attention to boat traffic in your vicinity. A full list of boating regulations can be found on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website. Always monitor local weather and tides and be prepared for unexpected summer storms.
Join Pinellas County Sea Grant Extension Agent, Libby Carnahan, on a personal exploration through Weedon Island Preserve by land and water. In the morning we will explore the upland side of the preserve, followed in the afternoon by a canoe paddle through the mangrove tunnels. http://sealevel.eventbrite.com/
Florida is known for its 1,200 miles of coastline including award-winning beaches. However, today our waterfront is threatened by rising sea levels. Florida faces threats from sea level rise to both our natural ecosystems and our coastal cities and towns.
In this program, we will investigate the potential effects of sea level rise on the local natural and built environment. We will utilize a combination of online tools, field activities, and facilitated discussion to begin an open conversation about what may be the most difficult issue facing Florida’s resource managers and civic leaders today.
Salty Topics Marine Research Speaker
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.
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.
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/# .
Marine 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!