Rick O'Connor Sea Grant Extension Agent

Author's details

Name: Rick O'Connor
Date registered: March 19, 2012

Latest posts

  1. The Health Advisory Bug; Enterococcus faecalis — July 2, 2017
  2. Health Advisory Issued for Bayou’s Chico and Grande — June 30, 2017
  3. Seawater… It’s a Blue Ocean — June 30, 2017
  4. Health Advisory Issued for Sanders Beach — June 23, 2017
  5. Big Lagoon and Santa Rosa Sound Scallop Search Postponed Due to Bad Water Conditions — June 22, 2017

Author's posts listings

The Gulf of Mexico

In this post we will begin a series of articles on the natural history of our marine environment. Many reading this are visiting the Gulf for the first time, others have been swimming in it since they could swim, but many from both groups know very little about the natural history of the Gulf region, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2017/05/07/the-gulf-of-mexico/

Health Advisories Issued for Bayou’s Texar, Chico, and Grande

As expected after a heavy rain, the bacteria levels have increased in the local bayous.  Bayou’s Chico, Texar, and Grande all had levels high enough to have health advisories issued. Enterococcus bacteria are found in the digestive tracts of birds and mammals and are used to monitor sewage in brackish and marine waterways.  Levels should …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2017/05/05/health-advisories-issued-for-bayous-texar-chico-and-grande/

It’s May… and the Official Beginning of Turtle Season

Almost everyone who lives along the beaches of Escambia County is aware that May is the beginning of sea turtle season – but it is actually the beginning of nesting season for most of Florida’s turtles. Florida is one of the most turtle species rich locations on the planet.  25 species call Florida home, 22 …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2017/05/04/its-may-and-the-official-beginning-of-turtle-season/

Pensacola Water Quality Update – Apr 28, 2017

Samples were collected for bacteria, nutrients, fish kills and red tide over the last week  – there are no issues in the bay system this week. Below are health advisories for April – see all data for the year by visiting the marine science page on this website   Month Water Body No. of samples …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2017/04/28/pensacola-water-quality-update-apr-28-2017/

Look Who’s Enjoying the Beach This Spring… An Alligator!

I received a call the week before Earth Day to let me know that an alligator was laying on the beach, on the Gulf side, near Regency Villas. This is certainly not something you see every day. Two questions came… One, Is this weird? Two, Can alligators tolerate salt water?   Let us start with …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2017/04/27/look-whose-enjoying-the-beach-this-spring-an-alligator/

Horseshoe Crab; the Ancient Mariner

Growing up in this area, I do not remember seeing many horseshoe crabs around here, but I do remember them.  What I actually remember was how common they were further east in the Panama City and St. Joe area.  These animals are big fans of grass beds, as are sea urchins and scallops, and all …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2017/04/11/horseshoe-crab-the-ancient-mariner/

Diamondback Terrapin Monitoring Training

Diamondback terrapins are a flagship species for coastal salt marshes.  In the attempt to assess the health of the Pensacola Bay system, Florida Sea Grant seeks volunteers to help monitor selected beaches in the bay area for the presence of these animals.   Volunteers will need to attend a training to better understand the project …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2017/03/22/diamondback-terrapin-monitoring-training/

The Boys Are Back in Town

But, should they be? Is it too soon? In other articles I have posted on other sites I have discussed the strange weather we are having this winter and how it may be effecting coastal wildlife. Recently I was driving highway 98 on the west side of the county heading to a meeting on Perdido …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2017/02/28/the-boys-are-back-in-town/

2016 Coastal Marine Life Survey Reports

Volunteers in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties have been assisting Florida Sea Grant with surveying our bay area for indicator species.  Bay scallops were once found in high enough numbers to support both a commercial and recreational harvest, but no longer.  Declining water quality, loss of habitat, and overharvesting have made the animal rare in …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2016/11/15/2016-coastal-marine-life-survey-reports/

Local Seafood, What’s in Peak Season? November

As we try to do every month, we will list local seafood that is currently in peak season and should be a good bet for your next tailgate or holiday gathering. Again, we are considering LOCAL seafood as any seafood product that is harvested or cultured within 250 miles of your area – in our …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2016/11/07/local-seafood-whats-in-peak-season-november/

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