Rick O'Connor Sea Grant Extension Agent

Author's details

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

Latest posts

  1. Sea Turtles Found in Escambia County — May 4, 2017
  2. Look Who’s Enjoying the Beach This Spring… An Alligator! — April 27, 2017
  3. May 26 – 2017 Water Quality Data – Pensacola Bay System — April 14, 2017
  4. Our Ancient Mariner; the Horseshoe Crab — April 10, 2017
  5. Invasive Species – Beach Vitex — March 20, 2017

Author's posts listings

Sea Turtles Found in Escambia County

TEXT DEVELOPED BY SARAH STOLER

 

Sea turtles can be identified from other species of Florida turtles first by their large size; many adults are 300 lbs or more and have a shell length of 3-4 ft.  However, like other turtles, they begin life small.  Small sea turtles differ in that their limbs appear as …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/marine/2017/05/04/sea-turtles-found-in-escambia-county/

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/marine/2017/04/27/look-whose-enjoying-the-beach-this-spring-an-alligator/

May 26 – 2017 Water Quality Data – Pensacola Bay System

2017

Florida Department of Environmental Protection Data

 

Date Water body Water Temp (°F) Water salinity (‰) Dissolved Oxygen (mg/l) ENT (colonies/100ml) Jan 3 Texar 68 1.7 ND 6131 Jan 16 Texar 68 3.1 ND 10 Feb 3 Texar 57 6.9 7.8 8 Feb 6 Texar 63 4.2 7.8 10 Feb 13 Texar …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/marine/2017/04/14/2017-water-quality-data-pensacola-bay-system/

Our Ancient Mariner; the Horseshoe Crab

This is a very old, ancient creature. Fossil records suggest they may have existed, in the present form they are now, 450 million years ago.  This predates the fish and dinosaur fossils.  Once found in several oceans and seas, today they are found along the eastern seaboard of the United States and along the Pacific …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/marine/2017/04/10/our-ancient-mariner-the-horseshoe-crab/

Invasive Species – Beach Vitex

The Plant

  • Beach vitex (Vitex rotundifolia)
  • Native to the Pacific rim of Asia. From Korea to Australia including Japan, China, Southeast Asia, the Malaysian peninsula, and including Hawaii.
  • Prefers sandy soils above high tide line, open sun, and does well in rocky areas. Has high tolerance for heat and salt spray. It could be …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/marine/2017/03/20/invasive-species-beach-vitex/

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/marine/2017/02/28/the-boys-are-back-in-town/

The Sea Turtle Conservancy Can Help You Become Turtle Friendly

The Escambia County Exterior Lighting Ordinance will go in effect for all residents and businesses on Pensacola Beach beginning in 2018. (view the basics of the ordinance at http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/marine/2017/01/03/escambia-county-fl-turtle-lighting-ordinance/. )

 

To become “turtle friendly”, exterior lighting will need to follow the “Big 3”:

  • Keep it low
  • Keep it long
  • Keep it shielded
  • “Keep …

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    Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/marine/2017/01/04/the-sea-turtle-conservancy-can-help-you-become-turtle-friendly/

    Escambia County FL Turtle Lighting Ordinance

    Escambia County Turtle Lighting Ordinance

    Chapter 78 – Article 13.23 of the County Land Development Code

     

    EXTERIOR LIGHTING

     

    13.23.01. Exemptions –      a) lighting required for navigation by Federal Aviation and the US Coast Guard

    and has been reviewed for the Federal Endangered Species Act

  • b) holiday lighting displayed outside of turtle nesting …

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  • Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/marine/2017/01/03/escambia-county-fl-turtle-lighting-ordinance/

    2016 Pensacola Bay Area Water Quality Report

    The Florida Sea Grant Program in Escambia County provides this service each year. The purpose is to provide the general public with data and information about the state of the water quality in our area.  Historically our bay has suffered much and, in terms of sediments, is considered one of the more polluted bays in …

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    Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/marine/2016/12/19/2016-pensacola-bay-area-water-quality-report/

    Sea Grant Notes – May 26, 2017

    WATER QUALITY

     

    HEALTH ADVISORY ISSUED FOR BAYOU TEXAR

    DEP and DOH only sampled Bayou Texar and Sanders Beach this week.

     

    Date Location Water Temp (F) Salinity (ppt) Dissolved Oxygen (mg/L) Enterococcus levels (colonies/100ml) Bacteria Levels Advisory Issued May 22 Bayou Texar 79 6.6 6.6 107 Poor YES   Sanders Beach     …

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    Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/marine/2016/11/18/sea-grant-notes-nov-18-2016/

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