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BEACH WATCH

A place for beach lovers to share information about surf, sand and sea life. Tell us what you find on the shore each day, and we'll stay diligent about keeping our beaches healthy and beautiful.

Location: "south palm beach", manalapan, "ocean ridge", "briny breezes", lantana, "boynton beach", "gulf stream", "delray beach"
Members: 41
Latest Activity: 19 hours ago

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Comment by Mary Kate Leming on November 21, 2012 at 8:18am

Comment by Mary Kate Leming on November 20, 2012 at 12:18pm

Club’s Live Manatee Webcams “Wow” Viewers –

Check Out www.manatv.org

 

From coast to coast and around the globe, people are watching and enjoying wild manatees in their natural habitat on Save the Manatee Club’s live webcams at Blue Spring State Park in Orange City, Florida.  This past January, the Club strategically placed underwater and above-water cameras in the park’s spring run to provide mass live streaming of endangered manatees and other magnificent Florida wildlife at www.manatv.org.  Much of each day’s live views are archived for those who have missed it, or if not much is happening on any given day, so there is always something interesting for viewers to see when visiting the livecams page.

 

In winter, wild manatees are found in Florida at warm-water sites such as natural springs and effluents of power plants, as they are a subtropical species and cannot tolerate prolonged exposure to water temperatures below 68 degrees Fahrenheit.  Blue Spring is one of the most important warm-water refuges for the Upper St. Johns River manatees, with a constant year-round temperature of 72 degrees.

 

“As we had hoped, Blue Spring webcam viewers have watched millions of minutes of manatees in their natural habitat,” says Patrick Rose, an aquatic biologist and Save the Manatee Club’s Executive Director.  “It’s absolutely thrilling to watch manatees just being manatees, playing and cavorting.  It gives viewers who might never otherwise see a manatee the opportunity to view them up close, in real time, and to observe them in their natural environment.”

 

Rose explains that the webcams offer unique opportunities for additional manatee research, as well as helping with preliminary health assessments of individual manatees who may be injured or sick, and to identify calves who are orphaned and need rescuing.  In addition, viewers who visit the site can read the latest manatee reports from Wayne Hartley, the Club’s Manatee Specialist and former Park Ranger and Principal Investigator for manatee research conducted at Blue Spring State Park.  Visitors to the webcams will also see alligators and a variety of spectacular Florida fish, birds, and turtles.

 

“The webcams help raise public awareness about manatees, attract countless new fans around the world, and ultimately strengthen the connection between people and Florida’s endangered manatee,” Rose adds.  “Hopefully, people will come to understand the vital role manatees and manatee protection efforts play in the aquatic ecosystem.”

 

Save the Manatee Club is a 501-(c)-3 nonprofit conservation and manatee welfare organization, established in 1981 by world-renowned singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett and former Florida Governor and U.S. Senator, Bob Graham.

 

For more information about manatees and the Club’s Adopt-A-Manatee® program, visit the website at www.savethemanatee.org.  Also, sign up for the Club’s free E-Newsletter. 

Comment by Mary Kate Leming on October 12, 2012 at 6:57am

Sun-Sentinel: Huge eyeball turns up in Pompano Beach

Comment by Mary Kate Leming on June 30, 2012 at 12:48pm

Oceana Opens Voting for 4th Annual Ocean Heroes Award Contest

Finalists Hail From FL, OR, CA, AK, VA and ME

Washington, DC- Today Oceana announces the beginning of public voting for its 4th annual Ocean Heroes Contest. After carefully reviewing over 400 nominations for America’s most exceptional contributors to ocean conservation, Oceana selected a unique group of six adult finalists and five junior finalists who hail from all corners of the country.

Guided by the biographies and accomplishments of each finalist, the public is invited to vote until July 11, 2012. Votes should be submitted at www.oceana.org/heroes 

“With finalists from Fort Lauderdale to Alaska, Los Angeles to the rocky coast of Maine, Oceana has chosen a diverse group of everyday ocean heroes from around the country who deserve to be recognized for their commitments to ocean conservation,” said Oceana CEO Andrew Sharpless. “These finalists use their unique talents to protect the oceans with projects like serving sustainable seafood, producing films about marine animals, diving for the removal of marine debris and more – all while reminding us that there are endless ways to protect the oceans in our everyday lives. Now it’s up to America to pick the winners.”

Based on the voting results, a winner in each division will be announced on July 18, 2012.

Oceana’s Ocean Heroes Contest is made possibly by its partners Nautica and Revo Sunglasses. All adult and junior finalists will receive prize packages that include a $100 gift card to Nautica.com; a pair of Revo sunglasses that feature a 100% recycled frame material and a high contrast polarized water lens that is tailored to the specific light-absorbance profile of ocean water. Nautica is providing a $500 gift card to the winners in each category.

To learn more about each finalist and vote for a hero, visit www.oceana.org/heroes 

Oceana is the largest international advocacy group working solely to protect the world’s oceans. Oceana wins policy victories for the oceans using science-based campaigns. Since 2001, we have protected over 1.2 million square miles of ocean and innumerable sea turtles, sharks, dolphins and other sea creatures. More than 550,000 supporters have already joined Oceana. Global in scope, Oceana has offices in North, South and Central America and Europe. To learn more, please visit www.oceana.org.

Comment by Mary Kate Leming on April 25, 2012 at 2:04pm

Leatherback turtle makes rare daytime appearance in Pompano Beach

Comment by Mary Kate Leming on April 25, 2012 at 2:01pm

Check out sea turtle tracks over beach patrol tracks just north of Boynton Inlet.

Comment by Mary Kate Leming on March 23, 2012 at 3:26pm

Comment by Mary Kate Leming on March 23, 2012 at 2:58pm

Easy Actions for Beach Lovers

Tuesday marked the first day of spring. While in some states, that might have residents anticipating the end of a snowy winter, in Florida it often represents the beginning of beach weather.

Florida’s 825 miles of sandy beaches attract millions of beach lovers each year. Some folks love to be a part of the crowds at the most popular beaches, while others prefer a more secluded seaside for yoga stretches or romantic strolls, or one where the mullet run and the red drum roll.

Whether you’re a local who gets a daily dose of the coast, a seasonal resident, a weekend sun worshiper or a once-a-year visitor, there are many easy actions that can ensure your favorite beach spot keeps the natural characteristics that keep you coming back.

Honeymoon Island State Park-Photo credit Christina Rueb

Before you go:

  • Pack a waste-free picnic lunch or snack pack.
  • Pack your beach towels, sunscreen and other beach supplies in reusable bags.
  • Locate nearby restroom facilities; many beaches also provide showers, so you can keep the sand on the beach and out of your vehicle. Check DEP’s online beach guide for a list of amenities on public beaches.
  • If you’re more into catching fish than catching a tan, learn what kind of license is required and species size limits by visiting the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website, where you can also obtain a license online.

On the Beach:

  • Keep litter off the beach and be sure to anchor plastic bags. Nearly 95,000 plastic bags were removed from Florida’s beaches in 2010. Plastic bags can end up in the gulf or Atlantic waters where sea turtles mistake them for a jellyfish lunch. Keep a bag handy for trash and recyclables.
  • Pick up after your pets.
  • Reel in and properly dispose of tangled fishing line, broken corks, hooks or other tackle. Discarded fishing line can entangle dolphins, pelicans and other ocean and shore dwelling creatures.
  • Use pathways and boardwalks when available to protect dunes and native vegetation.

Upon Departure:

  • Properly dispose of leftover food items and scraps. Predators scavenging for food may be detrimental to area threatened or endangered species.
  • Fill in any holes created during your visit. Creating moats and holes with sand shovels is fun, but presents a challenge to hatchling sea turtles after you leave.
  • Dispose of cigarettes properly. In 2010, the International Coastal Cleanup removed 1,892,526 cigarettes and cigarette filters from beaches around the world; more than 200,000 of these were on Florida’s beaches.
  • Follow a “Pack in, pack out” philosophy. Make sure everything you brought to the beach leaves the beach and is put into the proper trash cans or recycle bins.

One thing you should take from your beach visit – a lot of photos for unforgettable memories.

Find more easy actions to protect our environment.

Comment by Mary Kate Leming on March 6, 2012 at 6:10pm

March is Seagrass Awareness Month

 

Op Ed by Katie Tripp, Ph.D.

Director of Science & Conservation

Save the Manatee Club

 

March signals spring time in Florida – the longer days and warmer weather can create ideal conditions for fishing, kayaking, boating, or stand up paddle boarding in Florida’s estuaries and other coastal waterways.  It is fitting then that March is also Seagrass Awareness Month because seagrass beds are such an important component of our coastal waterways.  According to a recent report by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 2.2 million acres of seagrasses have been documented in Florida waters, providing ecological services worth $20 billion per year.  Ecological services include habitat values that cannot be measured by a traditional economic scale – i.e. the value of providing habitat to juvenile sport fish or food for manatees and sea turtles.  Seagrass beds also provide direct economic benefits to Florida through fishing charters and ecotourism businesses.

 

The condition of Florida’s seagrasses varies in different regions.  Seagrasses in the Keys are believed to be stable while those in certain areas of Southwest Florida and the Panhandle are declining.  Seagrasses along Florida’s east coast have been showing an increasing trend, and South Florida contains nearly 60% of the state’s seagrasses.  However, great losses in seagrass abundance in Brevard County in 2011 caused by environmental factors are a reminder that these ecosystems are vulnerable.

 

Seagrasses are found in clear and relatively shallow waters because their growth is fueled by sunlight.  Their occurrence in shallow water makes them susceptible to damage by boats that may try to motor through areas without proper clearance, creating “prop scars” in the grass beds.  A churning propeller cuts not only the blades of the grasses, but uproots and destroys the rhizomes (roots) in the sand and it can take years for the sediment to support regrowth and allow the scars to heal.  To prevent prop scarring, boats should stay in marked deep water channels while traveling.  Flats boats fishing in the seagrass beds should use poles and trolling motors to move through the water, to avoid damaging seagrasses with their engines.  If boaters become stuck in a shallow area with seagrssses or other submerged resources, they should never use the engine to try to blast free.  Instead, they should turn off the engine, shift passenger weight distribution in the boat, and try to move the boat using a long pole or oar.  If necessary, one or more passengers can exit the boat and  push it to deeper water.  Boaters should also use polarized sunglasses to reduce glare and help them see resources like seagrasses located beneath the water’s surface.

 

Seagrasses are negatively affected by stormwater runoff and algae blooms that block the sun’s rays since they need sunlight to grow.  Stormwater runoff to coastal waters can be reduced by creating swales and retention ponds and using pervious pavement.  Limiting use of fertilizers in landscapes adjacent to coastal waterways can reduce the nutrient loading that contributes to algae blooms. All of us who live and recreate in coastal areas can take steps to make our waters cleaner and protect the seagrasses that are so vitally important to our aquatic ecosystem and economy. 

 

###

 

 

Dr. Tripp has been Save the Manatee Club’s Director of Science and Conservation since May of 2008.  She received her Ph.D. in Veterinary Medical Sciences from the University of Florida, where she conducted research on manatee physiology. 

 

To listen to Jimmy Buffett’s 30-second seagrass public service announcement, go to www.savethemanatee.org/video_audio_psas.htm.  Scroll down to “Audio Public Service Announcements,” and it’s the first one under “Florida Spots.”

 

For more “Seagrass Facts” go to www.savethemanatee.org/seagrass_facts.pdf.  For additional information on seagrasses, visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s website at http://myfwc.com/research/habitat/seagrasses/publications/simm-repo...

 

For more information on manatees and to learn about the Club’s Adopt-A-Manatee® program, go to www.savethemanatee.org.

Comment by Mary Kate Leming on March 2, 2012 at 3:47pm

Watch Out for Increased Risk

of Rip Currents in March and April

 

According to the NOAA National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office, March and April typically bring an increase in easterly winds to our area which significantly increases the risk of rip currents along east coast beaches.

 

A sharp increase in drowning deaths and rescues caused by rip currents occurs during the spring months due in part to this shift in the wind patterns. All residents and visitors are strongly urged to heed the advice of ocean rescue lifeguards and swim near a lifeguard.

 

The Drowning Prevention Coalition (DPC) strongly recommends that everyone always swim in front of a lifeguard at the beach, and to remember “Don’t fight, swim left or right,” if caught in a rip current. Never swim against a rip current, but rather swim parallel to the shore.

 

For more information, please visit the DPC website at www.pbcgov.org/dpc and click on Ocean Safety or call 561-616-7068. The coalition is funded by the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners and the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County.

 

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