Monday, September 29, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
We admire the Mary's bean in Margie's photo, but don't overlook that beautiful golden sargassum seaweed.
October is usually a good month for finding sea-beans, depending on the storms, the tides, good luck .... That is, of course, why the Sea-Bean Symposium is always held in mid-October. I hope you've already marked your calendar for October 17 and 18, Cocoa Beach Library. Be sure to visit http://www.visitflorida.com/experts/beach_and_surf/ for David McRee's excellent posting about the Symposium.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Ann Zscheile wants folks to know that seaweed is good for the beach for several reasons. "It adds nutrients (food) to the beach and also helps it rebuild and "renourish" itself. It is the best and least expensive form of "renourishment." I have heard people talk about raking the seaweed up and also of collecting it and removing it from the beach. Beachside residents should be grateful for the seaweed, as it not only helps the beach, it often brings us unexpected treasures." To illustrate the point, she sent this photo taken last year at Hightower Park in Satellite Beach of the beach restabilizing and rebuilding itself naturally over the seaweed.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
The second photo is of the Keep Brevard Beautiful coastal cleanup check-in site. The picture was taken about 10:00 in the morning, and you can see a respectable collection of white trash bags midway through the four-hour event.
Florida Today reports the following stats for Brevard County: 1,125 volunteers, 27,375 pounds of trash collected (vs 35, 553 collected last year). Good job!
We'll report Ocean Conservancy stats when they become available.
(Photos by Marge Bell. Click to enlarge.)
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
We're excited that Izumi Hanno, world traveling sea-beaner, will be back with us. Izumi is a botanical artist, a cartoonist and a beachcomber. It's been several years since we saw Izumi, and we're looking forward to her presentation on Saturday afternoon (1:00 to 2:00). This girl leads an exciting life!
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Curious as to the effects of Ike on Florida as he moved through the Gulf, I asked David McRee, aka BeachHunter , what was going on at the beaches of Florida's Gulf Coast. He sent this report, plus a couple of photos.
"Tides here have been running about 3 feet above normal for several days and the surf has been in the 5 to 8 foot range. Attached is a photo I took of a surfer on Anna Maria Island yesterday. The water in the finger canals has been coming out of the banks and onto the roadways, in some places a foot deep. Many roads are nearly impassable on some parts of some islands. Can you imagine if the storm was actually heading toward us? I feel sorry for anyone in Galveston that thinks they are going to ride this one out. No way. Some large moon jellies have been washing up here in St. Pete, and I found both halves of a large sunray venus clam two days ago (photo attached). That doesn't happen often. Lots of parchment worm tubes tangled up with algae in the wrack, and some flotsam. Pen shells, broken whelks and tulips washing up too."
David is not only BeachHunter, he is the Beach and Surf Expert for http://www.visitflorida.com/ . We are absolutely delighted with his recent review of our Florida Beach Basics - The Space Coast - as the saying goes, "He got it!" Be sure to read the review, and wander around in the rest of his blog as well. (Photos courtesy of David McRee. Click to enlarge.)
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Ann Zscheile reports the following:
"We had calls all week, but they really peaked on Friday when Hanna passed by quickly. We had eroded nests, eggs on the beach, exposed nests, nests starting to hatch that were exposed to predators (mostly birds) and premature hatchlings, but no documented washbacks. There is not a whole lot we can do once the eggs are out of the nest. We can rebury them, but most likely they will no longer be viable. (State regulations do not allow us to relocate nests or take in unhatched eggs. Even though it is difficult to see, this is part of the natural process that has gone on for a very long time.) We did not have a lot of hatchlings, of the ones we did have, most of them were exposed before they had completely absorbed their egg yolk and were not quite ready to make the swim out. After a day or two, once all of the yolk was absorbed, they were more than ready to go. The interesting thing about this series of storms from Fay to Hanna is that the mama turtles continued to come up and nest! I saw a loggerhead nest on Labor Day which really surprised me and we had 3 green sea turtles nest in Cocoa Beach during Fay. In fact Dori Hughes (nest survey permit holder) named the turtles, Fay, Fay and Fay!!"
Our sincere thanks to everybody out there working to protect our critters, and of course to Ann and Connie for sharing their words and photos. (Photos by Connie Meihofer. Click to enlarge.)
Saturday, September 6, 2008
What a find - almost as good as a Mary's Bean!
Friday, September 5, 2008
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Good things come in with the sargassum - the wrack line is where you are most likely to find sea-beans. Unfortunately, as you may recall from an earlier posting, hatchling sea turtles that make their home in the "nursery" provided by the Sargasso Sea also wash in with this seaweed. These post-hatchlings are referred to as "washbacks", and they don't have the strength to swim back out to their home. If you find washbacks, don't just put them back into the ocean. Please call the Sea Turtle Preservation Society (STPS) at (321) 676-1701 or take them to the STPS facility located near the intersection of 5th Avenue and A1A in Indialantic, in the strip shopping center next to Wendy's. If it is after hours, there is a holding box at the back of the facility, or call the pager (321) 455-0576 and input your phone number.
In our DVD, we recommend that you use a "wrack stick" to look for things in the wrack line - you never know what might be in there.