Rick O'Connor

Author's details

Name: Rick O'Connor
Date registered: April 27, 2012

Biography

Sea Grant Extension Agent in Escambia County

Latest posts

  1. Our Magnificent Miner; the gopher tortoise — June 22, 2018
  2. Restoring the Health of Pensacola Bay, What Can You Do to Help? – Bioaccumulation of Toxins — June 22, 2018
  3. Restoring the Health of Pensacola Bay, What Can You Do to Help? – A Florida Friendly Yard — June 8, 2018
  4. An Intimidating Fish They Call the Stingray — May 31, 2018
  5. Restoring the Health of Pensacola Bay, What Can You Do to Help? – Sediments — May 25, 2018

Author's posts listings

Our Magnificent Miner; the gopher tortoise

Just a decade ago, few people would have known what a gopher tortoise was and would have hard time finding one. But today, because of the protection they have been afforded by the state, they are becoming more common.  This is certainly an animal you might see visiting one of our state parks. The gopher …

Continue reading »

Restoring the Health of Pensacola Bay, What Can You Do to Help? – Bioaccumulation of Toxins

What is bioaccumulation of toxins?   Our bodies come in contact, and produce, toxins every day. The production of toxins can result during simple metabolism of food.  However, our bodies are designed with a system to rid us of these toxins.  Toxins are processed by our immune system and removed via our kidneys.  Some chemical …

Continue reading »

Restoring the Health of Pensacola Bay, What Can You Do to Help? – A Florida Friendly Yard

We have been posting articles discussing some of the issues our estuaries are facing; this post will focus on one of the things you can do to help reduce the problem – a Florida Friendly Yard. The University of Florida IFAS developed the Florida Friendly Landscaping Program. It was developed to be included in the …

Continue reading »

An Intimidating Fish They Call the Stingray

It is now late May and in recent weeks I, and several volunteers, have been surveying the area for terrapins, horseshoe crabs, and monitoring local seagrass beds. We see many creatures when we are out and about; one that has been quite common all over the bay has been the “stingray”. These are intimidating creatures… …

Continue reading »

Restoring the Health of Pensacola Bay, What Can You Do to Help? – Sediments

In the mid 1990’s, the Bay Area Resource Council was created. This multi-county (Escambia and Santa Rosa) organization included local scientists and decision makers to help better understand the health of Pensacola Bay, develop a plan for restoration, and work collaboratively to acquire funding to do so.  At the inaugural meeting, many different scientists spoke …

Continue reading »

The Crown Conch – A Slow Predator of the Estuary

In recent weeks, volunteers and I have been surveying local estuaries counting terrapins, horseshoe crabs, and monitoring seagrass. One animal that has been very visible during these surveys is the relatively large snail known as the crown conch (Melongena corona).  Its shell is often found with a striped hermit crab living within, but it is …

Continue reading »

Restoring the Health of Pensacola Bay, what can you do to help? Biodiversity

Records of the variety of aquatic life in Pensacola Bay go back to the 18th century.  According to these reports, over 1400 species of plants and animals call Pensacola Bay home.  Many of them depend on seagrass, oyster reefs, or marshes to complete their life cycle.  The greatest diversity and abundance are found on the …

Continue reading »

Restoring the Health of Pensacola Bay; what can you do to help? Introduction

Humans have inhabited the shores of Pensacola Bay for centuries. Impacts on the ecology have happened all along, but the major impacts have occurred in the latter half of the 20th century.  There has been an increase in human population, an increase in development, a decrease in water clarity, a decrease in seagrasses, and a …

Continue reading »

Is it Seagrass or Seaweed?

For many, it really does not matter. But is there a difference? Yes… there is.  Seagrass is what typically washes ashore on the Sound side – seaweed is what we typically see on the Gulf.   So what is the difference?   Seagrasses are actually grasses. They are true plants in the sense they have …

Continue reading »

Which Local Creatures Eat Venomous Snakes?

In my job, I get many calls about snakes. Most people want to know how to tell a venomous from a nonvenomous one and how to keep them out of the yard.  I was recently reading a new book out by Dr. Sean Graham entitled American Snakes and in the chapter on snake defenses, he …

Continue reading »

Older posts «