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. The Benefits of a Living Shoreline — October 6, 2017
  2. In Search of Horseshoe Crabs — October 6, 2017
  3. Microplastics Awareness Month — September 22, 2017
  4. DNA Barcoding Our Way into Understanding the Lionfish Problem — September 15, 2017
  5. The American Alligator: a new nuisance for the panhandle? — September 15, 2017

Author's posts listings

The Benefits of a Living Shoreline

Imagine this… You are a sailor on a 16th century Spanish galleon anchored in a Florida Bay south of Tampa. You, along with others, are ordered to go ashore for a scouting trip to set up a base camp.  You transfer over to a small skiff and row ashore to find a forest of root …

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In Search of Horseshoe Crabs

Back in the spring, I wrote an article about the natural history of this ancient animal. However, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is interested in the status of horseshoe crabs and they need to know locations where they are breeding – and Florida Sea Grant is trying to help. If you are not …

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Microplastics Awareness Month

For almost 40 years, the Ocean Conservancy has held the International Coastal Cleanup in September. Across the planet hundreds of thousands of volunteers clean marine debris from their shorelines.  The data collected is used by local agencies to manage this problem; such as discontinuing the use of pull tops from aluminum cans.  In the last …

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DNA Barcoding Our Way into Understanding the Lionfish Problem

In the late 1980’s a few exotic lionfish were found off the coast of Dania Florida. I do not think anyone foresaw the impact this was going to have.  Producing tens of thousands of drifting eggs per female each week, they began to disperse following the Gulf Stream.  First in northeast Florida, then the Carolina’s, …

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The American Alligator: a new nuisance for the panhandle?

I recently saw a photograph of an American Alligator (Alligator mississppiensis) crossing Perdido Key Drive on a heavy rain day.  This encounter would surprise some, and unnerve many.  The majority of the nuisance wildlife calls I receive are for snakes.  I have never received a call for an alligator but no doubt, my colleagues in …

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Invasive Exotic Species and Control Workshop

Join us to learn about identifying and controlling some of the most troublesome invasive exotic plants like cogongrass, Japanese climbing fern, privet, and others.  We will also address exotic insects that are causing, or will cause, big headaches for forestry and natural resource professionals.  Earn pesticide applicator CEU’s, forestry CEU’s and connect with partnership and …

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So What’s Good with Local Seafood?

Actually, if you like seafood – it’s all good! However, not everyone does and sometimes when this question is asked they are interested in not how it taste but where the seafood came from.   In recent years, there has been a move across the country to learn more about where their food comes from. …

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Panhandle Outdoors Water School – St. Joseph Bay

Our first POL program will happen this week – August 17 – at the Navarre Beach snorkel reef, and is sold out!  We are glad you all are interested in these programs.   Well!  We have another one for you.  The Natural Resource Extension Agents from UF IFAS Extension will be holding a two-day water school at …

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Trying to Solve the Marine Debris Problem

Since the early 1970’s, when Chief Iron Eyes Cody shed a tear on a television commercial, we have been trying to reduce the amount of solid waste found along our beaches and within our waters.   Though numerous agencies and civic groups, led by the Ocean Conservancy, have held beach and underwater clean ups over the …

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The Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus)

Also known as the Water Moccasin, this is a snake that is all too familiar with most Floridians… Or is it? Several non-venomous water snakes are often confused with the cottonmouth and are thus killed.  That said, cottonmouths are common in the state near areas of water and many residents do have encounters with them. …

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