In this Issue:
  • Maintain Your Septic System to Save Money and Reduce Water Pollution
  • Am I Living in a Floodplain?
  • Aquaponics: A Growing Hobby
  • Sustainable Gift-Giving
  • I’m so confused about seafood!
  • Transient Birds and Beach House Refuge
  • Water Conservation in the Landscape
  • NISAW 2016 – Beach Vitex in the Florida Panhandle
  • National Estuaries Week! – What We Can Do
  • National Estuaries Week! – Ecotourism
  • Sustainable Living

    Maintain Your Septic System to Save Money and Reduce Water Pollution

    One third of homes in Florida rely on septic systems, or onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems (OSTDS), to treat and dispose of household wastewater, which includes wastewater from bathrooms, kitchen sinks and laundry machines. When properly maintained, septic systems can last 25-30 years, and maintenance costs are relatively low. A general rule of thumb …

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    Am I Living in a Floodplain?

    Floods are a common concern in many areas of the U.S. Gulf coastal residents should be particularly aware. Floods may come in the form of flash floods, which come with little warning. Other flood conditions come on slower, as with large thunder storm fronts and tropical storms. With hurricane season not far away, it’s a …

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    Aquaponics: A Growing Hobby

    There has been an increasing demand by clientele for information and training on small-scale food production methods to meet the growing demand for locally produced food and for personal consumption. One of the University of Florida Extension’s high-priority initiatives is “increasing the sustainability, profitability, and competitiveness of agricultural and horticultural enterprises.” One food production method …

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    Sustainable Gift-Giving

    I don’t know about you, but my kids have a lot of “stuff.” Legos on my son’s floor, stuffed animals surrounding my daughter’s room—it’s a lot to keep up with. Granted, they have never thrown away a Lego brick or stuffed animal, so they’re not contributing to the landfill (only my lack of sanity), and …

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    I’m so confused about seafood!

    I’ve spent the past 25 years studying and growing fish. When folks find out I’m a fish head, I often get a lot of questions about the safety and sustainability of many seafood products.  It seems that the media and other groups have done a good job of scaring and confusing the American public to …

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    Transient Birds and Beach House Refuge

    Birds, migration, and climate change. Mix them all together and intuitively, we can imagine an ecological train wreck in the making. Many migratory bird species have seen their numbers plummet over the past half-century – due not to climate change, but to habitat loss in the places they frequent as part of their jet-setting life …

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    Water Conservation in the Landscape

      Early spring is a great time of year to reevaluate your lawn and landscape water needs. University of Florida studies have shown that in homes utilizing automatic sprinkler systems, 50% of total home water consumption in the summer comes from running a sprinkler system.  When a homeowner is using utility water, they are typically …

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    NISAW 2016 – Beach Vitex in the Florida Panhandle

    In 2013 we began writing about a potential invasive plant in the Florida panhandle called Beach Vitex (Vitex rotundifolia). The first record we knew of was reported from Pensacola Beach and was posted on EDDmaps.org. According to this website only two other records had been found in Florida, both in the Jacksonville area. It did …

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    National Estuaries Week! – What We Can Do

    In the last edition in this series we discussed some of the issues and problems our estuaries are facing. For the final edition for National Estuaries Week we want to leave you with some ideas on you can help improve things.   The first issue we dealt with was eutrophication – or nutrient overloading. The …

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    National Estuaries Week! – Ecotourism

    A couple of years a few agencies in south Alabama put together something they called the Alabama Birding Trail. It was a relatively simple idea really – they developed a brochure that marked different locations where visitors could enjoy birding in the two county area. They had large signs posted at those locations so that …

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