Tag Archive: water quality

Slow the flow: Why should we care about stormwater runoff?

Stormwater runoff is water from rainfall that flows along the land surface. This runoff usually finds its way into the nearest ditch or water body, such as a river, stream, lake or pond. Generally speaking, in natural undeveloped areas only 10% of rainfall is runoff. About 40% returns to the atmosphere though evapotranspiration, which is …

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What Cause the Toxic Algal Bloom in South Florida and Could It Happen Here?

Most of us have heard about the toxic algal blooms plaguing south Florida waters. If not, check out http://www.cnbc.com/2016/07/05/.  This bloom has caused several major fish kills, bad odors, and has kept tourist away from the area.  What happen? and could it happen in the panhandle? First we have to understand what happened in south …

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It’s Happening … Red Tide

 Many coastal Panhandlers woke up this week to the sight and smell of dead fish. Thousands of them washed ashore from Panama City to Pensacola. This mass die off included a variety of species including whiting, sheepshead, hake, cusk eels, and even lionfish; there were also reports of dead bass from the Dune Lakes in …

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National Estuaries Week! – Problems in Our Bays

I don’t want this to sound like a “Debbie Downer”… but there are problems with our estuaries and panhandle residents should be aware of them. There are things you can do to correct them – which we will discuss in the final issues of this series – but you need to understand the problem to …

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Looks like a Typical Year for the Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone

What is the Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone you ask? Well…it’s a layer of hypoxic water (low in dissolved oxygen) on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. It was first detected in the 1970’s but reached its peak in size in the 1990’s. The low levels of dissolved oxygen decrease the amount of marine …

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What You Need to Know About Vibrio Bacteria in Gulf Waters

After the recent report of a fatality due to the Vibrio bacteria near Tampa many locals have become concerned about their safety when entering the Gulf of Mexico this time of year. So what are the risks and how do you protect yourself?   What is the Flesh Eating Disease Vibrio? Vibrio vulnificus is a …

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3 Ways You Can Help Keep Our Bays Healthy

Following a previous article on the number of ways you can help sea turtles, this week we will look at ways that local residents can help keep our waterways clean. Poor water quality is a concern all over the country, and so it is locally as well. When we have heavy rain all sorts of …

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Invasive Species of the Day (February 25): Coral Ardisia and Wild Hogs

Coral Ardisia (Ardisia crenata):   Coral ardisia is also known as coral berry, spice berry, and scratchthroat. It was introduced into Florida in the early 1900’s for ornamental purposes. In the ensuing years, it has since it escaped cultivation and has become established in hardwood hammocks and other moist woods of natural areas and grazing lands. …

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New Year Brings New Fertilizer Regulations

Beginning New Year’s Day of 2014, a new law went into effect that state lawmakers, environmental advocates, and lawn care professionals hope will reduce Florida’s decades-long problem with stormwater runoff pollution.  The law states that all lawn care professionals applying fertilizer as part of their business must pass a Green Industries Best Management Practices (GI-BMP) …

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Improving Water Quality and Bringing Back the Bayous

Those who have lived in the Panhandle area for many years will remember the days when our local bayous were places people water skied, kids learned to swim, and fishermen brought home plenty of speckled trout.  But today we see little of this.  Water quality within our bayous has declined to a point that the …

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