Tag Archive: water quality

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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Sea Grant Publications on the Impacts of the BP Oil Spill

  We are pleased to announce the release of a pair of new bulletins outlining how the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill impacted the popular marine animals dolphins and sea turtles. To read these and other oil spill science publications, go to http://gulfseagrant.org/oilspilloutreach/publications/.    The Deepwater Horizon’s impact on bottlenose dolphins – In 2010, scientists …

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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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