News

Mote Marine scientist and START’s Executive Board Member, Dr. Barbara Kirkpatrick, has been elected  the co-chair of the National Harmful Algal Bloom Committee.  The NHC brings together authorities from research organizations, government agencies, communities and other groups to focus on harmful algal blooms while raising national-level awareness of bloom related issues. Barbara was elected by [...]

Environmental groups have launched a petition drive for a constitutional amendment that would earmark $10 billion in state funds over 20 years for conservation programs.  As an amendment, it would cement funding formulas for land purchases and conservation efforts that lawmakers could not change without voter approval. At issue is money for the state’s Land [...]

Wildlife officials say sea turtle nest counts are up on east-central Florida beaches.  In Volusia County, turtles have dug 2,884 nests so far this year, up from 2,356 nests all last year.  In Flagler County, turtles have dug 555 nests so far this year, compared with 444 in 2011. Sea turtle nesting in Manatee and [...]

Female Pillar Corals Spawning

Researchers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have documented male and female pillar corals spawning together in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.  This is a significant discovery because it was unclear if female pillar corals existed in Florida. Diving off Key Largo, researchers witnessed male pillar coral colonies releasing clouds of milky [...]

An Abundance of Seaweed In Florida

An overabundance of seaweed has been washing ashore on both coasts of Florida. Since January, news media in Broward County have reported that 1,000 tons of seaweed has been removed from the shore in Fort Lauderdale.  Beaches on the Gulf Coast especially those in Sarasota, Manatee and Pinellas counties have been affected. Experts call the [...]

Sarasota Bay Watch’s Fifth Annual Scallop Search took place on August 11th.  Over 150 volunteers aged 2 – 82, took part in this event on boats ranging from kayaks and motor boats to sail boats.  Ninety–three scallops were counted this year, twelve times the number counted in 2011.  The event was sponsored by the Guy [...]

The South Florida Aquarium hosted a birthday party this month for Snooty, the oldest manatee in captivity.  He was brought to Manatee County in 1949 to Bradenton’s DeSoto celebration.  He is 9-foot, 8-inches and weighs 1,205 pounds and has greeted more than 2 million visitors.  The Aquarium believes Snooty is the oldest manatee to live [...]