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Home » Tag Archives: Gulf of Mexico

Tag Archives: Gulf of Mexico

On The Move

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By Coastal Breeze News Staff Local businesses are hiring and promoting folks more and more these days. Here are some of the latest appointed to new positions:   Marco Beach Resort Gets New GM The Marco Beach Ocean Resort announced it has appointed Joseph Fisher as general manager. Fisher will be responsible for all day-to-day operations of the all-suite hotel. Fisher brings a wealth of hotel management experience to the Marco Beach Ocean Resort, ranging from hotel operations to food and beverage. Most recently, he served as director of food and beverage for the Waldorf Astoria, a four-star luxury property ... Read More »

Caves of the Yucatan Peninsula and Florida

Bob and Cathy explore an underground  cavern in Mexico. SUBMITTED PHOTO

STEPPING STONES  Bob McConville  Master Naturalist In early June of this year, my wife, Cathy, and I took the opportunity to visit the Yucatan Peninsula area of Mexico. The marine life and geology of this region are positively fascinating. In addition to snorkeling with whale sharks — the largest fish on the planet — we ventured inland to Mexico’s jungles to learn more about the ecology. What we found was absolutely surprising. This portion of the peninsula sits right where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Caribbean Sea. The closest land mass is Cuba, and just north of that is ... Read More »

Red Tide ‘Not Present’ — For Now

These ominous blood-red tides are caused by a large accumulation of algae in coastal waters and are especially common along the coast of Florida. While disconcerting, only some are harmful to marine life: these are known as HABs, harmful algal blooms, and can even pose a risk to humans.

By Melinda Gray melinbrya3@yahoo.com This time last year, Marco Island and other Southwest Florida coastal communities were reeling from the negative effects of a prolonged red tide bloom. Reports of the bloom began in December 2012 with Marco Island presenting “very low” to “low” concentrations of red tide, and by mid-February 2013, those concentrations crept up to “medium” status. The 2013-2014 season has been a very different story. Currently, the Collier County Natural Resources Department is reporting that Karenia brevis, or K. brevis — the naturally-occurring dinoflagellate that causes “Florida red tide” — is “not present” in samples of water ... Read More »

Celebrate Our Nation’s Birthday by Respecting Our Beach

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PROTECTING & PRESERVING Nancy Richie NRichie@cityofmarcoisland.com One of the best holidays in our country is the 4th of July! Our nation — turning 238 years old — knows how to put on a party, right? It is a day to reflect why our nation is so great, how we are the luckiest citizens on earth, and be thankful for all those that have and do ensure that the United States remains the “land of the free.” It has always been such a big, happy, fun-filled holiday for my family growing up in California in a small town and then raising ... Read More »

Swimming with the Largest Fish on Earth

The mouth of this whale shark is nearly 4 feet wide. It filters plankton and small fish from the sea water to obtain protein. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

Stepping Stones Bob McConville Master Naturalist This column is dedicated to Marine Biologist James Livacarri, whose passion, knowledge and smile deeply in spire tens of thousands of visitors to Marco Island. May your seas always be calm, and may the road rise up to meet you. May all of your journeys be pleasant, and may you and your family remain continually blessed. Thank you, my friend! I couldn’t believe my eyes! Our boat was right along side the largest fish in the world. The captain cautiously edged the vessel forward until we were about 30 feet in front of the ... Read More »

Deciphering Changes to Federal Gulf Fisheries

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By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com Just as the weather, water and fishing were heating up in the Gulf of Mexico this spring, officials with NOAA Fisheries implemented new recreational fishing closures and accountability measures for six popular Gulf reef species — red snapper, red grouper, gray triggerfish, greater amberjack, hogfish and Spanish mackerel. The reason: Federal recreational catch limits in the Gulf were exceeded in 2013 for red snapper, red grouper, gray triggerfish and greater amberjack, while the combined commercial and recreational catch limits for hogfish and Spanish mackerel also were exceeded. If you are one of the thousands of ... Read More »

The Gulf Stream: A Migratory Highway

A newborn loggerhead, less than 2-inches long, gets ahead start towards the Gulf Stream current that will take it thousands of miles before returning to Marco Island 20-plus years from now. PHOTO BY BOB MCCONVILLE

Stepping Stones Bob McConville Master Naturalist Over the next few months, there will be a lot of attention given to the loggerhead turtles that nest on our local beaches. Not so much fuss will be made once the eggs have hatched, but many people are very aware of the absolutely magnificent, nearly impossible journey that these youngsters take. It is nothing short of a miracle. Some of them will catch the Gulf Stream current just off our shoreline, grab a transfer into the Atlantic Ocean and continue up the coastline until they turn east toward Europe and Africa. But they ... Read More »

Gulf Recreational Red Snapper Season Opens

The recreational red snapper season in Gulf state waters opened Saturday, May 24, and will remain open through July 14, a total of 52 days, closing July 15. The federal season will be 9 days, starting June 1 and remaining open through June 9, closingJune 10. Florida state waters in the Gulf are from shore to 9 nautical miles. Federal waters extend from where state waters end, out to about 200 nautical miles. The daily bag limit for red snapper will remain 2 per person in Gulf state and federal waters. The minimum size limit is 16 inches total length. There is a zero daily ... Read More »

Sea Turtle Season: Let’s All Do Our Part

1st Sea Turtle Nest of 2013 on Sand Dollar Island.

PROTECTING & PRESERVING Nancy Richie NRichie@cityofmarcoisland.com Sunday, April 20, was the fourth anniversary of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Though the oil and secondary impacts to this environmental disaster never reached the shores of Marco Island, it affected the sea turtles and shorebird populations throughout the Gulf. That summer, there was record number of volunteers willing to step up and volunteer to help marine wildlife and protect our beaches. Those numbers have dwindled over the last few years as the memory and anxiety of oil on our beaches faded. Why does it take a disaster to ... Read More »

Recreational Red Snapper Season Set

The Gulf recreational red snapper season will be a total of 52 days in 2014 and will start the Saturday before Memorial Day (May 24 this year) and remain open through July 14, closing July 15. Florida state waters in the Gulf are from shore to 9 nautical miles. Federal waters extend from where state waters end, out to about 200 nautical miles. The daily bag limit will remain 2 per person in state and federal waters. To learn more about recreational red snapper fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Gulf Snapper.” Read More »

Guadalupe Students Return to Marco

The students of the Guadalupe Center’s After-school program will return to Marco Island for the annual Buddy Day event on Wednesday, February 26th, 2014. This year, nearly 180 second grade students from Pinecrest, Lake Trafford, Highlands, and Village Oaks Elementary Schools, who have been working diligently to improve their grades in the After-school program, will travel from Immokalee to Marco Island for a day of fun at Hideaway Beach. For many of the students, this will be their first trip out of Immokalee, and for most, their first experience at the Gulf of Mexico. Each “Little Buddy” will be paired ... Read More »

2014 Gulf Recreational Red Snapper Season

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) proposed 2014 Gulf recreational red snapper season dates in state waters. This proposed season will be brought back before the Commission for final approval at its April 15-17 meeting in Tallahassee. The 2014 proposed season, if approved in April, would be 52 days long, starting the Saturday before Memorial Day, (May 24 this year) and remaining open through July 14, closing July 15. The Commission could choose to change the season length and dates at the April meeting. State waters in the Gulf are from shore to 9 nautical miles. Federal waters ... Read More »

Winner Winner, Redfish Dinner!

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FOLLOW THE FISH Capt. Pete Rapps CaptainRapps@gmail.com One species of fish that we catch all year round here in the 10,000 islands is Redfish. Its true name is Red Drum, however most in our area refer to them as Redfish or just “Reds.” Their Latin name is Sciaenops Ocellatus, and they are closely related to the Black Drum or the Pogonias Cromis. They are classified as Drums because they make a deep drumming noise. Several times I have come upon large schools of Redfish that you could actually hear making a deep bass drumming noise in the water around the boat. ... Read More »

Vibrio Questions Answered

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By Bryan Fleuch UF/IFAS Collier County Extension Director Florida Sea Grant Extension Agent Questions have been floating around as to whether it is safe to swim in local waters because of a recent incident where an elderly woman had to have her leg amputated due to exposure to Vibrio vulnificus. So far, nine people have died in Florida since January from the baceria. In case you are not familiar with Vibrio, here are some frequently asked questions about it, that can help you in case you are concerned. What is Vibrio vulnificus? Vibrio vulnificus is a bacterium that occurs naturally ... Read More »

Time to Get Snook-ered

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By Nancy Richie The Florida Snook season opens September 1, 2013 for a limited harvest in both the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean state and federal waters. The season closes December 1 in the Gulf (including Monroe County and Everglades National Park) and December 15 in the Atlantic (including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River). The bag limits (catch/harvest per day) throughout the state are one-fish-per-person-per-day. Size limits differ on either side of the Florida peninsula: In the Gulf of Mexico, the snook must be not less than 28 inches and not more than 33 inches total length; in ... Read More »

The Tipping Point: Time to Pay Attention

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PROTECTING & PRESERVING Nancy Richie NRichie@cityofmarcoisland.com Marco Island. Paradise. It’s a destination for many, a seasonal home for thousands and a year-round community and permanent home for many more – both humans and wildlife.   Separated from mainland peninsular Florida by the Marco River with the Rookery Bay estuary and the 10,000 Islands ecosystem complex cradling it on the edge of the southwestern Gulf of Mexico, the approximately four by four square mile island is one-of-a-kind. Once 6,000 acres of mangroves, it is now over one hundred miles of manmade canals with that gorgeous 7-mile crescent beach, both recreational for tourists ... Read More »

New name for Tigertail Beach?

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By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com The tide — and name — may be changing for Tigertail Beach and Sand Dollar Island.   At last week’s Marco Island Planning Board meeting, Collier County’s Director of Parks and Recreation, Barry Williams presented an outline of current and proposed improvement projects slated for county-owned Tigertail Beach Park. A part of the state-owned Big Marco Pass Critical Wildlife Area (CWA) and a bird watcher’s paradise, this area encompasses Tigertail Beach and its lagoon, as well as Sand Dollar Island. The former sand bar has wrapped itself around the CWA and become a Gulf of ... Read More »

The City of Marco Island’s Beach Ordinance

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The City of Marco Island’s Beach Ordinance #08-14, under Section 54-36. Regulation of Use and Conduct on the Beach, Item (g) states: It shall be unlawful for any person while on the Beach or within 1,000 feet from shore to fish for sharks or to fish by those methods commonly known as chumming or blood baiting. Nothing herein shall be construed to create a duty of any sort on the part of any law enforcement officer or city employee to prevent fishing or to warn of the presence of sharks in the Gulf of Mexico. To address the increase in ... Read More »

“SEASON” is Just Starting for Some

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PROTECTING & PRESERVING Nancy Richie NRichie@cityofmarcoisland.com Snowbird Season – or as locals simply call it – “season,” is over. Or at least it has definitely slowed down. Our roads are quieter; that’s good. Restaurants are easier to get in; that’s good for locals (but not so good for owners). Publix aisles are navigable; that’s great! The beach has fewer people on it; nice. But now it is a different kind of “season.” It is one for Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta caretta) and nesting shorebirds, such as Black Skimmers (Rynchops niger), Least Terns (Sternula antillarum), and Wilson Plovers (Charadrius wilsonia). This ... Read More »

Honoring National Everglades Day

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By Natalie Strom natalie@coastalbreezenews.com In honor of the Second Annual National Everglades Day, April 6th, Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (RBNERR) was ready to throw a party. Just last year the date was chosen as it is the birthday of Marjorie Stoneman Douglas, a champion of the Everglades, known best for her book, “The Everglades: River of Grass.” She was at the forefront of the fight towards redefining the Everglades as a treasured river rather than a useless swamp. Much has been learned about “The River of Grass” since Douglas wrote the book in 1947, but the devastation to ... Read More »