SAND KEY - Invasive non-native plants and trees are beginning to take over Bay Park in Clearwater. As a result, the Sand Key Civic Association is taking steps to reclaim the area for the native plants.
The association has joined forces with the city of Clearwater to clear the park of all the non-native trees. The main offenders are the Brazilian pepper tree, the Australian pine and the carrotwood tree.
Can you imagine a day without coffee, chocolate, apples, or honey? Did you know that nearly 90 percent of all wild flowering plants depend at least to some extent on animal pollination, and of the 1,400 crop plants grown around the world 75 percent require pollination by animals?
Pollinators provide an essential ecological function. Without them the human race and all of our land-based ecosystems would perish.
Now that you know how important they are, what exactly are pollinators? Pollinators enable plants to reproduce and this reproduction produces many things we use, such as fruits, vegetables, beans and oils. Pollinators include many species of animals such as butterflies, flies, moths, wasps, beetles, birds, bats, midges and many other animals. There are more than 20,000 species of wild bees, so it isn’t just European honeybees that provide plant pollination.
TIERRA VERDE - Tampa Bay Watch recently received $10,500 for being one of the beneficiaries of Cure on Wheels Cure the Bay’s Challenge.
Tampa Bay Watch hosted the bike ride event on Sunday, May 1. A total of $10 from each of the rider’s registration fees went to Tampa Bay Watch and each rider received a one-year membership to the environmental organization. Additionally, Tampa Bay Watch formed a team whose members rode in the race and fundraised for their mission to restore and protect the Tampa Bay estuary through scientific and educational programs.
As we inch our way closer to fall, things are becoming more interesting with each passing moon. Redfish are the first fish many think of when talking about fall fishing in our region. Schools of big reds, most of which are over the slot limit of 27 inches, are roaming the grass flats throughout Tampa Bay. These are no doubt an entirely different strain of fish that we have been picking on all summer.
They are fat and bright in color, as they can be seen as an orange ball from great distances on bluebird days. These fish are more than likely mature and in a pre-spawn pattern, and as the days become shorter, many of the smaller schools will join together, creating massive aggregations that will eventually move to deeper water to spawn.
CLEARWATER - Lifeguards on Clearwater Beach have raised purple flags to warn visitors of dangerous marine life in the water. On Wednesday, Aug. 17, 10 swimmers were treated for minor injuries after being stung by stingrays.
The warm waters of the Gulf attract more stingrays during this time of year.
CLEARWATER - Three rehabilitated green sea turtles - Largo, Incendio and EE - were released back into the Gulf of Mexico Wednesday morning after receiving care from Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
All three sea turtles were admitted to the aquarium’s animal hospital due to the presence of fibropapilloma tumors: a HPV-like condition shared by many of the turtles treated at CMA.
EE was one of the turtles admitted this winter during Operation Cold Stun, when cold water temperatures resulted in hundreds of turtle rescue calls for the CMA team. With the support of CMA fans, more than $32,000 was raised to assist the Operation Cold Stun sea turtles.
A full moon and east winds will provide plenty of opportunity for anglers targeting mangrove snapper.
Mangos, as local anglers call them, are synonymous with summer full moons. Whether you’re targeting 12- to 16-inch fish in our nearshore waters over the abundance of manmade artificial reefs or heading out deeper to the middle grounds for larger snapper in the 5-pound and up class, this looks to be a good week for it. Artificial reefs attract schools of snapper due to their often high relief. In comparison to a natural ledge that may have 2- to 4-feet of relief, an artificial structure may come off the bottom 10- to 20-feet.