It looks like this will be a good year for sea turtles on the Treasure Coast. The nesting season began on March 1st and continues until September 15th. As of July 1st, researchers counted more than 6100 nests on our beaches, compared with about 4800 last year. More than 60 percent of the nests were made by loggerheads, so named because of their large head. They are the most common sea turtle in Florida. The others were made by green turtles and leatherbacks. Only about one in 5,000 hatchlings makes it to adulthood. The problem is predators – crabs, birds, raccoons, coyotes, fish and,
The National Elephant Center in Indian River County is coming along. The Treasure Coast already is home to the Save the Chimps Sanctuary, west of Fort Pierce in St. Lucie County. If all goes according to plan, up to three dozen pachyderms will reside for a while or the rest of their lives on the 225-acre spread three miles north of Fellsmere.
Mosquito season is upon us. No one is watching those pesky little critters more carefully than the scientists at the Florida Medical Entomological Laboratory along the Indian River Lagoon off Oslo Road about three miles south of Vero Beach. The lab is part of the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. The property takes up 38 acres and is surrounded by 291 acres of wetlands, mangrove forests and scrubby pine woods –a good environment for learning about the natural world. The scientists are on the lookout for mosquitoes carrying West Nile or St.
Her name is Sigrid George. She moved from New York and began at Stuart Middle School as a teacher of English and Social Studies. That was in 1969. Recently Sigrid received a National PTA Life Achievement Award. It is richly deserved. Sigrid rose through the ranks at Stuart Middle School as curriculum coordinator and assistant principal. For the past 12 years she has been the principal. The Life Achievement Award is the highest honor bestowed by the National PTA. It goes to an individual who “daily lives out his or her commitment to children.” In a ceremony at Stuart Middle School,
Here’s a new unwelcome resident of the Treasure Coast. The Asian Tiger Prawn, otherwise known as the Asian Giant Shrimp – which sounds like a contradiction in terms. It joins a long list of invaders that includes the python, the wild hog and the lionfish. Two giant shrimp have been found in the Indian River Lagoon. One in Vero Beach in April, and one in Hobe Sound in September. Only two? Scientists with the University of Florida Sea Grant program at the Indian River Research and Education Center in Fort Pierce fear there could be many more. The giant shrimp grow and multiply quickly.
On June 1st, the hurricane season began on the Treasure Coast and elsewhere on the Atlantic seaboard. It lasts until the end of November. Are you ready? Weather forecasters are predicting 13 named tropical storms for the season. Five of them will be hurricanes with maximum sustained winds of 74 mph or above. This is about average. Of course, we don’t know if any of them will hit the mainland. The National Hurricane Center is urging residents in hurricane-prone areas to “go tapeless.” That means do not tape your windows.
Can you imagine the Treasure Coast without the ocean? There would be no coast, of course, and no treasure from a fleet of sunken Spanish galleons. There would be no miles of beaches, no surf, no sailfish, no loggerhead turtles. It would be like Florida’s interior. No offense intended. That’s why World Oceans Day should mean something to us. In 2008, the United Nations proclaimed each June 8th as World Oceans Day. This year, the theme is “Youth: the Next Wave for Change.” Environmental centers along the Treasure Coast have special activities planned. On Friday, June 8th, you can vis