Florida Sea Grant Extension in Collier County

Welcome to the Collier County Sea Grant Extension Blog

This blog is an opportunity for me to share with you my extension outreach efforts and useful information to make you a more informed coastal citizen. If you have any questions about what you see, feel free to contact me at fluech@ufl.edu.

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day Reef Clean Up

Since today is Earth Day, my colleagues and I decided to organize an underwater clean up of some natural hardbottom habitat off the coast of Naples. I partnered with the Collier County Sheriff's office, City of Naples Natural Resources Department and Collier County's Coastal Zone Management Department. Based on some previous dives, we knew the area had debris on it. The visibility wasn't great, but then again its the Gulf of Mexico, what do you expect?!! Regardless, it was great to be underwater for a good cause. We ended up removing several anchors, two crab traps, ropes, and fishing line. Although I didn't go out there to specifically monitor fish, I did see the following species: Goliath, gag, and red groupers (not many of them though), mangrove snapper, sheepshead, white grunt, sand perch, belted sandfish, porkfish, spadefish, lookdown, hogfish, inshore lizzardfish, cubbyu, some type of pipefish, and tiger goby.  Inverts included variegated and rock boring urchins, fighting conchs, horse conch, banded and orange-ridged sea stars, three-rowed sea cucumber, giant anemone, knobby star coral, cup coral, tube coral, some kind of starlet coral, sea whips, sea fans, and several species of  tunicates and sponges. I don't expect National Geographic to be calling me anytime soon for my photographs, but  I did take several. Enjoy!

There were several soft and hard corals on the natural hardbottom today.

three-rowed sea cucumber

Giant Anemone

Horse conch laying eggs

Lightning whelk crawling across the bottom


Spottail pinfish

Several kinds of tunicates were all over the reefs.

Pamela Keyes with Collier County's Coastal Zone Management Department removes lines from the reef.

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