Environment

'Growing' solar

By ROCCO MAGLIO

On September 1, 2015, the USDA Agricultural Research Service transferred their 3800 acre research facility in Brooksville to FAMU (Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University). It was reportedly “one of the single largest land transfers to a Historically Black College or University in history from the USDA.”

Metals that just keep on giving

For many years, countries in Europe have been imposing fines on people who refuse to recycle. Sweden, in particular, is so good at recycling that it now imports rubbish from other countries to keep its recycling plants going. Scotland has installed machines that give money back for returning empty bottles and cans, safe in the knowledge that all items collected will be sent for recycling. And England is soon to follow.  

Some countries, however, have no penalties or incentives at all for recycling. 

On Bayou Drive

Hernando County is a great place to fish, with a mixture of fresh brackish water to the wide-open Gulf. Anglers can enjoy casting off at Jenkins Fishing Pier, Linda Pedersen Park and Bayport Park. These areas are also fantastic spots for nature photographers to capture those scenic sunsets and Great Egrets flying over the marshland. 

There is a favorite spot that I like to go to photograph. It’s a quiet little place with a variety of wading birds; pleasant for early morning walkers and bicyclists. This place is on Bayou Drive in Weeki Wachee, FL.

Scubanauts Conduct Fish Surveys at New Reefs

During the weekend of July 7-8, 2018, Hernando County Aquatics Manager Keith Kolasa led a team of SCUBAnauts to conduct fish surveys at recently deployed artificial reefs.  Everyone participating remarked about the unusual clarity of the water, which was ideal for diving and counting the new reef inhabitants.

 

Senior SCUBAnaut Noah Heskin reported that the team counted a “couple hundred bait fish” between three sites.  He also reported counting a shark, a few sea turtles, and a lot of Gag Grouper, each approximately one foot long.   

Social media group organizes preserve clean-up

Theresa Weglarz is an avid hiker and has lived in Hernando County for over 30 years. On Jan. 26,, 2018 she created a social media group called Friends of Weeki Wachee (Weekiwachee) Preserve.

“I heard about the preserve and wanted to hike there,” Weglarz said. With frequent visits she realized how beautiful this preserve is as well as a pristine location in Hernando County. “This place is incredible,” she remarked.

UF’s New Honey Bee Lab Will Support Beekeeping, Agriculture

GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- Twenty percent of the food we eat is made possible by honey bees. And behind each of these hardworking pollinators is an equally hardworking beekeeper or scientist who helps them thrive.

The University of Florida’s honey bee program has been around since the 1920s, but this June will mark the completion of a new honey bee headquarters on the UF campus, said Jamie Ellis, Gahan Endowed Associate Professor of Entomology in UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

Latest data from UF citizen scientists show air potato beetles flourishing in Florida

GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- Across Florida, thousands of small, red beetles have been battling the invasive air potato vine for the last eight years, one bite at a time.

And they appear to be prospering, according to the latest data collected through the collaborative efforts of the University of Florida, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and hundreds of citizen scientists.