Environment

Oyster reef project grant agreement approved by commission

Brittany Hall Scharf, Sea Grant Agent for Hernando County holds a tile full of juvenile oysters, part of the pilot oyster restoration project.  Photo by Hernando Co. Gov.

On Sept. 26, 2017, the Board of County Commissioners approved a grant agreement with FDEP’s Florida Coastal Management Program for an oyster and marsh grass habitat restoration project. The project location is just north of Hernando Beach, in Centipede Bay.

Aquatic Services Director Keith Kolasa stated, “The reason why we picked this area is because there’s not a lot of fish habitat in Centipede Bay… There’s a lot of sand there, scattered seagrass… That’s why we’re focusing on this area, to allow fishing and wildlife enhancement near Hernando Beach.”

$50 million from the state for springs across Florida

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Florida Water Management Districts have identified 40 springs projects that will receive $50 million as part of the 2017-2018 state budget. While none of the 40 projects appear to be in Hernando County, there are projects in neighboring counties that have been funded. Hernando County did receive a $400,000 allocation for a Weeki Wachee River channel restoration project which does not seem to be part of 40 projects.

Little beetles can cause big problems

by Dr. William Lester, UF/IFAS Extension Hernando County

Adult sixspined ips, Ips calligraphus (Germar). Photograph by David T. Almquist, University of Florida.

If you drive around Hernando County you will notice quite a few dead pine trees. This is because we have had an outbreak of Ips pine engraver beetles this spring and summer. This beetle pest occurrence isn’t nearly as bad as the southern pine bark beetle, which can cause major losses of pine trees across the entire Southeast US; but if you are the one suffering the loss and expense of removing a dead pine tree, this is little comfort. The main areas in our county that have been affected are Spring Hill, WeekiWachee, areas west of US 19 and along Cortez Blvd.

Hunters Lake tussock removal anticipated to begin Spring 2017

(STAFF)

Hunters Lake, photography by Elizabeth Dentato

Plans are underway to remove 19 acres of tussock from Hunters Lake which is located between Spring Hill Drive and County Line Rd, just east of Commercial Way. In 2015, the lake was estimated to cover 429 acres. It has grown over the years. In 1954, the lake covered 302 acres. A 2009 report indicated 100 acres of invasive tussock which poses a threat to native fish, birds and plants.

Project nominations for RESTORE Act funding

Oyster reef in South Carolina by JStuby

It has been six years since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and while many improvements have been seen, the effects on the Gulf states continue to be felt. Under the RESTORE Act signed by President Obama in July 2012, money from the trust fund set up by BP is dispersed through five avenues, or “pots” of money. Florida’s Gulf Coast counties can obtain funding through direct funding to the county (Pot 1) via the treasury department, or through the Gulf Consortium (Pot 3) to the Gulf Council.

Dukes Proposes ESL Funds to Remove Invasive Plants in Hernando Beach

Photography by Elizabeth Dentato

Hernando Beach, invasive plants

Commissioner Wayne Dukes shared photos with the Board of County Commissioners of lead trees and other invasive plants along canals and marshland in Hernando Beach. The trees are all on county property, growing along the right of way and obscuring the water. Commissioner Dukes stated that property owners usually keep their yards mowed, preventing the trees from taking hold.

Hernando County Concerned Over Pasco Mine Proposed by Trinity Developer

Julie Maglio contributed to this story.

Location of proposed Seven Diamonds Mine 16303 US Hwy 41, Spring Hill

At the February 9, 2016 meeting of the Board of County Commissioners, Environmental Services Director Susan Goebel-Canning answered questions relating to Pasco County’s proposed mine which would be located just south of County Line Road (about 5.5 miles north of S.R. 52) and how aquifer water quality in the Weeki Wachee spring shed area might become affected.

Harvest in November

Camille Pisarro's "The Harvest"

November is a time when we think about harvesting. Some of us have been lucky enough to have planted a great fall garden, and we are harvesting some fresh veggies for our dinner plates. But there are other resources in our yard we often overlook. Here are some of the treasures we can collect from our own yard:

Harvest branches and leaves: What? Don’t you mean throw them away? Absolutely not! Leaves, twigs, and other yard debris make great compost and mulch material. Don’t send them to the landfill, use them!

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Environment