Environment

Hernando Beach Shallow Reef Project

December 01, 2017 - 01:06

The Hernando County Port Authority in cooperation with the Aquatics Services Department deployed more reef balls off the shore of Hernando Beach last Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017.

The reef locations are only seven miles offshore, in fairly clear water. Due to the close proximity to shore, and the Weeki Wachee and Hernando Beach boat ramps, the reefs are anticipated to provide an immediate benefit to anglers, as well as recreational and educational benefits to divers and students.

CCA Florida donates five tons of oyster shells for habitat restoration in Hernando County

November 02, 2017 - 23:48

by Hernando Co. Gov.

(Brooksville, FL) Earlier this year, the Coastal Conservation Association Florida (CCA) joined efforts with area restaurants to recycle oyster shells for habitat enhancement. On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, the CCA donated five tons of these recycled oyster shells for a habitat enhancement project at Centipede Bay, located in Hernando County's coastal waters.

Oyster reef project grant agreement approved by commission

October 10, 2017 - 04:22
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.”

Expanding Bendickson Reef

September 05, 2017 - 10:16

Photography by LISA MACNEIL lisa@hernandosun.com

A barge is loaded with cement structures ready to deploy into the water at Bendickson Reef on Friday Aug. 25, 2017.  Photo by Lisa MacNeil

The Hernando Sun has been following the building of artificial reefs under the direction of Aquatic Services Manager Keith Kolasa. According to several members of the Hernando County Port Authority who were present at the Bendickson Reef on August 25, 2017 the reef project’s history began more than twenty years ago.

$50 million from the state for springs across Florida

August 16, 2017 - 11:02

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

August 13, 2017 - 09:46

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

January 14, 2017 - 11:33

(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

October 20, 2016 - 20:53
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.

Time extension approved for artificial reef project

August 07, 2016 - 15:49

Hernando Sun Staff

Top of tank at Bendickson Reef via Hernando County Gov video

The County received a $60,000 grant from FWC for expanding artificial reef structures at Bendickson artificial reef. Bendickson artificial reef is about 18 miles off the coast of Hernando Beach and consists of ten decommissioned M60 Tanks circling an area of approximately 11 acres. Depths reach about 26 feet.

Dukes Proposes ESL Funds to Remove Invasive Plants in Hernando Beach

March 18, 2016 - 09:17

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.

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