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Mote Marine Aquarium Happenings

July 24, 2009

mote-aquariumRare Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle at Mote for Rehab After Swallowing Balloon

An endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii) has been brought to Mote’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital after it swallowed a balloon — an episode that we hope will remind residents and visitors to stow their trash carefully.

The 3.3-pound young turtle washed up on a sandbar near the south end of Lido Key on Tuesday, July 14, with what appeared to be fishing line hanging from its mouth. Concerned swimmers called Mote biologists, who brought the Kemp’s ridley to Mote’s Sea Turtle Hospital.

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Florida Aquarium Releases Pair of Sea Turtles Thursday

July 8, 2009

The Florida Aquarium

Thursday, July 9 departing The Florida Aquarium at 7:45 a.m.

sea-turtle-picture

East coast: A pair of sea turtles journey across state to return to the wild. A green sea turtle and a loggerhead sea turtle are being released back to the wild after several months of care and rehabilitation at The Florida Aquarium.

  • Both turtles will be released near the Port St. Lucie Power Plant
  • Just South of the Power Plant near Jensen Beach

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Florida’s Dying Natural Springs - Why Should You Care?

March 13, 2009

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Crystal Clear Natural Spring Water in Florida

I fell in love with the beauty, nature and tranquility of Weeki Wachee Springs, which I just posted about. Recently I read an article in the St. Petersburg Times about how many of the natural Florida springs are being destroyed by pollution. It was a great article written by Robert Knight, an aquatic and wetland scientist.

Florida has more artesian springs - 700 of them - than any other place in the world. Some are large and familiar, like Silver, Ichetucknee and Wakulla; others small and hidden away, like Fern Hammock and Shangri-La. But they all have a crucial role in Florida’s freshwater supply and environmental health, not to mention their recreational values … The concentration of nitrate nitrogen, a recognized pollutant in surface and groundwaters, is rising rapidly in most Florida springs in response to agricultural and urban development …

… Spring ecosystems are undergoing widespread and dramatic changes in natural flora and fauna, often evidenced by replacement of natural plant communities by filamentous algae and native fauna by exotic species …

… Relatively pristine springs with high flows help support local economies …

… Visitation numbers at springs are influenced by clear, cool water and attractive plants and wildlife …

A time for action

Springs are Florida’s canary in the coal mine: If we stand by while they continue to dry up and turn green, we’ll have missed one more opportunity to preserve ourselves.
You can read the article here.

Here is a breathtaking 4-minute video will inspire you to join us in protecting the Ichetucknee, the crown jewel of Florida’s natural springs.

Hernando County needs to keep fertilizer out of Weeki Wachee River

Kayaking Down the Weeki Wachee River

March 13, 2009

The Weeki Wachee River may be one of Florida’s best kept secrets.

Weeki Wachee Springs Offers Beautiful Views

Weeki Wachee Springs Offers Beautiful Views

If you want to see what’s left of part of the “real Florida”. You have to check it out Weeki Wachee.

Weeki Wachee is in Hernando County, Florida, located about an hour north of Tampa at the intersection of Highway 19 and State Road 50. It’s crystal clear waters twist through tons of stunning scenery to flow 12 miles west into The Gulf of Mexico.

The naturally beautiful springs are home to one of Florida’s oldest attractions, Weeki Wachee Springs, famous for its live underwater shows featuring beautiful mermaids. (Fun for little girls, and grown men.) It recently went from private ownership to become a Florida State Park. It’s still the same as it was when I went as a kid, which is not a bad thing. It’s a nice respite from today’s modern hyper-active world. They also have the Buccaneer Bay Water Park.

Weeki Wachee Springs Park dates back to 1947. I went there as a kid in the 70’s, re-visited in 2000, and made my latest visit in November 2008 over Thanksgiving weekend.

We spent a half day for the park, and half a day to kayak and canoe down the river. Going down the river was by far the most enjoyable for getting away from the hustle and bustle and seeing the real Florida.

The Canoe and Kayak rental says, “Your self-guided adventure averages about 2.5 hours”.

I feel sorry for the people that paddle through it that quickly. We took about 4.5 hours, stopped to enjoy the lunch we packed, took beautiful pictures and relaxed in the comfortable light breeze, warm sun, and tranquility of the Weeki Wachee river.

There were many people that just whooshed past us with their mouths just blabbering non-stop, missing half the sights and sounds, and breaking the tranquility like scraping of nails on a chalk board. We let them pass and then resumed our enjoyment.

Wildlife we saw included turtles

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Turtle Getting Sun on Weeki Wachee

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Comcast Broadband TV Commercial Rejects

There were snakes and racoons…

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Snake Swimming in Weeki Wachee River

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Racoon Drinking Crystal Clear Spring Water

We also saw many different types of birds, fish and ducks. There were Manatees too, but I missed the shot as too many people scared them away at the end of the trip.

This was a fun, interesting and relaxing day. It was great being away from the hectic world, enjoying peace and quiet, nature and stunning natural beauty.

Weeki Wachee River

Weeki Wachee River

Book your canoe or kayak trip at http://www.floridacanoe.com/

Learn more about Weeki Wachee at http://www.floridastateparks.org

See all 69 pictures in the full gallery - Weeki Wachi Kayaking

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