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General Marine Info | Sanibel Sea School Blog

Category Archives: General Marine Info

When will the leaked radiation reach the US West Coast?

The North Pacific Gyre will likely deliver radioactive plumes from Japan to the US West Coast beginning in April of this year. Scientists have determined that radioisotope concentrations in the Pacific Ocean are projected to be below the US EPA’s … Continue reading

How will radiation from the Fukushima disaster affect marine life?

Radiation poisoning causes acute sickness, as well as DNA mutations that may be passed on to future generations. Because of these damages, there is vast concern on how radioisotopes affect marine fauna. Bioaccumulation is the process by which harmful contaminants … Continue reading

What is the connection between The United States and Japan?

The Fukushima Disaster occurred over 5,000 miles away, so many people wonder – why should we be concerned? The west coast of The United States is more connected to Fukushima than we may think. Currents, or streams of seawater formed … Continue reading

What Happened on March 11, 2011?

Two weeks ago marked the third anniversary of the Fukuskima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster, which occurred when the 9.0-magnitude Tohoku earthquake triggered a massive tsunami off the coast of Japan. Forty-five foot waves inundated backup generators with seawater, resulting … Continue reading

Why do we use radioactive elements as a source of energy?

Some naturally occurring elements are unstable and have the potential to release energy – they are called radioisotopes. Many years ago, we realized that radioisotopes, if used in a controlled fashion could be a valuable source of energy to create … Continue reading

Prepping Plumes for Spring!

Spring is in the air! As we experience warmer temperatures here in sunny Southwest Florida, we are also rapidly approaching breeding season for many animals in our region. If any of you are bird-nerds like me, you may have noticed … Continue reading

Sold! Hermit Crab snags new Real Estate on Captiva Island.

Here on Sanibel and Captiva we commonly see three species of hermit crabs: the green-striped hermit crab (Clibanarius vittatus), the tricolor hermit crab (Clibanarius tricolor), and the giant red hermit crab (Petrochirus diogenes). These crazy critters are easily recognized and observed crawling … Continue reading

What’s up with those Whelks?

If you’ve ever visited Sanibel, it is almost certain that you have been dazzled with the beauty of one of our common mollusk species – the Lightning Whelk (Busycon contrarium). This gastropod is a sea snail with a beautiful pattern … Continue reading

Double Creature Feature!

We often scan the water’s edge in hopes of finding a new creature or just to marvel at the treasures the ocean has to offer. You never know what you will stumble upon whether you are shelling, snorkeling, or even … Continue reading

The Sea Turtle Holy Grail

Recently, I asked a boat-load of youngsters what they could tell me about sea turtles.  Among the answers, was ‘they can breathe through their butts’.  And interestingly enough, as much as I tried to dislodge that visual from the 9-year-old’s … Continue reading

Have you heard of the sea pig?

Although it may look like it comes from another planet, the sea pig (Scotoplanes globosa) is actually a species of sea cucumber that resides in the deep sea. It can be found in frigid waters (up to 3.7 miles deep) all over the world. Continue reading

There’s more to a shark than its jaws

It’s rare that you get the chance to touch a five-foot bull shark, but then again, you might classify many Sanibel Sea School experiences as “rare.” Although not excited that this shark was on the beach rather than swimming freely and stealthily through our waters, we were excited to get such an up-close look at this local predator. Continue reading

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