Did you spot dead fish on the beach in Ormond and Daytona?
According to an email to the county from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the fish were likely a bycatch net dump from an offshore commercial fishing boat. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries describes bycatch as animals sometimes caught by fishermen that “they do not want, cannot sell, or are not allowed to keep.” This sea life often suffers injuries or death, NOAA states.
Volusia County acting Coastal Director Terri Propst said in an email that staff from the county environmental division determined the bycatch most likely came from a shrimp trawler.
Though FWC said it had no recent water samples from Volusia to determine if the fish were killed due to red tide, it did state that water samples from Brevard County are currently negative for the algal blooms.
The FWC has a free hotline where residents can report sightings of possible fish kills, which can indicate a localized environmental problem, the FWC website states. The Fish and Wildlife Health group and the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute study the disease and mortality in fish populations. This could be triggered by low dissolved oxygen or algal blooms. Call 800-636-0511 to submit a report.
Nonprofit grant assistance opens
Volusia County’s $2.5 million grant program to aid nonprofits opened at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 2.
Nonprofits that have up to 25 full-time employees or the part-time equivalent may be eligible for a $3,000 grant, funded as part of the coronavirus federal stimulus package.
To qualify, nonprofits must operate out of a brick-and-mortar facility in Volusia, be a 501c3 organization, be licensed to operate in Volusia and the municipality it’s located in, have an active state business registration from the Division of Corporations and have been operational on or before Dec. 1.
ECHO, Volusia Forever update
The Volusia County Council voted on Tuesday, June 2, to place the continuation of the ECHO and Volusia Forever programs on the 2020 ballot.
The council worked on the language for the referendum items, based on direction from a Feb. 18 meeting between the council, the ECHO advisory committee and members of the Volusia Forever program.
The Casements reopens
The city has reopened The Casements at 50% capacity for self-guided mobile tours, according to a press release. It is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday.