Thursday, April 23, 2009
I forgot to post this interesting photo a week or so ago, but I still wanted to share it with you. When I was taking photos from a Portofino unit I noticed the water in Santa Rosa Sound had turned the color of tea. In the years I've lived here, I've never seen it look this way, so I quickly wrote a couple 'experts' to see what was going on.
Mark Nicholas, a biologist at Gulf Islands National, and Chips Kirchenfeld of Coastkeepers both wrote back to explain recent flooding of major Alabama rivers had resulted in large amounts of suspended sediment washing into Pensacola Bay and Santa Rosa Sound. That sediment contained high levels of Tanin, a natural product from leaf material breaking down (stay with me - think Earl Gray tea leaves). So, in a way, our water turned to tea!
Mark added that although it is a natural watershed process, it can get compounded by all the lawn/farm fertilizers and herbicides that get washed along with it.
Click on the photo to see our Santa Rosa 'tea'.