Blog Posts

Our Extension Agents write blog posts every month to get information to the public about hot topics in their field. Here are a few highlights:

Milkweed, photo courtesy Michelle Mularz

Gardeners Beware of Milkweed Toxicity

As gardeners, we are aware of skin irritations due to contact from plants such as, Poisonwood (Metopium toxiferum), and Manchineel (Hippomane mancinella), found right in our Florida Keys backyards. But, the eyes, the eyes! Corneal Endothelial Toxicity, a toxicity that affects the inner most layer of the cornea and can cause symptoms such as light sensitivity, blurred vision, and extreme pain, is possible when working with some of our well-known, favorite plants, such as Milkweed, Asclepias sp. A common trait of these plants, is a milky sap which contains latex...

Michelle's Milkweed Toxicity blog post is available HERE

City night skyline

Climate Change is a Current and Future Issue

The nation’s economy, public health, infrastructure, and natural resources face an immediate and continued threat from climate change impacts, warns the comprehensive 4th National Climate Assessment (NCA4) released last Friday.

The report is broken down into chapters on sectors such as water, energy, land use, forestry, coastal effects, marine resources, and more. There are regional reports that look at how different geographic areas of the U.S. stand to be impacted. You can download the various chapters here or interact with the report online at https://nca2018.globalchange.gov/...

Alicia's Climate Change blog post is available HERE!

Sargassum macroalgae ashore on Big Coppitt Key. Photo by Shelly KruegerHeavy Sargassum Year Forecast for Florida Keys

This summer, you may have noticed tons of brown organic material washed up on beaches and decaying all over the Atlantic side of the Florida Keys. But what is it, really? And why is it appearing on our beaches? It’s called sargassum, and it is brown algae, or seaweed, that floats in massive mats out on the open ocean. The area sargassum comes from is called the Sargasso Sea, which is not a true sea at all, but an area far offshore in the Atlantic Ocean between the eastern coast of Florida and Bermuda...

Shelly's Sargassum blog post is available HERE!

Check out more of our Extension Agents' Blogs on our University of Florida, IFAS Extension Blog Page HERE!

Extension Services is an Equal Opportunity Institution. UF/IFAS Extension, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension. Single copies of UF/IFAS Extension publications (excluding 4-H and youth publications) are available free to Florida residents from county UF/IFAS Extension offices. 

Please email yongue-liz@monroecounty-fl.gov for additional information.