FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct. 18, 2013
NOMINATED PROJECT RECEIVES FUNDING FOR CORAL MAPPING RESEARCH
funding allocated through special merit designation~
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Coastal Office congratulates the Florida's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute on its successful competitive grant bid to complete a coral mapping project.
by the Florida Coastal Management Program with funding from National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the grant will create
new detailed maps of the coral reefs off Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, Dade and
Monroe counties in order to provide a better view of the coral reef
"The northern part of the Florida reef tract is unique in that it is so close to the beach in some places you can walk to it," said Kevin Claridge, Director of DEP's Florida Coastal Office. "This project will aid in the Department's management of this environmentally and economically important resource."
When this project is complete
it will add scientifically verified location and health data for the northern
part of the coral reef tract, a NOAA identified area of particular concern.
According to economic studies of reefs in Southeast Florida, the reef
resources along Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe Counties
generate an estimated $6.3 billion in sales and income annually and support
An important part of the
project is the public service announcement campaign - targeting both television
and radio audiences – that will increase communication to related
marine industries and stakeholders.
Southeast Florida is the most urbanized and
populated region in the state, yet many people do not realize how close
residents live to the reef and how their individual actions affect reef
campaign aims to increase public awareness for the stakeholder
options process known as Our Florida Reefs. Project outcomes from Our
Florida Reefs will include recommendations to conserve, protect and restore
coral reef ecosystems, developed by stakeholders with input from coral experts.
of Special Merit must meet specific national criteria as an ocean resource or a
special area of management. In this case, the project was selected by the Florida
Coastal Management Program within the Florida Coastal Office and then competed
nationally for funding. For the second year in a row, a Florida project
received funding. Mapping
activities began Oct. 1.
The Florida Department
of Environmental Protection’s Florida Coastal Office is responsible for
oversight of the State’s 41 Aquatic Preserves, three National Estuarine
Research Reserves, the Outer Continental Shelf Program, the Florida Coastal
Management Program, the Florida Coral Reef Conservation Program, and the
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. It is our mission to conserve and
restore Florida’s coastal resources for the benefit of people and the