FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 10, 2014
GTM RESEARCH RESERVE HOSTS STATE OF THE RESERVE
~Reserve reviewed the year's accomplishments in education, research and stewardship~
The State of the Reserve focused on changes seen in marine and estuarine environments.
PONTE VEDRA BEACH– The Guana
Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine
Research Reserve hosted its third annual State of the Reserve Friday at
the Environmental Education Center in Ponte Vedra Beach, focusing on
research that examined water quality, habitats and species within
estuarine and marine environments.
“The primary purpose of a Research Reserve is to
support and conduct education, research, and stewardship for generating
information and demonstration projects that can enable coastal communities to
sustain natural resources,” said GTM Research Reserve Director Michael Shirley, PhD.
Educational living labs, oyster
reef restoration and recycling, shorebird surveys, phytoplankton monitoring
and sea turtle nest surveys emphasized the positive multidisciplinary
accomplishments of the GTM Research Reserve team. Other
highlights included presentations on education and stewardship programs.
The dedication of the community, with over 400 volunteers
committed to donating more than 10,000 hours annually to the Reserve, was also
Moving forward, the GTM Research Reserve’s
goals include the continuation and enhancement of existing research,
and educational projects. New initiatives embrace supporting efforts to
measure, assess and track changes in services provided by existing
systems. There are also plans to designate Pellicer Creek as an official
Sentinel Site. Dr. Shirley thanked the community for its support; the
Reserve's volunteers and the Friends of the GTM Reserve are important
components for any future
Research Reserve is one of 28 National Estuarine Research Reserves around the
nation focused on researching, educating, and protecting the natural
biodiversity and cultural resources within the estuary. It is managed by
Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Coastal Office in
partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The
Environmental Education Center is located at 505 Guana River Road, Ponte Vedra
Beach, Florida, 32082. For more information about the GTM Research Reserve,
please call (904) 823-4500 or visit our website at www.gtmnerr.org.