FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 27, 2014
CORAL REEF CONSERVATION PROGRAM COMMUNITY WORKING GROUP MEETINGS BEGIN
~Working group meetings to address the Southeast Florida Coral Reefs~
Community groups will meet monthly to make management recommendations.
WEST PALM BEACH – The Florida
Department of Environmental Protection’s Coral Reef Conservation Program completed the first set of Our Florida Reefs Community Working Group
meetings today at the South Florida Water Management District Headquarters in West Palm Beach.
The Our Florida Reefs community
planning process for Florida’s coral reefs focuses on the northern third of the
Florida reef tract stretching more than 100 miles from Key Biscayne to
the St. Lucie Inlet. The working group
members will meet monthly for a year to review the latest science on Southeast
Florida’s coral reefs and work together to make management recommendations.
“Our coral reefs provide so much for us as
residents of the sunshine state and it’s a testament to the dedication of the these
52 work members, who have agreed to meet for eight hours each month over the
next year as they review the latest science and suggest management options”,
said Jamie Monty, the Florida Coral Program Manager.
Two meetings comprised the
first time all 52 working group members have met. Today’s meeting was convened by the
North working group, which consists of 26 members from Martin and Palm Beach
counties. Members of the South working group, from Broward and Miami-Dade counties,
met earlier this month at the NOVA Southeastern University's Center for
Excellence in Coral Reef Research campus.
Members spent the day learning more about Southeast
Florida's coral reef ecosystems and their future role in protecting reefs through the Our
Florida Reefs community planning process. Meeting space and refreshments were provided by Nova
Southeastern University's Center for Excellence in Coral Reef Research.
Florida Reefs North and South Community Working Groups involve local
reef-users such as fishermen, divers, nonprofit organizations and private business along
with federal, state, and county government representatives from Martin, Palm
Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties. The monthly working group meetings are
open to the public and contain a public comment period at the conclusion of
each meeting. Public comments can be submitted online throughout the process at
Learn more about the Our Florida Reefs
Community Planning Process for southeast Florida’s coral reefs at www.OurFloridaReefs.org