Forum Report - Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

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					                       Coastal Wildlife Conservation Initiative
                                   Keys Partnership Forum

                               Nov. 8 and 9, 2011
                             Marathon Garden Club

                                       Forum Report

Executive Summary

The Coastal Wildlife Conservation Initiative (CWCI) is an FWC-led multi-agency
strategy with the vision of ensuring the long-term conservation of native wildlife in
coastal ecosystems throughout Florida in balance with human activities. With the
CWCI, FWC aims to initiate a statewide, cooperative process to provide for greater
consistency and coordination in: protecting coastal wildlife populations, conserving
and managing coastal ecosystems, and achieving balance between these efforts and
ecologically-sound, responsible human use of coastal areas.

Participation by potential partner agencies and organizations is a very important
step in the implementation of such a large initiative. To introduce the CWCI and
begin development of a cooperative process, two regional outreach meetings were
held in Marathon, Monroe County, on November 8 and 9, 2011. The forum was
attended by 34 people representing federal, state, and local government agencies,
non-profit organizations, private businesses, as well as individuals.

Following a presentation by FWC, participants were divided into small groups and
asked to list coastal issues of concern, perceived gaps in existing programs, program
successes and challenges, and opportunities. Invasive and feral species and
coordination and consistency within and between entities were the most commonly
mentioned challenges and issues of concern. Other challenges, issues, or gaps that
were mentioned several times included mangrove and seagrass health, increasing
pressure on natural resources due to development and tourism, limited funding and
staffing, difficultly reaching the public and attaining their support, and inadequacy
of current enforcement resources to ensure compliance with existing regulations.

CWCI Keys Partners Forum – Nov. 8 and 9, 2011                                           1
The next step in implementing the CWCI is to examine the nexus between existing
programs to identify geographical and functional areas of overlap and gaps.
Mechanisms for communicating with partners statewide and coordinating on issues
and needs will be developed. Development of working teams to address wildlife,
habitat, and human use issues is also a goal of the CWCI.

This report provides a summary of the meetings and is organized into the following

       CWCI Background
       Breakout Sessions
       Action Plan – Next Steps
       Feedback Survey Results
             A Forum Agenda
             B Participants
             C Description of CWCI Presentations
             D Responses from Break-out Sessions
             E FWC’s CWCI Planning Team

CWCI Keys Partners Forum – Nov. 8 and 9, 2011                                        2
                             Coastal Wildlife Conservation Initiative
                                   Keys Partnership Forum
                                Nov. 8 and 9, 2011, Marathon

                                          Meeting Report


The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) held a partners’
forum on the Coastal Wildlife Conservation Initiative (CWCI) on Nov. 8 and 9,
2011, for the Keys area, which included all of Monroe County. The purpose was to
provide an introduction to the CWCI and its goals as well as to learn of coastal
issues of concern from participants.

The forum targeted representatives from local, regional, state, and federal agencies,
non-governmental organizations, researchers, businesses, and other groups having
some stake or interest in coastal zone conservation issues from around the area. It
was advertised by:

   1. Directed email invitations to managers and staff representatives from
      federal, regional, state, and local government; local, state, and nation-wide
      non-profit conservation organizations; private businesses
   2. Distribution and web-postings of an announcement
   3. Press release to local media and subsequent interviews
   4. FWC Facebook and Twitter posts
   5. Phone contact by FWC staff

The forum was held at the Marathon Garden Club, Marathon. Two separate
meetings were held to provide all participants with the opportunity to attend at a
convenient time. The evening meeting was attended by 15 people representing 2
non-governmental organizations, 2 federal agencies, 2 state agencies, 1 county, 1
private business, as well as 2 local residents. The morning meeting was attended by
20 people representing 4 non-governmental organizations, 1 federal agency, 2 state
agencies, 1 county, 1 private business, as well as 1 local resident.

The FWC CWCI staff gave presentations on the history of the CWCI, outlined its
goals, need for development, action plan, and anticipated outcomes. Following a
question and answer period, the participants were divided into small groups and

CWCI Keys Partners Forum – Nov. 8 and 9, 2011                                         3
asked to respond to several questions on coastal area management program
successes and challenges, pressing and emerging issues, and gaps and
opportunities. Each group reported back on their responses.

The forum agenda is included in Appendix A. Lists of participants from both days
are included in Appendix B.

CWCI Background

The CWCI is an FWC-led multi-agency strategy to address threats to native wildlife
and their habitats in coastal ecosystems, while including human interests and the
values we place upon Florida’s coastal zone. It has the vision of ensuring the long-
term conservation of native wildlife in coastal ecosystems throughout Florida in
balance with human activities.

To implement the CWCI, FWC plans to work with partners to create a statewide,
cooperative process to provide for greater consistency and coordination in protecting
coastal wildlife populations, conserving and managing coastal ecosystems, and
achieving balance between conservation and opportunities for recreation, commerce,
and responsible development in the coastal zone. Creation of a partnership network
around the state is a major objective. This forum was the beginning of the process to
build a partnership network to advance the goals of the CWCI.

The CWCI is funded by a grant from the State Wildlife Grants Program and the
Conserve Wildlife Tag grant program. The State Wildlife Grants program is a
federal matching grants program that provides financial support for projects that
address conservation needs identified in the State Wildlife Action Plan (previously
the Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy. The Conserve Wildlife Tag
grant program is administered by the Wildlife Foundation of Florida.


Following a welcome and introductions, a brief history of the formulation of and
drivers behind the CWCI was presented by Kat Diersen, FWC Habitat
Conservation Planner and member of the CWCI planning team. Blair Hayman,

CWCI Keys Partners Forum – Nov. 8 and 9, 2011                                         4
CWCI Coordinator, gave a presentation on the CWCI framework, its goals and
strategies, and purpose for the meeting. The Action Plan and Next Steps
components of the presentations provide the link between moving from the planning
stages of the CWCI to implementation, and are therefore summarized in an
additional section of this report. Detailed descriptions of the presentations are
included in Appendix C.

Breakout Sessions

Following the formal presentations and question and answer period, participants
were randomly divided into groups of four to six people. The groups were asked to
discuss and answer several questions, designed for the purposes of: gathering
general information about coastal management programs, hearing about coastal
issues of concern to the participants, and identifying gaps. Each group was asked to
record their answers on flip-chart paper. After reconvening, a representative from
each group was asked to summarize their responses. A summary listing of the
responses follow and details from each group are provided in Appendix D.

Question 1: What successes has your program had?

       Summary of Responses

           •   Clean-up efforts
           •   Save-A-Turtle
           •   Habitat restoration
           •   Exotic removal
           •   Land preservation

Question 2: What challenges is it facing?

       Summary of Responses

           •   Limited resources and funding
           •   Public education and “buy-in”
           •   Confusing jurisdictional boundaries
           •   Poor communication between groups
           •   Sea level rise / climate change

CWCI Keys Partners Forum – Nov. 8 and 9, 2011                                      5
Question 3: What do you think are the pressing local/regional issues & problem areas?

       Summary of Responses

           •   Invasive and feral plants and animals
           •   More people means more pressure on resource
           •   Marine debris and litter
           •   Water quality
           •   Mangrove removal
           •   Seagrass bed health

Question 4: Where are the gaps?

       Summary of Responses
           •   Limited enforcement
           •   Coordination between agencies and groups
           •   Clear common priorities and goals
           •   Public awareness

Question 5: What opportunities do you see, or strategies that could be implemented to
address issues and gaps?

       Summary of Responses

           •   Educate tourists, ecotourism
           •   Inter-agency communication, partnerships
           •   Target community and user groups to assist
           •   Reward programs, incentives

Action Plan – Next Steps

Implementation of the CWCI necessitates gaining a better understanding of the
entirety of coastal programs that exist around the state—government rules,
regulations, programs and management activities, as well as non-governmental
conservation, education, outreach, and other programs. The first step in the action
plan is to inventory these and create a database of existing programs, rules, and
entities. We can then identify areas of overlap and determine where the functional
and geographical gaps exist. We’ll explore mechanisms to disseminate the results

CWCI Keys Partners Forum – Nov. 8 and 9, 2011                                           6
The second step in the action plan is creation of a partnership network. After
gaining a better understanding of existing programs and efforts, we can identify
opportunities to combine resources and coordinate efforts. The third step is to
facilitate creation of working teams to address regional and statewide issues. Teams
may be organized by the major goals of the CWCI—having a wildlife focus, habitat
focus, and human interest focus—or regionally.

One of the most substantial resources that can result from the CWCI will be
mechanisms to facilitate improved coordination and communication on issues
related to coastal wildlife conservation around the state. A comprehensive website,
searchable database, and an interactive web-based mapping service—containing
information and hyperlinks to entities, individuals, organizations, regulations, and
programs—are several products that may be developed for this end. Similar
resources can be developed to identify and track research needs and results, grants
and funding opportunities.

Additional forums have taken place throughout the state in order to gather support
for the CWCI and seek partnerships.

Feedback Survey Results

Attendees were asked to respond to a brief survey designed to gain feedback on the
meeting format, content, scope of the CWCI, and interest in continued participation
in its implementation. A total of 11 people completed the survey, or 32% of the
attendees. A complete copy of the survey results report can be obtained by
contacting the Coordinator. The following summarizes responses to questions.

   1. Workshop activities, including content, level of detail, effectiveness of
      speakers and facilitator, and breakout sessions, received rankings between
      3.9 and 4.3 on a scale of 1 (low) to 5 (high).

   2. CWCI – as a resource for your job or organization: 89%

   3. Appropriateness of the scope of the CWCI:
   • Not sure. Seems like more staff are needed from the state
   • If it can bridge the gaps we have between existing agencies, CWCI would be
      extremely appropriate and valuable.
   • I think the need for multiple agencies working together is needed.

CWCI Keys Partners Forum – Nov. 8 and 9, 2011                                          7
   •   Yes, it will be an improvement from existing. However, the group seems to
       only be focusing on beach habitats, which we have few of in the Keys,
       especially near development. I would like the group to focus specifically on
       our local issues.
   •   As presented, I think that CWCI has a valuable place and serve an important
       function in preserving wildlife and their habitats.
   •   Yes I think that the CWCI working in partnership with state, county and
       federal governments can help address issues that are of concern to all of us.
       The CWCI can work as the lead in developing these partnerships to work
       together across jurisdictional boundaries where common concerns overlap
       different agencies and different mission statement objectives.
   •   Yes, but with accessible information to be able to communicate with others
       (the public and govt. staff) and know who does/does not do.
   •   I support the CWCI concept, as described in the CWCI materials and
       workshop, many other agencies and groups are working on similar
       approaches. I am concerned that another redundant initiative would not be
       successful, and integrating existing initiatives and programs will face
       challenges also. Nonetheless, pulling together partners with knowledge of
       many priority coastal areas, and supporting these partners and their existing
       programs is probably the best path.
   •   Yes - I work in fisheries and there is always more room for collaboration
       between stake holders, especially a separate "neutral" party.

   4. Specific products to come out of the CWCI:
         • 36% - Website
         • 36% - Fast sheets
         • 55% - Success stories
         • 82% - Centralized database of organizations
         • 73% - Centralized database of rules & regulations
         • 45% - Centralized database of NGO’s
         • 73% - Centralized database of research

   5. Additional gaps not brought up during the meeting:
   • Identifying/ engaging stakeholders
   • I would have like to see some of the officers from the sheriff's office who are
      often involved with wildlife and criminal activities that affect the wildlife and
      the ecosystem. They have access to valuable information regarding crimes
      against nature, including pollution.
   • A coworker wanted to add the issue of fish spawning aggregations. She
      receives a lot of resistance from people in regards to these congregations, I
      imagine because many are closed to fishing.
   6. Methods of communication:
        • 78% - Direct email

CWCI Keys Partners Forum – Nov. 8 and 9, 2011                                         8
           •   44% - List Serve email
           •   22% - Expanded FWC website
           •   22% - Newsletters
           •   33% - Extranet site

Of respondents, 8 indicated that they would be willing to participate in the planning
and implementation of the CWCI, 5 of whom were interested in participating in a
working group.

CWCI Keys Partners Forum – Nov. 8 and 9, 2011                                       9
Appendix A
Forum Agenda – Evening

Keys Partnership Forum
Tuesday – Nov. 8, 2011

5:00 pm                Registration

5:30                   Welcome and Introductions
                            Carol Lyn Parrish, FWC Division of Law

5:50                   Overview and History of the Coastal Wildlife Conservation
                              Kat Diersen, FWC Coastal Team

6:00                   CWCI – Goals, Strategies, and Partnerships
                            Blair Hayman, CWCI Coordinator, FWC

6:45                   Break

7:00                   Group Break-out Session

8:00                   Group Discussion Summaries

8:20                   Discuss Next Steps
                             Blair Hayman, CWCI Coordinator, FWC

8:30                   Adjourn

CWCI Keys Partners Forum – Nov. 8 and 9, 2011                                      A-1
Forum Agenda – Morning

Keys Partnership Forum
Wednesday – Nov. 9, 2011

8:30                   Registration

9:00                   Welcome and Introductions
                            Carol Lyn Parrish, FWC Division of Law

9:20                   Overview and History of the Coastal Wildlife Conservation
                              Kat Diersen, FWC Coastal Team

9:30                   CWCI – Goals, Strategies, and Partnerships
                            Blair Hayman, CWCI Coordinator, FWC

10:15                  Break

10:30                  Group Break-out Session

11:30                  Group Discussion Summaries

11:50                  Discuss Next Steps
                             Blair Hayman, CWCI Coordinator, FWC

12:00                  Adjourn

CWCI Keys Partners Forum – Nov. 8 and 9, 2011                                      A-2
Appendix B
Forum Participants
                                                George Neugent, Monroe County
Nov. 8, 2011                                    Commissioner
Carrie Backlund, Naval Air Station Key          305-872-1678
West                        Susan Schaf, FWC, Marine Turtle Program
Beth Bergh, Monroe County Land
Authority                                       Liz Schotman, FWC, Fish and Wildlife                  Research Institute
Karen Dettman, Ark Angels Wildlife
Rescue, Inc.                                    Susan Sprunt, Florida Dept. of                   Environmental Protection, Florida Park
305-393-2615                                    Service
Janice Duquesnel, Florida Dept. of
Environmental Protection, Florida Park          Thomas Wilmers, US Fish and Wildlife
Service                                         Service      
305-684-0783                                    305-875-2239

Peter Frezza, Audubon of Florida                Barbara Winko, Monroe County resident
                                                Wendel Winko, Monroe County resident
Jeanette Hobbs, Audubon of Florida
305-289-9988                                    Nov. 9, 2011

Richard Jones, Monroe County Marine
                                                Amanda Barber, Florida Keys Wild Bird

Douglas Mader, Marathon Veterinary
                                                Lynn Bruno, Monroe County Code

CWCI Keys Partners Forum – Nov. 8 and 9, 2011                                            B-1
                                                Celia Hitchins, Florida Dept. of
Nancy Chatelaine, Raccoon Rescue                Environmental Protection, Environmental                     Resource Permitting

Ben Daughtry, Dynasty Marine                           Phillip Hughes, US Fish and Wildlife
305-743-7666                                    Service
Nancy Dowling, Monroe County Code
Compliance               Alison Johnson, FWC, Fish and Wildlife
305-292-4496                                    Research Institute
Kent Edwards, Florida Keys National
Marine Sanctuary                           Richard Jones, Monroe County Marine
305-360-1053                                    Resources
Kimberly Good, Florida Dept. of
Environmental Protection, Florida Park
                                                Ronda Norman, Monroe County Code                   Compliance

Randy Grau, FWC, Florida Keys Wildlife
                                                Teri Rumberger, Monroe County Code
and Environmental Area

Beryn Harty, Key West Tropical Forest and
                                                Traci Schoenrock, Monroe County Code
Botanical Garden

Rick Harty, Key West Botanical Garden
                                                Jim Sharpe, Monroe County resident
                                                Kat Windsor, Monroe County Code

CWCI Keys Partners Forum – Nov. 8 and 9, 2011                                             B-2
Margo Zdravkovic, Conservian


Carol Lyn Parrish, FWC, Division of Law

FWC Staff

Blair Hayman, CWCI Coordinator

Kat Diersen, Habitat Conservation Planner

CWCI Keys Partners Forum – Nov. 8 and 9, 2011   B-3
Appendix C
Description of Presentations

A copy of the presentations is available at:

History of the CWCI

The version of the presentation available for download contains detailed notes and

CWCI Goals, Strategies, and Partnerships

Goals and Outcomes

The CWCI is a multi-agency approach to managing impacts to wildlife in the coastal
zone, incorporating habitat and human needs. The vision statement is “to ensure
the long-term conservation of native wildlife in coastal ecosystems throughout the
state in balance with human activities.” Its broad, over-arching goals are to
maintain wildlife populations, maintain critical wildlife habitat, while factoring in
socioeconomic needs. The areas where these goals overlap are where the initiative
can likely be the most successful.

These meetings are the first step in making the transition from the planning phase
of the initiative to an action phase to build a network of partners that can begin
implementation. This is a coalition-based approach to: 1) examine the nexus
between existing programs, 2) coordinate on coastal issues of regional or statewide
concern, and 3) address gaps in information, outreach, management, and

The CWCI’s outcome will be resources: a partnership network to leverage existing
efforts and resources, coordinate to conserve and manage the most critical coastal
habitat areas. Ideas for products of the initiative include expanded GIS internet
mapping services to link to management program websites or information, and best
management practices and guidelines. FWC does not intend to write a

CWCI Keys Partners Forum – Nov. 8 and 9, 2011                                     C-1
management plan or a “state of coastal wildlife” type of document. The CWCI is not
intended as a precursor to rule making.

The FWC planning team includes staff from multiple divisions and offices with
some particular expertise. The broad scope of the CWCI means that partners are
needed to refine the framework and move it into the implementation phase.
Stakeholder participation and input is vital to the process.

Need for a Statewide Initiative

From FWC’s perspective, there is a need for a broad umbrella type of program to
achieve wildlife conservation. Many declining species of wildlife are dependent upon
coastal areas. There are more than 100 species of greatest conservation need are
associated with the coastal zone, including 17 listed species and subspecies that use
it for some part of their life cycle. Conserving species one by one is in some cases
necessary, but can place huge drains on agency staff and financial resources.
Individual species plans could result in conflicting recommendations. Most species
are best conserved in the context of their habitats.

Wildlife needs and human needs and activities are often in conflict, at multiple
scales and in multiple ways—human versus human, human versus habitat, human
versus wildlife, and wildlife versus wildlife conflicts occur. A statewide initiative for
coastal wildlife conservation is also needed because of the sheer magnitude of the
threats that wildlife face and emerging issues not yet fully realized. These include
habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation, direct and indirect disturbance to
wildlife, sea level rise, impacts of projected population growth, and oil spills. The
CWCI, in being framed as resource and coalition-based, should be dynamic and
adaptive enough to respond as issues arise and as new data comes to light.

We cannot discuss and plan for coastal wildlife conservation without including
socioeconomic issues and considering all of the values that we place on the beach
and coastal area. Florida’s beach visitors, saltwater anglers, state park visitors,
and coastal real estate provide substantial benefits to state and local economies.

Benefits of the CWCI

Our goal is to provide a unifying framework for coastal wildlife conservation across
the state. There are numerous programs that in some capacity work towards this

CWCI Keys Partners Forum – Nov. 8 and 9, 2011                                         C-2
end. FWC even has multiple programs and working groups that address shorebirds,
beach mice and other mammals. But working species by species, issue by issue,
without a unifying framework makes it very difficult to have a statewide impact.
With this initiative, the result we hope to achieve is a comprehensive, proactive
approach instead of the fragmented and often more reactive existing approach.

The planning team came up with categories of key strategies that are and can be
incorporated to achieve the goal of wildlife conservation: education and outreach,
research, habitat protection measures, wildlife and habitat management, regulatory
processes, voluntary programs, incentive-based programs, and economic incentives.

Action Plan

  I.   Review the CWCI framework
          a. Review the draft vision statement and goals.
          b. Identify enabling objectives and specific action items to work towards
             the goals.

 II.   Tool Shed Inventory
          a. Compile information on existing coastal conservation resources,
             programs, rules and regulations, and organizations.
          b. Create a searchable database and other mechanisms for dissemination.

III.   Examine Connections
         a. Identify areas of overlap between program objectives, efforts, rules and
         b. Determine where gaps exist—geographically and functionally.
         c. Disseminate the results.

IV.    Establish a statewide Partnership Network
          a. Establish working groups to build upon the CWCI Framework, address
             regional coastal wildlife conservation issues of concern, and explore
             funding opportunities.
          b. Establish a Standing Team to guide efforts of the working groups.

The ultimate goal is creation of a statewide partnership network for coastal wildlife
conservation. After gaining a better understanding of existing programs and
efforts, we can identify opportunities to combine our resources and coordinate our

CWCI Keys Partners Forum – Nov. 8 and 9, 2011                                      C-3
efforts. We hope to identify common program objectives in addition to gaps in
coastal wildlife and habitat conservation. Through a coordinated effort and
improved communication, we aim to find solutions to the most pressing coastal
wildlife conservation issues.

Next Steps

Similar meetings were held throughout the state in order to gather support for the
CWCI and seek partnerships. The purpose of the meetings—and this forum—was to
gather information about: program successes, local and regional challenges,
emerging issues, and gaps. As this is a grant-funded initiative, we are working
under a short timeline. We have tentatively established the following benchmarks:

       This meeting: Regional Outreach phase complete
       Week following forum: Survey to gather feedback
       Dec. 2011: Meeting report distribution
       Feb. 2011: Regional Working Group establishment
       Early 2012: Advisory Committee establishment
       In progress: Database of programs and contacts; repository of coastal wildlife

CWCI Keys Partners Forum – Nov. 8 and 9, 2011                                     C-4
Appendix D

Responses from the breakout session groups are listed below.

Nov. 8 Session

Group 1

Carrie Backlund – Naval Air Station Key West
Karen Dettman – Ark Angels Wildlife Rescue, Inc.
Jeanette Hobbs – Audubon of Florida
Liz Schotman – FWC, Fish and Wildlife Research Institute
Thomas Wilmers – US Fish and Wildlife Service

   1. Successes:
           •Our Animal Family – initiative to keep wildlife wild and keep pets
                o Education effort
         • Save-A-Turtle – cooperative organization to deal with monitoring
            nests, lighting, raking
         • Plan to ban jet skis in the back country in the Lower Keys refuge,
            including “no wake” zones
         • Better outreach than in the past
         • Audubon’s Keys Environmental Restoration Fund partners with
            “public landowner” agencies to enhance, restore, and aid management
            of natural habitats and key species
   2. Challenges:
         • Misuse of limited resources / band-aid solutions
         • Competing jurisdictions – “Buck-passing”
         • Lack of enforcement
         • Communication between commercial/ recreational fishermen & LE
         • Loss of beaches (erosion)
         • Sea level rise
         • Too many people
         • Tourist $$$ takes priority over wildlife needs
   3. Issues and Problem Areas:
         • Marine debris
         • Caribbean raccoon sub-species not protected/recognized
         • Feral cats vs. wildlife
         • Invasives (iguanas, rats, pythons, vegetation, lionfish)
         • Seagrass degradation
   4. Gaps:

CWCI Keys Partners Forum – Nov. 8 and 9, 2011                                D-1
           Goals and priorities need to be crystal clear so that we allocate
           resources properly
        • Not enough LE
        • Cultural paradigms / lack of interest
        • Education (locals and transients)
        • Geography!!
        • Not enough time, $$, resources
        • Not enough knowledge
   5. Opportunities and Strategies:
        • Vote your conscience
        • Divert resources to acquiring land for conservation
        • An ounce of prevention = a pound of cure
        • Increase “interpretive enforcement”
                o Use existing interactions between regulators and populace to
                  increase knowledge
        • Identify limiting factors for priority species FIRST, to help us focus on
           the real problems

Group 2

Beth Bergh – Monroe County Land Authority
Peter Frezza – Audubon of Florida
Doug Mader – Marathon Veterinary Hospital
Barbara Winko – Monroe County resident

   1. Successes:
           •   Audubon – work done in Everglades Park
                  o Partner with park service
                  o Islands with no entry for public
                  o Secure funding for signage and LE
                  o WMD – collaborate for best water mgmt, for nesting bird season
           •   Monroe County Land Authority (conservation lands)
                  o Land mgmt – invasive/ exotic areas restoration
                  o Preservation through property purchase (FL Forever Program)
                  o State Park partners
                  o Exotic Removal Task Force (Co-op)
                  o Outreach in neighborhoods
           •   Monofilament line recovery & recycling program
           •   Save-A-Turtle group
                  o Vet on record for turtle hospital
                  o Local vet
                  o Outreach – monthly public education meetings
                  o Sea turtle nesting program/watch
           •   Frequent beach walks for clean-up of coastal debris

CWCI Keys Partners Forum – Nov. 8 and 9, 2011                                    D-2
               o Good public support for program
         • Rehabilitation turtle/bird sanctuaries
   2. Challenges:
         • Debris washing up on coastline (trash, trap lines)
         • Educate people on importance of protection of environment- tourism
         • Lionfish in sanctuary – permit requirement?
         • Eradication of invasive species
         • Government regulation / restrictions
         • Lack / decrease of FWC law enforcement
               o $
               o Less enforcement for more people
         • Impact of environment on beaches
               o Erosion
               o Weather
         • Loss of habitat due to development
               o Hammocks
               o Mangroves
               o $ for protection
   3. Issues and Problem Areas:
          • Sea turtles / shorebirds
                o Trash
                o Trauma from boats
                o PV virus (GTFP) (sea turtles)
          • Key deer
                o Cars
                o Dog attacks
                o Tourism
          • Marsh rabbits
                o Loss of habitat
                o Cats
                o Environmental (weather)
          • Feral / invasive plants and animals
          • Lack of awareness – public perception
          • Awareness (consistent) to communities between partners
          • Feral cats
          • Jet skis / boat rentals (tourism)
          • Near shore water quality has a big impact on coastal wildlife
          • Mosquito spray impact on coastal environment
                o Killing on contact spraying
                o Over-use of spraying
                o Only prohibited in state parks, national parks, national wildlife
   4. Gaps:
         • Education for public & private property owners and tourists

CWCI Keys Partners Forum – Nov. 8 and 9, 2011                                    D-3
           Funding / $
               o Decrease in funding for environmental issues
               o Land purchase $ (FL Forever)
        • Shifting of impact of users (closures)
        • Need management / zoning
        • Law enforcement
        • “Red-tape”
   5. Opportunities and Strategies:
        • Information sharing between agencies
        • Least tern nesting education
        • Education for public / business owners on conservation efforts
        • Education – start at young age, in schools
        • More information to tourists – Tourism Council sharing of information
        • Local area education
        • Dealing with land use / zoning issues effectively – education for private
           landowners & business owners
        • Local volunteer / friend groups – share information, partnership
        • Incorporated villages – Marathon, Key West, and Islamorada – Monroe
               o 4 aspects of local government
               o Engage people for involvement

Group 3

Janice Duquesnel – FDEP, Florida Park Service
Susan Schaf – FWC, Marine Turtle Program
Susan Sprunt – FDEP, Florida Park Service
Wendell Winko – Monroe County resident

   1. Successes:
           •State Parks – wetland restoration N. Key Largo (seagrasses, closed
        • Exotic removal (mainly plants, some animals)
        • Seagrass restoration
        • Snipe / Mud Keys – no jet ski area for bird protection
        • Sea turtle – more awareness about calling when injured
        • Seagrass Outreach Partnership (FDEP, NOAA, FWC)
               o March is seagrass awareness month
               o Education
               o Outreach
        • Boater certification (?)
   2. Challenges:
        • Resistance to education

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           •Compliance with signage
           •Many different jurisdictions (marking buoys, boundary markers)
           •Ft. Taylor beach renourishment – not native lime rock used (ortono
            mine in central FL) & possible effects from non-native material
                o Turtle nesting effects? Do they recognize/use it?
         • Turtle lighting issues – especially with renters, bonfires
                o Code enforcement differs between municipalities
         • Jurisdictional turf war
         • Fear of over-regulation
         • Number of people here now makes it necessary to behave differently
            than folks did 50-60 years ago (to avoid negative resource impacts)
         • Sponge collectors & HABs contribute to degraded water quality
         • Nutrients contribute to degraded water quality
   3. Issues and Problem Areas:
          • Seagrass scarring
          • Lack of enforcement
          • Boater education / knowledge of local area (e.g., to avoid damage to
          • Recreational boaters (party spots) damage sandbars / seagrasses
          • Predation on endangered species by non-natives (cats, pythons, fire
             ants, rats {predate turtles & woodrats}, non-native snails [Cuban
             garden snail])
          • Illegal mangrove trimming (supposed to have a permit and a certified
             arborist do the trimming)
          • Kite surfing (impacts to birds, safety of visitors)
          • Kayaks (some w/ dogs) landing on bird nesting areas
          • Unauthorized beach access (e.g. Bahia Honda)
                o Erosion
                o Habitat loss, fragmentation
          • Unauthorized harvest
                o “If I just take one…” attitude
                o Enforcement
                o Education
          • Commercial lobstering in closed areas
   4. Gaps:
         • Communication, a clear understanding of who is responsible for what
         • Funding / $
         • Staff
   5. Opportunities and Strategies:
         • Use of pole anchors (less damage to seagrasses)
         • Communication & partnerships
                o CWCI
                o MOUs (Memorandum of Understanding) – as a conduit
         • Tourism (but how to do this without degrading the resource)

CWCI Keys Partners Forum – Nov. 8 and 9, 2011                                 D-5
           •   Limit access to sensitive areas (e.g., Pt. Lobo St. Reserve in CA)

Nov. 9 Session

Group 1

Amanda Barber – FL Keys Wild Bird Center
Kimberly Good – FDEP, Ft. Zachary Taylor Historic State Park
Phillip Hughes – US Fish and Wildlife Service
Ronda Norman – Monroe County Code Compliance

   1. Successes:
           •Code enforcement is successful at protecting resources (turtles,
            mangroves, wetlands) through outreach and education
         • Code enforcement and FDEP have good communication
         • Monroe Co. already has lots of land in conservation
         • National Wildlife Refuges have very successful collaborations with
            many other entities
         • Structured decision processes to frame real conservation issues and
            identify top priorities
   2. Challenges:
         • Funding, $$$
         • Overuse of resources / human impacts
         • Increased tourism, prioritization of tourism dollars
         • Inconsistencies in competing regulations
         • Public perception of enforcement agencies
         • Not enough enforcement
         • Education of the public about wildlife
         • Inter-agency awareness of roles and responsibilities
         • Political arena
   3. Issues and Problem Areas:
         • Clashing agendas
         • Exotic species (e.g., snakes, lionfish)
         • Abundance of rare / protected species
         • Feral cats and perception / education about their impacts
         • Storm surge / sea level rise
         • People with money and power can circumvent laws & regulations
         • Many user groups want to utilize the same resources
         • Tourists are a blessing and a curse
         • Lack of scientific knowledge
         • Water quality
         • Habitat loss and destruction

CWCI Keys Partners Forum – Nov. 8 and 9, 2011                                       D-6
           •   Agricultural outputs
   4. Gaps:
           Educational / outreach materials and efforts
           Inter-agency coordination
           Research / data / monitoring
           Unfunded state mandates
           Uncertain prioritization of resources
           Allocation of limited $ resources
                 o No institutional support for implementing management on
                   state lands
   5. Opportunities and Strategies:
         • Hold annual informational outreach meetings; both for the public and
            for inter-agency coordination
         • Use our daily responsibilities as opportunities to increase public
         • Increase communication and collaboration
         • Learn from other CWCI working groups
         • Better outreach to tourist base

Group 2

Beryn Harty – Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden
Celia Hitchins – FDEP, Environmental Resource Permitting
Alison Johnson – FWC, Fish and Wildlife Research Institute
Kat Windsor – Monroe County Code Compliance

   1. Successes:
           •   Save a Turtle
           •   Invasive species removal
                  o Coastal areas
                  o Lionfish
                  o Brazilian pepper
           •   Direct management of areas
           •   Restoration of areas
           •   White-crowned pigeon preserve
           •   Monofilament recycling
           •   Mitigation / replanting mangroves
           •   Permitting process (FDEP / FWC)
           •   R.O.G.O. (Restriction of Growth Ordinance)

CWCI Keys Partners Forum – Nov. 8 and 9, 2011                                D-7
           •Set-back restriction codes
               o Mangrove removal
         • Enforcement of beach codes (turtle management)
         • Groups / volunteer clean-ups
         • Buoy mooring programs – NMS
         • Navigational channels for seagrass protection
         • No dumping zone – cruise ships
         • Trap enforcement / surveys for crab / fish regulations
         • Recycling
         • Endangered / threatened species land propagation
         • Replacement of natural resources on publicly owned vacant property
         • Awareness of dengue fever
   2. Challenges:
         • Geography of area
         • Educating public
         • Conflicting advice
         • $$
         • Coordination between groups / follow up
         • Overlapping / conflicting regulations
         • Inconsistencies in regulations
         • Populations growth
         • Lack of incentive to do the right thing
               o Public
               o Tourism
               o Property owners (seasonal)
         • Public perception of agencies
         • Education
         • Releasing exotics (plant of animal)
         • No “buy-in”
         • Getting people to understand long terms effects of actions
               o Trash & sea turtles
               o Pesticides & mosquito control
         • Trying to fix a problem and another is thus created
               o “Unintended consequences”
         • Clear database of research resources
         • Technology access for low-income users
         • High immigrant population
               o Lack of knowledge
               o Attitude
         • Bureaucracy / red tape
               o Money does not equal conservation
   3. Issues and Problem Areas:

CWCI Keys Partners Forum – Nov. 8 and 9, 2011                                   D-8
           •   Invasive species / feral cats / nuisance wildlife
           •   Habitat fragmentation
           •   Lack of completion / slow progress
                    o Sewer program
                    o Recycling efforts
           •   Lack of education
           •   Transient population is a management problem
                    o Lack of understanding of current issues and problems
                    o Tourists not vested in local concerns
           •   “Bubba system” / “Good ol boy” philosophies
           •   Dredging (Key West)
           •   Development (in general)
           •   Poaching / lack of law enforcement
           •   Illegal mangrove removal
           •   Habitat clearing
                    o Lack of knowledge of area / species
           •   Environmental
                    o Hurricanes
                    o Climate
                    o Dry seasons
           •   $$
           •   Staffing
           •   Beach cleaning
           •   Coastal armoring (hardening of shorelines)
           •   Coral diseases
                    o Stress / human impact
   4. Gaps:
        • $$, funding
        • Staffing
        • Education
        • “More with less”
        • Training (inter-agency)
        • Overlap / inconsistencies in policies
        • Lack of community involvement (sometimes)
        • Government coordination between agencies
        • People not focused on issue if it does not affect them
        • Outreach to local community
        • Policy gaps – lack of or over-regulation
        • Involve local government (County vs. 4 incorporated areas)
   5. Opportunities and Strategies:
         • CWCI – this initiative itself
         • Inter-agency cooperation
         • Education / outreach

CWCI Keys Partners Forum – Nov. 8 and 9, 2011                                D-9
            •   Federal / regional govt. “Buy-in”
            •   Community involved
            •   Inventory stakeholders – WHO can be brought? WHO are the
                stakeholders? Together?
            •   Develop incentive
                o I.e., recycling, refunds
            •   Save $ and redirect $
            •   Acknowledge / reward successes
                o Public recognition
                o Positive “PR”
            •   More enforcement (LE) knowledge or laws
            •   Opportunity for better policy

Group 3

Randy Grau – FWC, Florida Keys Wildlife and Environmental Area
Teri Rumberger– Monroe County Code Compliance
Traci Schoenrock – Monroe County Code Compliance
Margo Zdravkovic – Conservian

   1. Successes:
           •Organized coastal clean-ups
           •Monroe County recycling program
           •Bird habitat
               o Leave some man-made features that Wilson’s Plover, Lease
                   Tern, and other shorebirds use (not just restore to natural
   2. Challenges:
         • $$
         • Communication
         • Educating agencies and public to consider non-traditional habitat
            restoration techniques to benefit wildlife
         • Part-time residents and renters don’t know about wildlife, laws, etc.
         • Exotic plants & animals
         • Feral / domestic animals
         • Introduction of FL “native” predators to lower keys & islands that did
            not in historically occur there (e.g., Opossums, armadillos)
   3. Issues and Problem Areas:
         • Giving the public the correct agency to contact
         • Poaching
         • Mangroves
         • Feral/ exotic animals

CWCI Keys Partners Forum – Nov. 8 and 9, 2011                                  D-10
           •   Heavy “weekend” use of sensitive areas such as sand bards used by
               shorebirds, new ones appearing
           •   Improper disposal of pharmaceuticals getting into groundwater and
               food chain starting to affect wildlife
   4. Gaps:
           Revise laws that discourage habitat protection
           Enforcing state Coastal Construction Line in the Keys (set in the ‘80’s)
           Communication between government agencies on jurisdictions,
        • Unpermitted raking, clearing
   5. Opportunities and Strategies:
         • Education, new residents, tourists
         • Incentives for private property owners to protect habitat and plant
         • Monroe Co. Sherriff’s Office program to educate and collect unused
         • Public workshops like this
         • Outreach / education
         • Use local media to get information out

Group 4

Lynn Bruno – Monroe County Code Compliance
Nancy Chatelaine – Raccoon Rescue
Nancy Dowling – Monroe County Code Compliance
Kent Edwards – Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
Rich Jones – Monroe County Marine Resources
Jim Sharpe – Monroe County resident

   6. Successes:
           •   Water quality protection program (NMS)
           •   Invasive species removal
                  o Wastewater
                  o Storm water
           •   Turtle lighting (codes)
                  o Volunteers
                  o Turtle hospital – outreach programs
           •   FAVOR – beach clean-ups / coastal clean-ups
           •   OFF – Org. Fishermen FL, FWC, Reef Relief, Monroe Co.
                  o Trap removal program
           •   OFF – Seafood Festival, $ for conservation
           •   FKNMS – zoning, covers lots of area
           •   Area of critical state concern (former DCA oversaw)

CWCI Keys Partners Forum – Nov. 8 and 9, 2011                                   D-11
           •Cleaning up live aboards, pump outs, etc. (getting better, but still an
        • FWC & Monroe Co. – mooring/anchoring pilot program
                o 5 areas statewide – allow local govt. to address mooring issues
                o Water quality
                o Derelict vessels
        • Continuing trap removal program
   7. Challenges:
        • Conflicting uses (fishermen, divers, eco-tours) means more pressure on
        • Overlapping educational messages (also an opportunity)
        • Improving commercial activities to be more habitat-friendly
                o Artificial lobster habitat
                o Casiata
        • Unpermitted mooring devices (concrete engine blocks)
        • Outreach / education (raccoon rescue – small groups hard to reach out
        • Transient population
        • Changing public perception
        • Sale of invasive plants at home improvement stores
        • Habitat loss (on land & in water)
                o I.e., solution holes for rainwater (tannins from Gumbo Limbo
                   leaves helpful for mange in raccoons, etc.)

         • Anchoring impacts
         • Live aboard impacts
         • Derelict vessels
   8. Issues and Problem Areas:
         • Mangrove trimming (legal & illegal)
         • Irregular shorelines (canals, fill, etc.)
         • Removing trash/debris from mangrove roots is hard!
         • Exotics
                 o Gambian rat, iguanas, lionfish, fire ants
         • Marine debris
                 o E.g., island between Duck & Grassy Keys
         • Feral cats (esp. Big Pine), also feral dogs & horses abandoned in
                 o Releasing pets (e.g., pythons)
         • Narrow beaches - can’t separate people from sea turtle nesting areas
         • Impacts from Hurricane Wilma still felt (garbage, sludge)
   9. Gaps:
         • Recognition of underwater habitat loss (sea fans, etc.)
         • Not as many people working on these issues for amount of area

CWCI Keys Partners Forum – Nov. 8 and 9, 2011                                  D-12
           •Funding – limits ability to continue existing programs and projects
           •Community involvement
           •Knowledge of ecological connectivity (both public and scientists) is a
            research gap
   10. Opportunities and Strategies:
          • Getting existing groups involved (e.g., Green Hotels group, etc.)
          • Partner with Chamber of Commerce
          • Coordination with existing small groups
          • GLEE – Green Living Environmental Education
          • FAVOR – Friends & Volunteers of Refuges
          • Working with property owners to control exotics
          • Armatures from recruitment of sponges, coral
          • Everglades restoration (downstream effects)
          • Habitat restoration
                o Water
                o Land
                o Rooftops
          • Database of existing programs

CWCI Keys Partners Forum – Nov. 8 and 9, 2011                                    D-13
Appendix E
FWC’s CWCI Planning Team

Robin Boughton, Avian Taxa Coordinator, Species Conservation Planning Section,
       Habitat & Species Conservation Division
Janell Brush, Avian Research Biologist, Fish and Wildlife Research Institute
David Cook, Invertebrate Taxa Coordinator, Species Conservation Planning
       Section, Habitat & Species Conservation Division
Katherine Diersen, Habitat Conservation Planner, Species Conservation Planning
       Section, Habitat & Species Conservation Division
Laura DiGruttolo, Fish and Wildlife Biologist, Habitat Conservation Scientific
       Services Section, Habitat & Species Conservation Division
Nancy Douglass, Species Conservation Biologist/Southwest Region, Species
       Conservation Planning Section, Habitat & Species Conservation Division
Rebecca Frick, Conservation Biologist, Species Conservation Planning Section,
       Habitat & Species Conservation Division
Elsa Haubold, Species Conservation Planning Section Leader, Habitat & Species
       Conservation Division
Blair Hayman, CWCI Coordinator, Habitat & Species Conservation Division
Jason Horadam, Captain, Division of Law Enforcement
Adam Kent, Wildlife Legacy Biologist/Northeast Region, Habitat & Species
       Conservation Division
Tom Ostertag (Co-Team Lead), Listed Species Conservation Ecologist, Species
       Conservation Planning Section, Habitat & Species Conservation Division
Kelly Samek, Attorney, Legal Office
Robbin Trindell, Marine Turtle Program Administrator, Imperiled Species
       Management, Habitat & Species Conservation Division
Melissa Tucker (Co-Team Lead), Mammal Taxa Coordinator, Species Conservation
       Planning Section, Habitat & Species Conservation Division
Bill Turner, Herpetofaunal Taxa Coordinator, Species Conservation Planning
       Section, Habitat & Species Conservation Division
Jeffrey Wilcox, Fish Taxa Coordinator, Species Conservation Planning Section,
       Habitat & Species Conservation Division
Blair Witherington, Marine Turtle Research Biologist, Fish and Wildlife Research

CWCI Keys Partners Forum – Nov. 8 and 9, 2011                                  E-1

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