October 1, ‘07— January 31, ’08 Southeast Florida Reef News
A Publication of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Coral Reef Conservation Program
Coral Reef Conservation Program Update
By Chantal Collier 2008. A related proposed rule, designating critical
Coral Reef Conservation Program Manager habitat for the two threatened coral species, was
published by NOAA on February 6, 2008. Public
As the challenges facing coral reef conservation hearings will be held on the latter rule in March
in Florida and around the world continue to 2008 with comments due May 6, 2008. Details
mount, the year ahead may prove to be one of the for both rules are available at http://
most important in our collective efforts to improve sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/esa/acropora.htm
protection for coral reefs. In 2008, many impor-
Inside This Issue tant decisions affecting coral reefs will be made. In 2008, Florida will also have an opportunity to
implement two important pieces of legislation
Coral Reef Conservation 1 As 2007 came to a close, efforts to reauthorize affecting coral reef conservation. First is the
Program Update the Coral Reef Conservation Act (CRCA) of 2000 chance for Florida to become a leader in reducing
made noteable progress in Congress. H.R. 1205, greenhouse gas emissions and develop sustain-
Celebrate the International 1 the House bill to reauthorize the CRCA was able clean energy sources by fully acting upon the
Year of the Reef in 2008 passed on October 22, and the Senate bill, executive orders issued by Governor Crist in 2007.
S. 1580 was passed by the Commerce Commit- These actions are fundamental to confronting
Maritime Industry and 2 tee on October 30. If S. 1580 is passed by the increased global ocean temperatures which pose
Coastal Construction Senate, Congress will conference to agree on a serious threats to coral reefs. Learn more about
Impacts Update final bill which will be voted on by both chambers. the Governor’s climate change plan at http://
For the latest update on reauthorization of the www.dep.state.fl.us/climatechange/. Second is
Fishing, Diving and Other 2 CRCA, visit http://thomas.loc.gov/. the opportunity for Florida to pass legislation to
eliminate the six ocean outfalls in southeast Flor-
Uses Update On December 14, 2007, the National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) pub- ida through a transition from wastewater dis-
Awareness and Appreciation 3 lished a proposed rule detailing prohibitions nec- charge to reclaimed water reuse. This proposed
essary to protect elkhorn coral (Acropora pal- legislation, drafted by the Florida Department of
Update Environmental Protection, was presented to the to
mata) and staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis).
Both corals were listed in May 2006 as threat- the Senate Environmental Preservation and Con-
Land-Based Sources of 3
servation Committee on February 7, 2008. Stay
Pollution Update ened under the Endangered Species Act. Com-
ments on the proposed rule are due March 13, informed about this important proposed legisla-
tion by visiting http://www.flsenate.gov .
CRCP Welcomes Reef 4
Injury Prevention and
Response Coordinator Celebrate the International Year of the Reef in 2008 with a Reef Fish,
Marine Invertebrate, Stony Coral or PADI Project Aware Class
How You Can Help Reefs 4
By Christopher Boykin again from 1:00-4:00pm on November 26.
Awareness & Appreciation Project Coordinator
SEFCRI VISION Stony Coral Identification will be offered from
The Florida Department of Environmental Pro- 12:00pm-4:00pm on April 30 and December 17
To develop an effective strategy
tection’s Coral Reef Conservation Program and from 5:00-9:00pm on August 27.
to preserve and protect
(CRCP) invites you to celebrate the International
southeast Florida’s coral reefs To register or obtain further information, email
Year of the Reef (IYOR) by learning more about
and associated reef resources, email@example.com. You can also learn more
our local reefs. In 2008, CRCP will host a series
emphasizing balance between about IYOR 2008 at www.iyor.org .
of four classes, rotated on a monthly basis. The
resource use and protection, in classes free, but space is limited so advance
cooperation with all registration is required. All classes are introduc-
interested parties. tory level and include a
REEF Fish Identification will be offered from
6:00pm-9:00pm on January 30 and September
24 and from 1:00-4:00pm on May 28 and
PADI Project Aware will be offered from 5:30pm-
9:30pm on February 27 and June 25.
Marine Invertebrates will be offered from
Corals off of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
6:00pm-9:00pm on March 26 and July 30 and
www.southeastfloridareefs.net Photo: Dave Gilliam, National Coral Reef Institute
Page 2 Southeast Florida Reef News
Maritime Industry and Coastal Construction Impacts (MICCI) Update
By Joanna Walczak Management) and Dave Gilliam (NSUOC) respec-
Coral Reef Program Coordinator, tively.
MICCI Project Coordinator
Development of Best Management Practices
MICCI Focus Team Meeting Held
The product of MICCI Project 6, Best Manage-
On October 15th, 2007, the Southeast Florida ment Practices (BMPs) for Construction, Dredge
A boulder coral that was crushed Coral Reef Initiative MICCI Focus Team met at
and Fill, and Other Permitted Activities Conducted
by the grounding of a large ves- the Nova Southeastern University Oceano-
graphic Center (NSUOC) in Dania Beach. Chantal Near Coral Reefs, is near completion. This docu-
sel in Broward County, Florida.
Collier, Patricia Rose, Meredith Gibboney and ment contains information gathered during a one-
Photo: Dr. David Gilliam
Nicholas Gadbois of the Florida Department of day workshop focused on reviewing, strengthen-
Environmental Protection Coral Reef Conserva- ing and developing new BMPs for coastal con-
tion Program were in attendance. There were struction that minimize or eliminate impacts to
also 20 MICCI team members and 9 observers coastal habitats and coral reef resources. Over
present. The purpose of the meeting was to up- 40 representatives attended from the coastal
date the MICCI team members on Year 1, 2, and construction industry, regulatory agencies, envi-
3 MICCI projects and create project teams and
ronmental agencies, non-governmental organiza-
further develop scopes of work for Year 4 pro-
jects. Presentations included results from com- tions, and academic institutions to discuss dredg-
bined MICCI/Fishing, Diving and Other Uses ing, coastal and nearshore construction, infra-
Project 1 (review of rules/regulations), LBSP structure installation, beach renourishment, and
Project updates, MICCI Project 8 (anchorage shoreline stabilization. The proceedings from the
As beach renourishment projects alternatives), and MICCI Combined Project workshop and final study report will incorporate
continue to be built along our 14/15/16 (reef recovery study) were given by the findings from the MICCI Project 3: Identify
coast, the emphasis on sand qual- Dr. Liana McManus and Maria Villanueva Existing and Emerging Innovative Technologies in
ity and compatibility is critical. (University of Miami), Nick Gadbois, Steve Blair Coastal Construction Practices and will be avail-
Photo: Chantal Collier (Miami-Dade Dept. of Environmental Resource
able on the CRCP website soon.
Fishing, Diving and Other Uses (FDOU) Update
By Rob Ruzicka dive briefings. In addition to the survey, all dive
FDOU Project Coordinator shops received SEFCRI brochures, stickers, tent
cards, videos, magnets, seafood guidelines cards,
Educational Campaign for SCUBA Divers Gets
and other educational materials they can use at
their shops. Dive shops were asked to respond to
To reach both commercial dive operators and the survey by January 30th, 2008. After the sur-
recreational divers within Southeast Florida, the veys are in, we will evaluate the responses and
FDOU Focus Team has joined forces with the move forward with creating the display materials
Abandoned or misplaced fishing Awareness and Appreciation Focus Team to and pre-dive briefing based upon the input re-
gear can harm fragile create a standardized set of education materials ceived.
coral colonies. that can be displayed at boat ramps and mari-
New Partnership Leads to a Marine Debris Moni-
Photo: Jerry Metz nas or inside dive shops and dive vessels. The
toring & Removal Program for Southeast Florida
project (FDOU Project 38) is also developing a
set of diving code “ethics” that can become part The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Com-
SEFCRI REPORTS of a standardized pre-dive briefing regional dive mission, Palm Beach County Reef Rescue and the
operators can use to educate clients about Southeast Florida Aquatic Preserves have joined
You can view all of the southeast Florida reefs and promote reef forces to develop a marine debris monitoring and
completed SEFCRI project “friendly” diving techniques. The content of the removal program for southeast Florida. Currently
reports and work products educational materials and pre-dive briefing is a website and a hotline for reporting marine de-
online at http:// being developed by the FDOU Team in collabora- bris are in development, and preparations are
www.dep.state.fl.us/coastal/ tion with southeast Florida dive operators. being made to complete four clean-up events
programs/coral/reports/ Nearly 130 dive shops across region were next summer, with assistance from regional dive
mailed packages containing surveys which operators and divers.
asked them what important “ethics” should be
distributed through display materials and pre-
Winter Issue Page 3
Awareness and Appreciation (AA) Update
Teacher Training Workshops a Success
By Christopher Boykin
AA Project Coordinator The SEFCRI AA Focus Team conducted another
Coral Reef Teacher Training Workshop on Novem-
Public Service Announcements and ber 10, 2007 at the Okeeheelee Nature Center in
Educational Videos Released Palm Beach County. Combined with the prior
workshop held in October 2007, the latest infor- AA team member Carol Fretwell
The long-awaited Southeast Florida Coral Reef
mation about southeast Florida’s reefs reached presenting at the November
Initiative (SEFCRI) radio and television public
service announcements (PSAs) have been re- 94 teachers from Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm 2007 teacher training.
leased to local stations throughout the four- Beach and Martin Counties. The responses re- Photo: Christopher Boykin
county SEFCRI region. Keep your ears open and ceived from the teachers through the workshop
let us know when you hear them by emailing us evaluations indicated that the curriculum and
at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are also translating activities presented at the workshops will reach
the PSAs into Spanish to air on WGEN TV Chan- 18,344 students in the region. Every participant
nel 8 throughout 2008. received a comprehensive resource guide and
Production of two SEFCRI educational videos is DVD filled with lesson plans, activities, Power-
also complete. The 10-minute video is being Point presentations and many other resources.
distributed to area hotels to educate visitors
about the extensive, vulnerable and valuable Special thanks goes to Dr. John McManus, Dr.
coral reef resources of southeast Florida. The Ken Banks, Dr. Janet Phipps and Allison Brownlee
videos and PSAs were also provided to partici- for their presentations at the workshops and for SEFCRI WEBSITE
pants of the SEFCRI coral reef teacher trainings Have you visited the
making their presentations available for all the
and will be available to educators at all of our teachers to use in their classrooms.
SEFCRI website yet?
outreach events. The next time you are
online check it out at:
Land-Based Sources of Pollution (LBSP) Update and let us know what you think
enth biannual meeting November 29-30, 2007 at at email@example.com.
By Nick Gadbois the Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic
LBSP Project Coordinator Center in Dania Beach.
LBSP Focus Team Reviews Its Projects TAC members were briefed on the progress of
The LBSP Focus Team met on November 6, 2007 ongoing LBSP projects and provided recommen-
at the Green Cay Nature Center in Boynton Beach dations to strengthen LBSP projects. During the
to review progress on Year 1, 2, and 3 LBSP pro- 2-day meeting, the current TAC members identi-
jects and to create project teams and discuss fied candidates for new membership on the TAC.
scopes of work for new LBSP projects (projects The TAC also proceeded with development of a
20, 21 and 24). Joanna Walczak, Florida Depart- document outlining stressors to coral reefs in
ment of Environmental Protection (FDEP) Coral southeast Florida. Presentations included an
Reef Conservation Program (CRCP), presented an update on LBSP projects by Meredith Gibboney,
update on the projects of the Maritime Industry & CRCP, and Samantha Evans, University of Miami;
Coastal Construction Impacts Focus Area. Other and an update on the Florida Area Coastal Envi-
presentations included a review of existing pro- ronment project by Dr. John Proni, NOAA. Rob
grams and best management practices targeting Ruzicka, CRCP, presented a Fishing, Diving &
LBSP by Meredith Gibboney, CRCP; research on Other Uses Focus Area update.
the use of stable isotopes as an indicator of LBSP Many Florida residents do not
North Miami Dade Benthic Habitat Mapping Be- realize that chemicals, garbage
in macroalgae by Dr. Peter Swart of the Univer- gins
sity of Miami; and an update on the status of the and other sources of pollution that
ocean outfalls in southeast Florida by Linda Brien CRCP executed a contract with Nova Southeast- enter storm drains, drain directly
of the FDEP Southeast District ern University to characterize and map the ben- into our canal systems, water-
thic habitats of northern Miami-Dade County The ways and eventually the ocean.
Technical Advisory Committee Meeting Held area to be mapped includes the shallow water (0- Photo: Dianne Behringer
30m depth) of Miami-Dade county from Fowey
The Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative LBSP Rocks to the northern county line.
Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) held its sev-
Coral Reef Conservation Program
Welcomes Reef Injury Prevention
and Response Coordinator
On February 1, 2008, the Florida Department of Environmental
Protection welcomed Brett Godfrey to the Coral Reef Conservation
Program team as CRCP’s Reef Injury Prevention and
Response Coordinator, for southeast Florida. Brett earned a B.S. in
Zoology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and an
Great Star coral (Montastraea cavernosa) is one of M.B.A. in Environmental Management from Florida Atlantic Univer-
twenty-nine species of stony corals found within the
13 sites of the Southeast Florida Coral Reef sity. He brings a diverse set of skills and experience to CRCP, rang-
Evaluation & Monitoring Project.
Photo: Dave Gilliam, National Coral Reef Institute ing from his work in the Florida Keys as a Marine Science Instruc-
tor and then Operations Manager for the Newfound Harbor Marine
Institute, to his work with Sea Tow in Fort Lauderdale, which
UPCOMING MEETINGS included marine towing and salvage operations, working with
You can view the schedule for meetings,
environmental agencies in fuel spill response and cleanup, leading
workshops, meeting summaries and more for
dive operations to remove vessel debris from ship groundings and
the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative
and the Florida Department of Environmental assessing resource damages. Brett is a certified dive master and
Protection’s Coral Reef Conservation Program holds a US Coast Guard 100-ton captain’s license. He can be
online at: reached at 305-795-2167 or Brett.Godfrey@dep.state.fl.us
http://www.dep.state.fl.us/coastal/programs Please join us in welcoming Brett to CRCP.
How You Can Help Protect Your Coral Reefs...
When Boating: • Conserve energy, save money and the environment by turning off lights, printers,
speakers and computer monitors.
• Use nautical charts, anchor in sand and use
mooring buoys where available. • Fertilize minimally and irrigate efficiently to keep phosphorus, nitrogen and other
When Fishing: pollutants from entering our waterways.
• Know your fish species and obey size and
• Safely release fish that cannot be kept. CORAL REEFS IN THE NEWS
When diving, lobstering or spearfishing: Read coral reef, ocean, and conservation news articles and press releases
that appeared in southeast Florida media from October 1, 2007 — January 31,
• Swim well above reefs and avoid any contact
2008 online at: http://www.dep.state.fl.us/coastal/programs/coral/updates/
with corals by your body or equipment.
At Home, the Office and School:
• Properly dispose of garbage.
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
• Reduce your consumption, reuse what you Coral Reef Conservation Program
can and recycle. 1277 NE 79th Street Causeway
Miami, FL 33138
• Conserve water, save money and the E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
environment by purchasing a “low flow” Website: www.dep.state.fl.us/coastal/programs/coral
shower head. Phone: (305) 795-1233