The Awareness and Appreciation Focus Area was formed to address coral reef degradation that can be attributed to a lack of knowledge or understanding by the general public, which is a recognized threat to coral reefs by the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force. Impacts from activities conducted by users who are unaware of the presence and vulnerability of the reefs can be reduced through a combination of strategies to increase awareness and refine specific user practices.
The primary objective of the Awareness and Appreciation Focus Area is to educate residents and visitors about our diverse near-shore coral reef resources, the benefits of these resources, current threats, and conservation actions individuals can take to protect our coral reefs and marine environment.
This focus area has worked to implement more than 38 projects since 2004. These projects include the creation of brochures, exhibits, hotel tent cards, the Coral Reef Conservation Program website, teacher trainings, public service announcements, and coral reef signs at public boat ramps in the Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Martin counties. Efforts have also resulted in a Needs Assessment Study to better understand coral reef knowledge, attitudes and practices of residents, visitors. and stakeholder groups in these four counties. See links to select products below, and click here for all Awareness and Appreciation project products.
Better coordinated and targeted coral reef ecosystem outreach and education effort in southeast Florida
Increased positive behaviors and decisions that benefit coral reefs
A well-educated media that will communicate important coral reef conservation messages
Participate in our traveling teacher trunk program to bring the wonder of coral reefs to your classroom for free!
Interested in teaching your students about our local coral reefs? If you are an educator in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, or Martin County, the Coral Reef Conservation Program will send you a FREE trunk filled with posters, reef replicas, lesson plans, movies, and books. Dive into our specially designed trunks filled with materials tailored to either elementary or middle school students (can also be modified for high school). Each educator can use the trunk for one month before it is sent to the next person. Read more about the traveling trunk program from our citizen-support organization (Friends of Our Florida Reefs) or email us at Coral@FloridaDEP.gov for more information.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.