Since 2015, DEP and numerous partners from federal, state and local governments, universities, nongovernmental organizations and the South Florida community have been communicating regularly and working together on a multifaceted response effort.
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program held a workshop on July 11-13, 2018, in Key Largo to create a comprehensive response plan to address the coral disease outbreak. The workshop focused on developing collaborative partnerships between resource managers and scientists to identify potential pathogens, document the outbreak, understand contributing factors, and aggressively pursue interventions. We are quickly compiling the workshop outcomes to create a framework for adaptive decision making about intervention actions, resource capacity and funding needs, regulatory issues and community engagement.
Nov. 6-8, 2017
DEP staff collaborated with staff from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to lead a three-day coral disease meeting to discuss the next phase of coral disease response efforts. Made possible by funds appropriated by the Florida Legislature and Governor Scott, the meeting was attended by approximately 40 participants, including leading coral disease scientists and animal health experts. To review the summaries and objectives from this meeting, please see below and click on the following links:
DEP staff partnered with coral disease experts Greta Aeby from the University of Hawaii and Blake Ushijima from Oregon State University to host a two-day coral disease meeting. Approximately 125 participants representing a variety of agencies, organizations, universities and the South Florida community attended. The meeting included information on coral disease identification, ecology and investigation techniques. To review the meeting material and recordings, please follow the links below:
To improve communication about the status of the coral disease outbreak and coordination among reef managers, scientists and interested members of the community regarding these response efforts, DEP initiated coordination phone calls in summer 2015. Although initially focused on mainland southeast Florida where the disease outbreak originated, these coordination calls were re-established during summer 2016 to include the entire Florida Reef Tract and are currently ongoing. Follow the links below to review a meeting summary from any of these calls:
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.