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Coral ECA: Kristin Jacobs Coral Reef Ecosystem Conservation Area

The  Kristin Jacobs Coral Reef Ecosystem Conservation Area, formerly known as the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative (SEFCRI) region, was officially established on July 1, 2018. On July 1, 2021 this area was renamed in honor of the late Broward County state representative. This  conservation area, also  referred to  as the  Coral ECA, is the northernmost section of Florida’s Coral Reef and runs 105 miles from the St. Lucie Inlet to the northern boundary of Biscayne National Park. The Coral ECA is part of the only barrier reef system in the continental United States and is home to more than 6,000 species of marine life including fish, stony corals, gorgonians, sponges, and other marine invertebrates. 

 

Have you seen this sign? You can find one at your local marina, boat ramp, state park or pier in the four counties next to the Coral ECA.

Coral Reef Conservation Area, sign

Installed Signage at Peanut Island Ferry Dock. Photo Credit: Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resource Management


Coral Reef Facts

  • Are corals plants, rocks, or animals? Corals may look like rocks or plants, but they are  actually animals,  closely related to jellyfish and anemones. 
  • How fast do reefs grow? Reef growth is extremely slow; an individual  coral colony may grow only ½ inch to 7 inches  (1 cm to 18 cm) in one year, depending on the species.  Check out this paper by Weil et al. 2020 that discusses growth dynamics in  Acropora cervicornis  and  A. prolifera  in southwest Puerto Rico. 
  • How do coral reefs support South Florida's economy? The National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a status report for Florida’s Coral Reef detailing that coral reefs in Southeast Florida generate $5.7 billion in local sales and support 61,000 jobs every year. 
  • Do coral reefs safeguard against extreme weather, shoreline erosion  and coastal flooding? Yes! As reported by Storlazzi et al. 2019, reefs in the Coral ECA provide more than  $323 million  in flood protection benefits to buildings and protect over $276 million in economic activity each year.  


Protecting Our Reefs 


How You Can Help

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 Practice  Safe Anchoring : Anchor in sandy areas using Florida’s Coral Reef Locator at FloridaDEP.gov/CoralReefLocator.    

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 Visit a Reef and Dive Responsibly  : Keep our reefs protected by not touching these animals with your hands or equipment.  

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 Reduce Marine Pollution: Limit the use of products containing chemicals that can harm reefs and please bring anything that you brought with you today back home or dispose of it properly. 

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 Reel In and Recycle: Don’t leave your line behind, find a fishing line recycling bin near you to properly dispose of your monofilament.  

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 Fish Sustainably: Familiarize yourself with FWC’s current recreational fishing regulations and download the Fish Rules App to find regulations quickly and easily on the water.  

 

Report Marine Incidents to SEAFAN

The Southeast Florida Action Network (SEAFAN) is a community-based marine incident reporting and response program dedicated to improving the protection and management of Southeast Florida’s reefs. You can report a marine incident online at SEAFAN.net/report. No special training is required! 

Are you a recreational, commercial, or scientific diver? Join the BleachWatch Dive team and learn how to report coral disease and bleaching in our citizen monitoring program! 

Blue and white web button for Southeast Florida Action Network


Learn more about Florida’s Coral Reef and Sign the Pledge to join the Florida Coral Crew!


Florida's coral reef logo


 

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Last Modified:
December 28, 2022 - 3:11pm

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