The Maritime Industry and Coastal Construction Impacts (MICCI) Focus Area was formed to address coastal construction and maritime industry activities that have the potential of impacting our coastal habitats and coral reefs. Activities such as vessel anchoring and groundings, infrastructure installation (e.g., cables, pipelines and outfalls), beach nourishment, and dredge and fill operations in and around coral reefs and coastal habitats can adversely affect these sensitive ecosystems.
The Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative Technical Advisory Committee serves as an advisory board to assist the SEFCRI team in developing and interpreting research and technical information to identify and implement priority actions needed to reduce key threats to coral reef resources in southeast Florida. The Technical Advisory Committee is comprised of leading research scientists in the fields of coral reef ecology, water quality, oceanography, geology, fisheries, socioeconomics, resource management, chemistry and biology.
The Land-Based Sources of Pollution (LBSP) Focus Area was formed to address impacts to corals resulting from both point and non-point land-based sources of pollution. Point and non-point sources of pollution result in unintentional but very real stresses on coral reef ecosystem health. Due to the research nature of many of the LBSP projects, the LBSP Area works closely with the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative Technical Advisory Committee, constituted by leading research scientists in the fields of coral reef ecology, water quality, geology, chemistry and biology.
The Fishing, Diving and Other Uses (FDOU) focus area was identified by the original SEFCRI Team in their 2004 Local Action Strategy (LAS) as one of the four main issues facing southeast Florida’s coral reefs. The focus of FDOU is to address the impacts caused by activities such as fishing, diving, and boating. Actions associated with these activities often result in unseen and unintended impacts that alter reef ecosystems. The FDOU focus area's primary purpose is to identify these impacts and assess how they affect marine organisms and their reef habitats. Projects were developed to address these impacts by focusing on five main issues: identifying the conservation ethics of different reef users; examining the direct and indirect impacts of fishing, diving and boating to the reef; determining the benefit and proper deployment of artificial reefs; and locating reliable funding sources that will assist future FDOU projects and goals.
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.
Narrator: Coral Reefs are alive! They contain millions of tiny animals that form a spectacular and complex community. Reefs provide nurseries and a safe haven for hundreds of fish and other marine life. They are valuable natural resources that protect our coasts by reducing wave energy from storms and hurricanes.
Coral reefs in Florida are usually associated with the Florida Keys. However, extensive and beautiful coral reefs are also found off Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Martin counties, north of the Keys.
In 2000, the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force (USCRTF) adopted a National Action Plan to conserve coral reefs. With guidance from the USCRTF, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission coordinated the formation of a team of interagency and non-agency marine resource professionals, scientists, resource users and other stakeholders. The Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative (SEFCRI) Team first gathered in May 2003 to develop local action strategies targeting coral reefs and associated reef resources from Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Martin counties to improve the coordination of technical and financial support for the conservation and management of coral reefs. SEFCRI is targeting this region because the coral habitats are close to shore and co-exist with intensely urbanized areas that lack a coordinated management plan (like that of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary).
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.