Intern Maria Olavarria Mileo “Maui” and LBSP coordinator Nick Gadbois staff the SEFCRI booth at the 11th International Coral

Intern Maria Olavarria Mileo “Maui” and LBSP coordinator Nick Gadbois staff the SEFCRI booth at the 11th International Coral

Reef Symposium.

Photo: Christopher Boykin

Assistant Manager, Joanna Walczak, teaches youngsters about coral reefs at the Fairchild Ramble in Miami.

Assistant Manager, Joanna Walczak, teaches youngsters about coral reefs at the Fairchild Ramble in Miami.

Photo: Christopher Boykin

The dumping of household chemicals onto lawns and down storm drains compromises the water quality in our waterways and negatively impacts our nearshore coral reefs.

The dumping of household chemicals onto lawns and down storm drains compromises the water quality in our waterways and negatively impacts our nearshore coral reefs.

Photo: Dianne Behringer, Florida Sea Grant

One of four bus wraps that ran in Broward County, FL in July 2008 as part of our coral reef education campaign.

One of four bus wraps that ran in Broward County, FL in July 2008 as part of our coral reef education campaign.

Photo: Christopher Boykin

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SEFCRI Focus Teams

Awareness and Appreciation (AA)

The Awareness and Appreciation (AA) Focus Team was formed to address coral reef degradation, which can be attributed to a lack of knowledge or understanding by the general public. Lack of awareness and appreciation is a significant source of the continued degradation of this ecosystem and is recognized by the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force as a threat to reefs. Impacts from activities conducted by users unaware of the presence and vulnerability of the reef could be reduced through a combination of strategies to increase awareness and refine some use practices. The aim of the projects in the Local Action Strategy for this focus area is to encourage positive behaviors and decisions that benefit coral reefs among citizens and visitors in southeast Florida.

Goals and Objectives

One of the key objectives of the AA Focus Team is to educate the residents and visitors to the region about our diverse near shore coral resources, the benefits of these resources, as well as current threats and conservation actions that individuals can take to protect our coral reefs and marine environment.

Team Membership

The AA team is comprised of fourteen member organizations, which include:

The navigators listed above are the primary points of contact for the AA Focus Team and are responsible for representing SEFCRI and the AA Focus Team within their agencies and/or to stakeholders.

Project Examples

The AA team is working to implement 37 projects over the course of five years. These projects include: the creation of outreach materials such as brochures, exhibits, hotel tent cards and this website; teacher trainings; public service announcements; and posting coral reef signage at public boat ramps in the four SEFCRI counties. The team also conducted a Needs Assessment Study to better understand coral reef knowledge, attitudes and practices of residents, visitors and stakeholder groups in the SEFCRI region. You may view all 37 of the AA Focus Team's projects by visiting this site and clicking on SEFCRI Local Action Strategy.

Anticipated Outcomes:

  • Better coordinated and targeted coral reef ecosystem outreach and education effort in southeast Florida:
  • Increased positive behaviors and decisions that benefit coral reefs; and
  • A well-educated media that will communicate important reef conservation messages