Common Sea Fans (<em>Gorgonia ventilina</em>) are one of several species of sea fans found in southeast Florida. Sea fans are also classified as soft corals or gorgonians.

Common Sea Fans (Gorgonia ventilina) are one of several species of sea fans found in southeast Florida. Sea fans are also classified as soft corals or gorgonians.

Photo: Chantal Collier

Juvenile bluehead wrasses swim along the reef in Palm Beach.

Juvenile bluehead wrasses swim along the reef in Palm Beach.

Photo: Joe Marino

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Southeast Florida Reef News

DEP Coral Program and Partners Begin Third Year of Reef Visual Census Surveys

Kristina Trotta
Field and Administrative Assistant

CRCP’s dive team hits the water to collect reef fish data as part of the RVC project.
CRCP’s dive team hits the water to collect reef fish data as part of the RVC project.
In June, the CRCP began the summer field season by collecting data for the Reef Visual Census (RVC) project, which is now in its third year.  This project is a cooperative effort to collect information about reef fish and their habitats, which is shared among many partners across our four county region, including Miami-Dade County, NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center, Nova Southeastern University, Broward County and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. 

Throughout the region, CRCP and partners will collectively survey more than 360 sites. At each site diver teams enter the water and monitor a 15m (50ft.) cylindrical area by making note of every fish species observed, how many there are and their sizes, as well as characterizing the coral reef habitat. While it can be challenging work, the RVC dive team always appreciates the chance to get into the water and see the coral reefs and animals they are working to protect. 

With three years of data, the RVC project provides a comprehensive, regional picture of the reef fish populations that live on southeast Florida’s reefs, which better equips CRCP and partners to manage and protect these valuable resources. 
 


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