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

Celebrating the Success of Early 2015 Outreach Season

Ana Zangroniz, Awareness and Appreciation Coordinator

In 2015, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (FDEP) Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) increased its outreach efforts throughout the four-county, southeast Florida region (Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Martin counties). In addition to previously attended events (the Port Salerno Seafood Festival, Miami Boat Show, Blue Wild Expo, Gumbo Limbo Sea Turtle Day, Dania Marine Flea Market, and Palm Beach Boat Show), CRCP participated in three new events this season: the Green Planet Festival, Tortuga Music Festival, and Broward STEM Expo. These three events targeted different stakeholder groups and increased awareness of the northern portion of the Florida Reef Tract, its threats, and ways that the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative (SEFCRI) Team and CRCP are addressing those threats. These interactions provided further opportunity to foster discussion about the currently underway Our Florida Reefs community planning process.

Featured activities at the outreach booth included “Guess that Coral,” where participants matched flashcards of live corals to the correct coral skeletons/models; and the “Wheel of Wonder,” a game geared towards younger visitors that gave clues to help them guess the identity of various coral reef-related organisms. These activities supplemented existing available literature, mooring buoy maps, and other products on display. Approximately 2,500 individuals were reached at these events, furthering the goals of the SEFCRI Local Action Strategy Project AA 23, which strives to educate both southeast Florida residents and visitors about the various initiatives of the CRCP and SEFCRI.

The CRCP is scheduled to participate in two more events this year. Volunteers and SEFCRI team member support are much appreciated, as the CRCP is only able to send one staff member each day. These events are:

  1. 1.       The 2015 Fort Lauderdale Boat Show (Broward County): Thursday, November 5 – Monday, November 9, 2015

Broward County Convention Center

1950 Eisenhower Blvd

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316

  1. The 2015 Fairchild Ramble (Miami-Dade County): Friday, November 13 – Sunday, November 15, 2015

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens

10901 Old Cutler Rd

Miami, FL 33156

If you are interested in learning more about these events or volunteering, please email: coral@dep.state.fl.us.



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