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

Partnership on Lake Worth Lagoon Restoration Efforts Help Southeast Florida Coral Reefs

Jennifer Baez, Land-Based Sources of Pollution Coordinator

Jennifer Báez, Land-Based Sources of Pollution Coordinator

A Proclamation Ceremony was held on May 5, 2015 in recognition of the support and partners of Grassy Flats Restoration Project. The Grassy Flats Restoration Project is part of SEFCRI Local Action Strategy to reduce land-based sources of pollution. This effort was conducted by Palm Beach County Environmental Resources Management and restored 13 acres of valuable estuarine habitat in Lake Worth Lagoon through innovative techniques to cap muck sediment. The fine muck sediment is easily suspended into lagoon waters and transported out the adjacent inlets into the nearshore marine environment. These sediments in the water column can block sunlight from reaching the seafloor and eventually settle out, blanketing the reefs. Excessive sedimentation on corals can cause direct mortality through burial (smothering), suppress the recovery of surviving adult colonies through increased competition with algae, and reduce the rate of coral larval settlement and early larval survival. Turbidity reduces photosynthetic ability by limiting the penetration of sunlight though the water column. The muck also inhibits the growth of estuarine vegetation, which is known to help reduce pollutants and stabilize sediments in the Lagoon.

Palm Beach County and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will be coordinating a community volunteer event later this fall to vegetate this newly restored area by planting 3,000+ mangrove seedlings and 25,000 cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) plugs.



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