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

SEFCRI Vice-Chair Corner

Scott Sheckman, SEFCRI Vice-Chair

A California resident for about 20 years after growing up in the Philly/NYC area, my wife and I relocated to South Florida in May of 2010 for family needs. As a new Floridian, I was eager to learn about the regional environment and where I could help lend some of my expertise in nonprofit marine habitat study and restoration. I was excited to find and become of member of SEFCRI in September 2013 and later a Community Working Group member for the Our Florida Reefs (OFR) process. Throughout the process, I realized many great minds had already generated scores of fabulous well-vetted reef-saving ideas over the years ranging from research to public education to direct action. Some concepts had reached the ultimate level of becoming state-supported initiatives, such as the Southeast Florida Action Network (SEAFAN) and the OFR process. I wasn't sure if I should bother suggesting anything new, as there were already so many excellent proposals in several categories, including my specialty of Appreciation and Awareness.

 

However, being a seasoned nonprofit development/communication consultant by trade, I couldn't help but wonder: how are all these great ideas to be funded/supported, especially if seemingly lacking a self-sustaining funding mechanism? In addition, there was little to address rapid response to emergencies that could include vessel strikes, pollution, abandoned commercial fishing nets, and other threats.

 

In an effort to address the need, I suggested an idea along with my SEFCRI teammates: to create a dedicated Citizen Support Organization (CSO) for the FDEP CRCP. I am very happy to announce that this concept has become a reality, and am excited to help support SEFCRI and OFR through this new avenue.



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