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

Maritime Industry & Coastal Construction Impacts (MICCI) Update:

By Joanna Walczak
Assistant Manager/ MICCI Project Coordinator

A few of the MICCI 18 & 19 chapter authors and editors at a meeting in West Palm Beach, FL.  Photo: Joanna Walczak, FDEP CRCP
A few of the MICCI 18 & 19 chapter authors and editors at a meeting in West Palm Beach, FL. Photo: Joanna Walczak, FDEP CRCP

The MICCI Focus Team is pleased to announce the availability of its newest completed project: “Guidelines and Management Practices for Artificial Reef Siting, Usage, Construction and Anchoring in Southeast Florida”. This document is the culmination of hard work by the MICCI 18 & 19 project team, contributing authors, and editors, who consisted of representatives from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Coral Reef Conservation Program, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, US Army Corps of Engineers, University of Florida, as well as the Artificial Reef Program Coordinators from Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Martin counties.

As stated by the editors of the document, Drs. William J. Lindberg and William Seaman, Jr.,: “This document is one means of putting into action concerns for the conservation and health of the important, valued and numerous coral reefs of southeast Florida. It addresses a specific type of undersea construction that has impacted coral ecosystems, but also offers a tool for repair of damage to them. That tool is the deployment of structures on the sea floor to serve as artificial reefs. In fact, artificial habitat materials such as limestone boulders and concrete are already in use to “mimic” to varying degrees the natural structure and ecological function of coral habitats, and thereby hasten recovery and repair damage from accidental vessel groundings, as well as intentional disturbances such as occur with the laying of submarine cables. To the degree possible, state-of-the-art practices concerning artificial reef science and technology are presented in this document. In some cases, so-called “best practices” are based on solid research and in others it is a matter of relying on tried and true practical experiences that have evolved over time. As the first document of its kind in Florida, it offers a benchmark for developing future science-based guidance for the placement of artificial reefs in waters where coral reefs are found.”

The final document is available for download at:http://www.dep.state.fl.us/coastal/programs/coral/reports/



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