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

Study of Local Anchorage Designations Completed!

Lauren Waters
NOAA Coral Fellow

The current Port of Miami anchorage (blue outline) contains 700 acres of coral reef and hardbottom resources.
The current Port of Miami anchorage (blue outline) contains 700 acres of coral reef and hardbottom resources.

The Maritime Industry and Coastal Construction Impacts (MICCI) Focus Area Coordinator and Team are pleased to announce the completion of the MICCI Project 8: “A Study to Minimize or Eliminate Hardbottom and Reef Impacts from Anchoring Activities in Designated Anchorages at the Ports of Miami and Palm Beach”. The goal of this project was to review, update, and begin the process for the repositioning of existing anchorages, or placement of new anchorages, that minimize or eliminate impacts from commercial anchoring activities at the Ports of Miami and Palm Beach. Completed by Dr. Brian Walker of the Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center and National Coral Reef Institute, the current locations of the anchorages and their proximity to existing coral reef and hardbottom resources were examined using Geographic Information System software and bathymetric surveys of the reefs. Working closely with local stakeholders including the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), local port and port pilots associations, shipping representatives, and others, the contractor analyzed various reconfigurations of the anchorage locations that balanced resource protection with stakeholder needs and concerns.

The final report provides modification recommendations that will be presented to both ports and local stakeholders for review and to seek consensus on USCG anchorage rule changes. This project will protect southeast Florida reef and hardbottom resources, and ships, by ensuring that ships are anchoring a safe distance from these shallow-water features.

New Project Underway!

A new project has begun that will be completed in-house by the Maritime Industry and Coastal Construction Impacts (MICCI) Coordinator. MICCI Project 13: “Review of Methods, Process, and Response to Citizen Reporting of Potential Non-Compliance and Coral Reef Resource Impacts in Southeast Florida”, will consist of interviews with local, state, and federal agency personnel and local citizens and a review of current procedures used by agencies to collect citizen reports of suspected construction violations that may be impacting coral reef or hardbottom resources. A final report will document the results of the project, and provide recommendations for filling any identified gaps. This project is scheduled to be completed by June 30th, 2011.

All final MICCI and SEFCRI products are available for download from:

http://www.dep.state.fl.us/coastal/programs/coral/reports/



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