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

New Southeast Florida Watershed Poster

Troy Craig
Associate Coordinator

Southeast Florida watershed illustration for educational poster.
Southeast Florida watershed illustration for educational poster.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protections Coral Reef Conservation Program (FDEP CRCP) is creating an educational watershed poster for teachers, environmental educational centers and the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative (SEFCRI) outreach booth. This poster is part of a Land-Based Sources of Pollution (LBSP) Local Action Strategy project, which also includes the production of a fertilizer and pesticide brochure, was developed to reduce the effects of LBSP on coral reefs by informing the public, and suggesting alternatives to alter public behaviors.

What is a watershed? A watershed is an area of land within which water flows and drains into a common body of water, such as a lake, bay or ocean. Most of this water comes from rainfall that is carried as stormwater runoff into streams, canals and rivers. Watersheds serve important functions, including collecting water from rainfall, storing water, releasing water via runoff, and providing habitat for native species. The quality and amount of water draining from a watershed depend on the climate, geology, vegetation and amount of development within that watershed. As water flows through a watershed, it carries organic matter, providing food and shelter for aquatic life; however, this water may also carry pollutants, such as, fertilizers and pesticides, which degrade water quality and impact natural resources.

How will this project help? The poster is designed to enhance public awareness of our connection to the southeast Florida watershed and how pollution in the watershed poses a threat to the health of coral reefs and other coastal resources. Pollution and sedimentation from Florida’s agricultural and urban areas can travel hundreds of miles through canals, rivers and lakes and eventually flow out via inlets and to the coral reefs of south Florida. These pollutants are known to cause coral disease, coral bleaching and even deterioration of whole coral reef ecosystems. So please, do your part in reducing pollution, and let’s keep southeast Florida beautiful!



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