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 MICCI Products Available: Working Hard to Minimize Impacts to Southeast Florida’s Coral Reef Resources!

Lauren Waters
NOAA Coral Fellow

A 2010 beach renourishment project on Miami Beach.
A 2010 beach renourishment project on Miami Beach.

Several new MICCI projects are done and ready for distribution! The new report "Policy Recommendations and Training to Improve Agency Permitting, Compliance, and Enforcement for Coral Resource Conservation in Southeast Florida" is a synthesis of the current rules and regulations that protect reef resources. Interviews of mid- and high-level agency personnel were conducted to better understand compliance and enforcement constraints, to seek methods to address identified constraints, and to seek avenues for better processes to leverage the scarcity of financial and human resources affecting all agencies involved. This project also created the Coral Reef Resource Awareness Training Program that is geared towards training local permitting agencies, construction companies, consulting firms, and industry personnel on the basic biology and ecology of local coral reef ecosystems, as well as the rules and regulations that pertain to reef resources. The training program includes three PowerPoint study units, a waterproof quick-reference card showing the most common corals in the southeast Florida region, and an easy to use table of state and federal regulations that govern them.

The second new report "Reference Document and Guide to the Evaluation of Permitted Coastal Construction Activities That Affect Coral Reef and Coastal Resources in Southeast Florida" is a look at the cumulative effect of the historical coastal buildup in southeast Florida. One goal of this project was to develop a resource reference document for planners, reviewers, and permitters of large-scale coastal construction projects that contains important references, a history of past permitted projects, and a comprehensive view of major coastal construction permitted projects from 1995 onwards. This project also created a database of all non-deminimus coastal construction permits issued in the southeast Florida region from 1995 - 2009, along with a GIS geodatabase showing the project locations. These products are in a read only format, and are available upon request.

The third study is a review of past coastal construction project resource monitoring reports, titled "Evaluation of Past Coastal Construction Project Monitoring in Southeast Florida and Recommendations to Improve Future Monitoring". The project assessed the ability of past monitoring design to accurately detect resource impacts during coastal construction, and interviewed stakeholders (e.g. local, state, and federal agencies; environmental consulting firms, etc.) on current monitoring practices and recommendations for improvement. The report provides specific recommendations for improving resource impact monitoring before, during, and after construction projects.

All of these new products, along with all other MICCI products are available for download at: http://www.dep.state.fl.us/coastal/programs/coral/reports/



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