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

Awareness and Appreciation (AA) Update: Completion of Education Signs at Boat Ramps and Illustrated Poster on Florida's Coral Reefs.

Christopher Boykin
Awareness and Appreciation Project Coordinator

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During the month of June one of the AA Focus Team’s biggest projects was completed with the installation of 20 large educational signs at boat ramps in southeast Florida. Also called “wayside exhibits”, the signs measure 4’ wide by 3’ tall and are intended to reach the diverse commercial and recreational boating communities of southeast Florida. They were fabricated on vandalism resistant “RHINO” panels, which are one of the most durable materials in the industry and used frequently by the National Park Service throughout the country. The educational content of the signs calls out the importance of using mooring buoys and anchoring in the sand, as well other conservation messages, including the importance of both knowing and following current fishing regulations. A smaller version of the sign was made in poster form, 24” wide by 36” tall, for distribution to dive shops and marinas within the region. This smaller version is also featured in several of the Lake Worth Lagoon Manatee Education Kiosks in Palm Beach County.

Also, a new page was created on the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative (SEFCRI) website to serve as a clearinghouse of current fisheries and coral regulations.

The sign and new web page featuring fisheries and coral regulations can be viewed at www.southeastfloridareefs.net.

A second project was the completion of a beautiful illustrated poster on Florida's Coral Reefs. The poster highlights several stony corals, sponges and octocorals found on our reefs, as well as several fish and marine invertebrates. Jocelyn O'neil of the Loxahatchee River Center created the poster in conjuction with staff fro the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Coral Reef Conservation Program and the illustrations were done by Dawn Witherington. Dawn and Jocelyn have produced several gorgeous posters including: "Florida's Seagrasses", "Elkhorn Coral", "Land Crabs" and "The Wrack Community". The poster has already been distributed to more than 600 teachers in the region and is available at the FDEP CRCP office in Miami, at local community events, meetings or by mail for educators by contacting Coral@dep.state.fl.us . The visually stunning new poster can be viewed online at http://www.loxahatcheeriver.org/pdf/reef%20poster%20final%20to%20go.pdf.



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