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

Introducing the New Florida Coral Reef Fishery Biologist

FDEP CRCP Staff

Kurtis Gregg joins the FDEP CRCP from the South Florida Water Management District.
Kurtis Gregg joins the FDEP CRCP from the South Florida Water Management District.

Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative (SEFCRI) partner agencies have collaborated again to improve the management of Florida’s coral reef resources. Working closely with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Ocean Service and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Coral Reef Conservation Program (FDEP CRCP), NOAA Fisheries has added a new position here in southeast Florida. The new Florida Coral Reef Fishery Biologist, Kurtis Gregg, will work to improve capacity and linkages between the region’s partnership agencies, coral reef resource users, and water managers. Kurtis joins the SEFCRI partnership following nearly six years of working at the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD).

In addition to his experience in environmental permitting and project reviews at the SFWMD (and previously with FDEP), Kurtis has a background that includes environmental education and outreach with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and experience as a Marine Fisheries Biologist on the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries, Artificial Reef Evaluation and Monitoring Project. The Florida Coral Reef Fishery Biologist will help coordinate and support the Fishing, Diving and Other Uses (FDOU) and Land Based Sources of Pollution (LBSP) Local Action Strategy Teams, as well as conduct Essential Fish Habitat consultations and provide support to the NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program. Specific FDOU activities include focusing on the Fishery Independent Assessment design and implementation, and development of a fisheries training course, as well as improving communication with fishers, divers and other local resource users. LBSP activities include literature review and synthesis of LBSP threats to coral reefs and related habitats in Florida, assisting with completion of the LBSP white paper and “Quick Guide”, and improving coordination and data sharing between the SEFCRI partner agencies and the SFWMD with the intent of improving water quality for estuarine and marine habitats on the northern third of the Florida Reef Tract. If you have any questions or ideas about these activities, please feel free to contact Kurtis Gregg at (561) 616-8880 Extension 214 or Kurtis.Gregg@noaa.gov.



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