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

FRIENDS OF BISCAYNE BAY MAKES CORAL REEF MAPS AVAILABLE ON SMARTPHONES : Maps aid in boater safety by depicting sandy bottom areas for boaters to deploy their anchor.

Jena Sansgaard
Reef Injury Prevention and Response Coordinator

The Southeast Florida Coral Reef Locator map isnow accessible on mobile devices through the Esri ArcGIS app.
The Southeast Florida Coral Reef Locator map isnow accessible on mobile devices through the Esri ArcGIS app.

The Friends of Biscayne Bay has made the Southeast Coral Reef Locator map accessible on mobile devices through the free Esri ArcGIS app.  The map shows coral reef as well as sandy bottom locations in the northern part of the Florida Reef Tract offshore of Miami-Dade (starting at the northern boundary of Biscayne National Park), Broward, and Palm Beach counties. Martin County will be added as soon as the information is available. This technology will aid recreational boaters in safely anchoring their vessels in sand and help to decrease injuries to coral reefs by boat anchors.

In July 2009, with the passage of the Florida Coral Reef Protection Act (Section 403.93345, Florida Statutes), it became illegal to anchor a vessel on the coral reefs in Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Martin counties.  Ultimately, the vessel operator/owner is responsible for preventing violations of the law. By using the Esri ArcGIS app to view the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Locator map, a user can see their current location in relation to nearby coral reefs on the map. Combined with sound judgment, and standard anchoring practices, the map will help vessel operators safely anchor without damaging the ecologically and economically valuable coral reefs while preventing unintentional violations of the law.

For more information on the Florida Coral Reef Protection Act please visit: www.dep.state.fl.us/coastal/programs/coral/pub/CRPA_Brochure.pdf.

The Friends of Biscayne Bay (FOBB) is a non-profit, citizen support organization whose purpose is to support the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve.  FOBB advocates for the bay, supports staff trainings, and hosts educational and outreach events. The Southeast Florida Coral Reef Locator map is a product of a project completed by the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative (SEFCRI).  Managed by Florida’s Coral Reef Conservation Program, the SEFCRI is composed of partners from local, state, federal agencies, NGOs, universities and local stakeholder groups. SEFCRI’s mission is to develop and support the implementation of an effective strategy to preserve and protect southeast Florida’s coral reefs, emphasizing balance between resource use and protection, in cooperation with all interested parties.

How to download and access the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Locator:

1. Download the free Esri ArcGIS mobile app on your smartphone or tablet from an app store.

2. Search for the map by tapping the search icon  and typing Southeast Florida Coral Reef Locator.

3. Tap the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Locator map to view it.

4. To show your location on the map, tap the compass icon  in the lower right of the screen.  A blue dot depicting your location should appear on the map.



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