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

Announcing SEFCRI’s ‘Our Florida Reefs’ Community Planning Process

Jamie Monty & Julio Jimenez
Manager & Fishing, Diving & Other Uses Coordinator

WWW.OURFLORIDAREEFS.ORG
WWW.OURFLORIDAREEFS.ORG

Here at the Florida Coral Reef Conservation Program office, we are excited about SEFCRI’s largest project to date, “Our Florida Reefs”, which is a community planning process for SE FL's coral reefs. The goal of Our Florida Reefs is to help SEFCRI achieve its mission of developing & supporting the implementation of an effective strategy for SE FL reefs, balancing resource use & protection, in cooperation with all interested parties. The process tagline, “Your Voice, Our Future,” highlights the importance & need for participation from all interested groups in this process, in order for it to succeed.

A series of community meetings taking place this month serves as the launch for Our Florida Reefs. These are informational meetings about the current state of southeast Florida’s coral reef ecosystems, what Our Florida Reefs is, what the next steps in the process are, and how you can get involved. It will also provide an opportunity to interact with Coral Program staff and SEFCRI Team members. 

There are many ways to get involved in the Our Florida Reefs process: by providing public comments and feedback online or at the community meetings; by providing information on Our Florida Reefs your local clubs or organizations; or by applying to be a member of a Community Working Group in your area. The Community Working Groups will be made up of representatives from all different user groups, academics, private industries, and government agencies. The members will act as key links to their respective communities on Our Florida Reefs and will be responsible for developing recommendations to better manage southeast Florida coral reefs.

We enjoyed hearing from the more than 320 people who attended the first eight meetings in Martin, Palm Beach and Broward counties. We hope to hear from many more of you at the four Miami-Dade county meetings week. If you haven't already, come and be a part of this SEFCRI effort to create a plan for the future of southeast Florida coral reefs!

The meetings below have already taken place:

  • Wednesday, June 05, 2013 in West Palm Beach
  • Thursday, June 06, 2013 in Stuart
  • Wednesday, June 12, 2013 in Delray Beach
  • Wednesday, June 19, 2013 in Dania Beach 


However, you can still provide public comment online at: http://ourfloridareefs.org/public-comment-form/.   
Public comments received at all of our community meetings, and on the website, will be posted at the end of each month.

It’s not too late to join us!  You can still attend one of our meetings in Broward or Miami-Dade counties. The following three dates each have two meetings (2pm & 6pm sessions). You can RSVP for the meetings online at http://ourfloridareefs.org/events/ . 

  • Tuesday, June 25, 2013 in Miami at the North Dade Regional Library - 2455 NW 183rd Street, Miami, FL 33056

  • Wednesday, June 26, 2013
    in Cutler Bay at the South Dade Regional Library - 10750 SW 211th Street, Cutler Bay, FL 33189 


In addition to attending a meeting or providing public comment online, we also encourage you to consider applying to be a representative on a Community Working Group where participants will be reviewing the latest science to make recommendations for the future of Our Florida Reefs. Learn more & download an application at:  http://ourfloridareefs.org/community-working-group/.

We hope to see you at one of the community meetings or hear from you via the online public comment form. Please also share this information with friends and colleagues.

Don't forget to learn more about the Our Florida Reefs process at:  www.OurFloridaReefs.org



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