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

Our Florida Reefs Community Working Groups – Representing All Users, Including You!

Julio Jimenez
Fishing, Diving & Other Uses Coordinator

Florida Department of Environmental Protection Coral Reef Conservation Program Manager and SEFCRI Chair, Jamie Monty, presenting at one of the Our Florida Reefs community meetings in June. Photo: FDEP CRCP
Florida Department of Environmental Protection Coral Reef Conservation Program Manager and SEFCRI Chair, Jamie Monty, presenting at one of the Our Florida Reefs community meetings in June. Photo: FDEP CRCP

The summer began with the Coral Reef Conservation Program staff and SEFCRI Team Members working together to get the Our Florida Reefs Community Planning Process off the ground. For those unfamiliar with the Our Florida Reefs process, it’s a community driven process to identify options for managing our coral reef resources in the best way, and at the same time look at different ways to implement new ideas.

The Our Florida Reefs Community Planning Process debuted in June with a series of community meetings, where attendees were invited to learn more about their region’s coral reefs, about the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative, and how they could be a part of the Our Florida Reefs process. Over 400 stakeholders participated in the 12 meetings held throughout Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties. They were invited to share their thoughts on a variety of topics related to our coral reef ecosystems, and were encouraged to share the word about the process to their friends and family as well.

Guests were also invited to apply to be a part of the Our Florida Reefs Community Working Groups. The Working Groups will be composed of representatives of the different user groups who each have some stake in our coral reef resources. Working Groups will be developing options that they will recommend for implementation by the different management agencies who oversee our coral reef ecosystems.

Over 60 well-qualified, committed individuals applied for seats on the Community Working Groups. The representatives will be selected by the Chair and Vice-Chairs of the SEFCRI Team, and will be announced in October. We are thrilled to have so many individuals excited to be a part of the Our Florida Reefs Community Planning Process, but our work (and theirs) has only just begun! It’s up to you to make sure you keep your Community Working Group representative informed of the issues affecting your coral reefs.

To stay up to date on what’s going on with Community Working Groups, visit: www.ourfloridareefs.org/events/



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