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

SEFCRI Speaker's Bureau Reaches more than Two Dozen Local Groups

Christopher Boykin
Awareness and Appreciation Coordinator

SEFCRI Team member Erin McDevitt giving a presentation at the Loxahathcee River Center in Jupiter, Florida. Photo: Bud Howard
SEFCRI Team member Erin McDevitt giving a presentation at the Loxahathcee River Center in Jupiter, Florida. Photo: Bud Howard

Since its inception in February 2013, the SEFCRI Speakers Bureau has given talks to more than two dozen local groups and clubs from Martin through Miami-Dade counties. The Speakers Bureau is composed of SEFCRI Team members and several Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) staff. Previously, only FDEP CRCP staff were tasked with giving SEFCRI presentations, however, with the FDEP CRCP office location in Miami, it's difficult for staff to always be able to provide talks for clubs and groups in Martin, and Palm Beach counties during the evenings. Additionally, we have recently been receiving more requests for presentations from the northern part of the SEFCRI region. The Speaker's Bureau was formed for this very reason of helping to get the word out about southeast Florida's coral reefs and SEFCRI in general, and to groups in the northern counties in particular, where in the past staff have had to turn down speaking requests.

Due to the generous support of the Speakers Bureau, we have not turned down a single speaking request in 2013 and hope to expand the Speakers Bureau by adding new members. The general PowerPoint presentation focuses on southeast Florida coral reefs, the various programs of the FDEP CRCP, projects of SEFCRI, and most importantly the Our Florida Reefs Community Planning Process for our local reefs. We will be editing the presentation to address feedback received thus far, and we will hold a webinar training to get new members of the Speakers Bureau comfortable giving the presentation.

Some of the groups that have requested our presentation include: the Coral Reef Yacht Club, USA Dive Club, Saint Lucie Sailing Club, and the Pompano Marine Chamber of Commerce. Upcoming talks are scheduled for:

  • Matheson Hammock Yacht Club: October 8, 2013
  • South Florida Association of Environmental Professionals, Broward County: October 16, 2013
  • Lighthouse Point Saltwater Sportsman's Association: October 30, 2013
  • South Florida Hammerhead Dive Club: November, 14, 2013


A special thanks to Cheryl Miller, Dave Gilliam, Erin McDevitt, Kathy Fitzpatrick Paul Davis, and Steve Blair for delivering several of these talks this year. If you know of a club or group that is interested in a presentation on Southeast Florida Reefs, please have them contact us at Coral@dep.state.fl.us.



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