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Photo : Steve Spring, Palm Beach County Reef Rescue

Land-Based Sources of Pollution Focus Area

The Land-Based Sources of Pollution (LBSP) Focus Area was formed to address impacts to corals resulting from both point and non-point land-based sources of pollution, which can result in unintentional, but very real stresses on coral reef ecosystem health.

Purpose:

The LBSP Focus Area aims to characterize the condition of southeast Florida’s coral reef tract, and to identify land-based sources of pollution that need to be addressed based on identified impacts to the reefs. The goals of this focus area are to:

  • Characterize the existing extent and condition of southeast Florida’s coral reef ecosystem.
  • Quantify, characterize, and prioritize land-based sources of pollution.
  • Identify how these sources of pollution impact coral reefs.
  • Develop strategies to reduce the impact of land-based sources of pollution.
  • Increase public awareness and understanding of the effects of land-based sources of pollution on water quality and coral reefs.
LBSP TAC members at the Fall 2019 TAC meeting

Photo: Michelle Graulty

LBSP TAC members at the Fall 2019 TAC meeting.

Projects:

LBSP projects include:

  • Mapping of the coral reef tract and identification of the benthic habitats in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties.
  • A bio-marker study observing the impacts of a wastewater treatment plant’s outfall effluent on coral reefs.
  • Identification and implementation of best management practices to limit land-based sources of pollution in a coastal watershed.
  • Studies to determine the source and extent of pollution originating from groundwater sources, outfall pipes, atmospheric sources, and ocean inlets.
  • Collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on a pilot water quality monitoring project in the northern Florida Reef Tract.
  • Expansion of the northern Florida Reef Tract water quality monitoring project.

See full list of SEFCRI’s LBSP projects and reports here.

Due to the research nature of many of the LBSP projects, this Focus Area works closely with Southeast Florida’s Coral Reef Initiative’s (SEFCRI) Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) , constituted by leading research scientists in the fields of coral reef ecology, water quality, geology, chemistry, and biology.

LBSP partner organizations past and present are listed here .

You may view all of the LBSP Focus Area projects by clicking here for the Local Action Strategy project tracker.

Outcomes

  • Characterize the existing water quality conditions on Florida’s Coral Reef.
  • Quantify and characterize sources of LBSP.
  • Identify how these sources of pollution impact Florida’s Coral Reef spatially and temporally.
  • Develop and implement strategies to reduce the impacts of LBSP.
  • Increase public awareness and understanding of the effects upland actions and LBSP have on water quality and Florida’s Coral Reef.