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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.


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.

Photo: Meredith Gibboney

LBSP TAC members at the Spring 2008 TAC meeting held at the National Coral Reef Institute of Nova Southeastern University in Broward County, FL.


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 AA Focus Area projects by clicking here for the Local Action Strategy document. Please note that new projects voted into the Local Action Strategy will be added to this document in 2018.


  • Better coordinated and targeted coral reef ecosystem outreach and education effort in southeast Florida.
  • Increased positive behaviors and decisions that benefit coral reefs.
  • A well-educated media that will communicate important reef conservation messages.
  • Increased effectiveness of local educators to inform their students of the economic and environmental importance of our local reefs.
  • Users will better be able to help our reefs in their day to day lives, and when using our local reefs.
  • A website containing up-to-date and relevant information to inform the public of the status of our local reefs, and the status of current and past SEFCRI Local Action Strategy products.