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Coral Reef Management Quick Topics

Coral reef protection activities within the Office of Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas are primarily conducted through the Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) and Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS).

Severed giant barrel sponge

A severed giant barrel sponge (Xestospongia muta) in Broward County after a cable drag incident.
Photo: Harry Booth

  • Resource Management

    The CRCP and FKNMS coordinate with other state, county and federal agencies to enforce the Coral Reef Protection Act which provides for restoration funds after groundings, cable drags or anchoring incidents damage natural reefs. Primary restoration is an attempt to restore the site to baseline conditions that existed before the injury so that recovery can begin. Coral colonies or fragments that are recovered may be reattached. Coral nurseries are a source for additional corals, if necessary.
Diver conducting video monitoring of coral

A diver conducts video monitoring for the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Evaluation and Monitoring Project.
Photo: Dave Gilliam, Ph.D.

  • Mapping and Monitoring


    Both the Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) and Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary conduct research and monitoring activities within their respective areas. FKNMS restoration biologists (CAMA and NOAA staff) regularly provide logistical and scientific support for research and monitoring being conducted in the Keys. Long term water quality and coral monitoring programs have been in place since 1995. The CRCP is currently conducting benthic habitat mapping in southeast Florida.

Teachers taking a coral reef class
  • Education and Outreach

    Education and outreach plays a crucial role in protecting coral reefs and their associated natural communities. Many Floridians and visitors to our great state are unaware that their actions are directly tied to the health of the Florida Reef Tract and the plethora of animals that call Florida's reefs home. The CRCP and FKNMS conduct numerous education and outreach efforts for coral reefs such as teacher training, the Coral Reef Classroom, outreach at community events and many more.

Last updated: July 25, 2016

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