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Education and Outreach about Coral Reefs Quick Topics

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 Office of Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas (CAMA) works to save Florida's coral reefs and associated marine resources through its work at the Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) based in Miami, Florida and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

Each conduct numerous education and outreach efforts for coral reefs such as:

Classroom with teachers learning about reef fish

A teacher training course for reef fish identification.

  • The Coral Reef Classroom
    Each Coral Reef Classroom program includes a shoreside presentation and a boat trip to the coral reef, giving students a firsthand reef experience.

  • Teacher Training
    To date, more than 340 teachers have participated in one of seven workshops to help them bring the coral reef to the classroom.

  • Traveling Coral Reef Resource Trunks
    Traveling trunks containing coral replicas, posters, books, DVDs and lesson plans rotate through four school districts and provide teachers with supplementary resources to teach marine science in their classrooms.

  • Media Campaigns
    Each year, several media campaigns are launched along the Florida Reef Tract to educate residents and visitors about Florida's valuable coral reefs through print, TV and radio campaigns.

  • Lionfish Derbies
    Lionfish are a beautiful non-native aquarium fish, but they are endangering the native fish and crustaceans of our reefs, seagrass beds and other ecosystems. The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary holds Lionfish Derbies to catch these invasive fish and to raise awareness of this invader.

  • Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center
    This center in Key West has several educational displays about coral reefs and other items of interest of the FKNMS. It also hosts classes and workshops that further educate the public.

  • Outreach at Community Events
    CAMA staff participate in outreach events in southeast Florida and the Florida Keys throughout the year.

  • Team OCEAN
    This on-the-water volunteer program reaches out to boaters with resource protection information and best boating practices.

  • Blue Star
    Blue Star is a program established by the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary to reduce the impact of divers and snorkelers on the coral reef ecosystem of the Florida Keys. It is a voluntary recognition program saluting charter boat operators who promote responsible and sustainable diving and snorkeling practices, helping keep the reef healthy for generations to come.
     
  • Signs and Brochures
    CAMA has helped design brochures and signs to educate the public about how they can help protect the coral reefs themselves. One of the many hazards facing coral reefs is anchor damage from boats and vessel groundings. Other significant threats include water quality issues, land based sources of pollution, coastal construction impacts and a lack of awareness and appreciation. CAMA has installed 24 coral reef education and marine regulation signs throughout southeast Florida.

 

Last updated: November 21, 2011

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