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Education and Outreach about Seagrass What's New

Seagrasses are not particularly visible to the public and their role is poorly understood. An important step in protecting seagrasses is explaining to people why they should be protected. One of the primary tools to further public awareness of seagrasses is Seagrass Awareness Month. Seagrass Awareness Month was initiated in March of 1999 by the Florida Keys Seagrass Outreach Partnership. In 2001, the effort went statewide when Governor Bush designated March as Seagrass Awareness Month and a new tradition had begun. The Office of Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas (CAMA) participates in Seagrass Awareness Month by hosting educational presentations on seagrasses and helping organize festivals.

Seagrass display

A touch tank and display at the Seagrass Awareness Celebration, 2008

CAMA also works to educate the public about how they can help protect seagrasses themselves. One of the hazards facing seagrasses is propeller damage from boats, called propscars. Running into seagrass beds can also damage the vessel engine, hull or propeller, require towing out of the seagrass bed and result in civil fines. CAMA helps boaters avoid seagrass beds by posting signs and giving boating tips on how to recognize seagrass beds.

CAMA installed 84 seagrass penalty signs at boat ramps and other access points advising boaters that the destruction of seagrass in an aquatic preserve carries a penalty of up to $1,000.

Last updated: March 04, 2013

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