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Coral Reef Conservation Program Links

Southeast Florida's Marine Debris Reporting and Removal Program

The Marine Debris Problem in Southeast Florida

Reefs within southeast Florida lie adjacent to four of the most densely populated counties of Florida. Recreational use by local divers, fishers, and boaters in these counties has tripled over the last 40 years.

Marine Debris is a widespread problem on southeast Florida coral reefs. Discarded fishing and boating materials (e.g. fishing line, nets, and anchors), plastics (water bottles and bags), household items (chairs) and hurricane related debris (roofing materials) are becoming increasingly more common on southeast Florida reefs. Debris washed by rivers, discarded on beaches, or abandoned by fishers, divers, and boaters can cause damage to sponges and corals, and entangle fish and other reef organisms, resulting in injury or death to these animals. With population growth and human use of southeast Florida reefs on the rise, establishing a program that can minimize the impacts of marine debris is a priority.

Net entangled on coral

Net entangled on diffuse ivory bush coral (Oculina diffusa)
Photo: Lou Romano

Marine Debris Reporting and Removal Program

Additional Links

Last updated: May 01, 2014

  3900 Commonwealth Boulevard M.S. 235 Tallahassee, Florida 32399 850-245-2094 (phone) / 850-245-2110 (fax)
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