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Land-Based Sources of Pollution Focus Team Highlights

Introduction

The Land-Based Sources of Pollution (LBSP) Focus Team was formed to addresses impacts to corals resulting from both point and non-point land based sources of pollution. Many of these point and non-point sources of pollution result in unintentional but very real stresses on coral reef ecosystem health. The focus of the projects in the local action strategy for this focus area is to characterize the extent and condition of the coral reef tract and to quantify, characterize, and prioritize the land-based sources of pollution that need to be addressed based on identified impacts to the reefs. Due to the research focus of many of the LBSP projects, the LBSP Team formed a Technical Advisory Committee of leading research scientists in the fields of coral reef ecology, water quality, geology, chemistry and biology.

Goals and Objectives

The key goals and objectives of the LBSP Focus Team are to characterize the existing condition of the coral reef ecosystem; quantify and characterize the land-based sources of pollution, identify how these sources of pollution impact the coral reef; develop strategies to reduce the impact of land-based sources of pollution; and increase public awareness and understanding of the effects of land-based sources of pollution on water quality and coral reefs.

Discarded trash

Trash can end up in our canals which eventually flow to the Atlantic Ocean. Be sure to properly dispose of and recycle your garbage.
Photo: Christopher Boykin, DEP CRCP

Team Membership

The LBSP Team is comprised of representatives from thirteen member organizations, which include:

  • Broward County Environmental Protection Department – Local Navigator
  • Cry of the Water
  • Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Beaches and Coastal Resources
  • Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Southeast District Office – State Navigator
  • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
  • Florida Atlantic University, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute
  • National Coral Reef Institute
  • The Nature Conservancy - Non-Agency Navigator
  • Nova Southeastern University
  • Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resource Management
  • South Florida Water Management District
  • US Department of Agriculture / Nature Resources Conservation Service
  • US Environmental Protection Agency - Federal Navigator

The navigators listed above are the primary points of contact for the LBSP Focus Team and are responsible for representing SEFCRI and the LBSP Focus Team within their agencies and/or to stakeholders.

Project Examples

The LBSP team is working to implement 33 projects over the course of five years. These projects include the mapping of the coral reef tract and identification of the benthic habitats; a bio-marker study observing the impacts of pollution on coral reefs; identification and implementation of best management practices to limit pollution; determine the source and extent of pollution originating from groundwater sources, outfall pipes, atmospheric sources, and ocean inlets. You may view all 33 of the LBSP team’s projects at the SEFCRI Local Action Strategy.

Anticipated Outcomes

  • Maps and benthic habitat characterization of the coral reef ecosystem in southeast Florida.
  • A characterization of the land based sources of pollution and quantification of their relative impacts to coral reefs in southeast Florida.
  • Identification and implementation of best management practices to reduce the impacts of land-based sources of pollution.
Green liquid going into a stormwater drain

Dumping household chemicals onto lawns and down storm drains compromises the water quality in our waterways and can negatively impact our nearshore coral reefs.
Photo: Dianne Behringer, Florida Sea Grant

Stormwater outfall point

Stormwater, wastewater and agricultural runoff increase turbidity, nutrients, and pollutants which are harmful to coral reefs
Photo: Stephanie Clark, Cry of the Water

Focus Teams

Gorgonian coral

A common gorgonian on southeast Florida reefs.
Photo: Dave Gilliam, National Coral Reef Institute

If you are interested in receiving updates or would like to sign up as a stakeholder, please contact us at Coral@dep.state.fl.us

Last updated: May 08, 2014

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