To increase the community's level of awareness, knowledge, skills and sense of value for the coastal
environment that would result in positive attitude and behavioral change.
Significant opportunities exist for increasing awareness and promoting informed stewardship among adults
and students through various partnerships within the community. Residents, seasonal visitors and tourists
have the potential for significant influence on the health of the southwest Florida coast through the
cumulative effects of their daily decisions. Key examples include the overuse of fertilizers and herbicides
that contribute to degrading water quality in coastal waters through storm water runoff. Another issue is
the lack of freshwater conservation that results in less freshwater reaching the coast and hyper-saline
conditions with associated stress on estuarine habitats and wildlife.
The RBNERR mission of promoting informed decision-making extends specifically to professional audiences,
leaders in the community and decision-makers who are involved in choices that affect coastal resources.
This sector not only requires the understanding of coastal issues, but requires specific skills and often
access to resources or technical information that will help them balance the economic and environmental
needs of the greater community. As southwest Florida continues to experience growth and development
pressures, moving science to management and establishing best practices in a wide variety of sectors
becomes even more important.
RBNERR provides its network of contacts and local research and monitoring to partners and professionals to
assist them in making informed decisions. Much of this strategy is accomplished through systematically
assessing the science-based knowledge, skill gaps and needs of coastal decision-makers and environmental
professionals within the bio-geographic region and the state, when appropriate. Through partnerships,
training, development and delivery of science-based tools, RBNERR has the opportunity to affect the process
and trends of decision-making within the watershed to benefit both the community and the environment.
A mullet skiff takes a group of community
leaders to the barrier island beach for a