El Abanico Marino Común del mar (Gorgonia ventilina) es una de varias especies de gorgonias que se encuentran en el sureste de Florida. Abanicos de mar también se clasifican como corales blandos o gorgonias.
Photo: Chantal Collier
Juveniles lábridos cabeza azul nadan a lo largo del arrecife en Palm Beach.
Photo: Joe Marino
Coming in June 2012, the Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) will launch a new system for reef users to report unusual marine incidents they observe in southeast Florida. The types of incidents to report include everything from the location of marine debris, vessel groundings, and anchor damage to coral, to biological incidents such as algal blooms, fish kills, and invasive species. By allowing reef users to provide firsthand accounts of any abnormal observations, this reporting system will call attention to incidents that are potentially harmful to coral reefs and reveal disturbances that might otherwise go unnoticed by resource managers. This program seeks to harness the power of the local community to improve southeast Florida coral reef management by enhancing marine debris clean-up efforts, improving response to coral damage, and providing early detection of potentially harmful biological disturbances.
The reporting system will rely on a network of people who are frequently on the water, such as local dive and fishing boat captains, recreational boaters, law enforcement personnel, environmental professionals, and everyone who uses the water or visits the coast. Anyone can contribute to the network by being the eyes and ears of the reef and reporting any unusual sightings. There is no special training needed and no further participation is required; reporters will just need to provide an account of what they observed, when, and where.
Once a report is received, CRCP staff will investigate the incident and follow-up as necessary. Marine debris sightings will be documented as potential objects for future reef clean-up events, coral reef areas damaged by vessel grounding and anchoring incidents will be targeted for restoration and/or mitigation, and biological incidents will be assessed and, if necessary, responses coordinated. If interested, those who file the reports will be updated on the status of the incident they reported. People interested in joining the reporting network will be able to call a hotline phone number or fill out an online form.For updates on the launch of the program and to learn how to submit a report, log on to www.southeastfloridareefs.net or www.dep.state.fl.us/coastal/programs/coral/