Presentation on theme: "OUR FLORIDA CORAL REEFS James Byrne April 2014. Spans over 300 nautical miles from the Dry Tortugas to Stuart. The only tropical coral reef system, and."— Presentation transcript:
Spans over 300 nautical miles from the Dry Tortugas to Stuart. The only tropical coral reef system, and one of the greatest natural resources, in Florida and the continental United States. Adjacent to one of the most densely populated and urbanized coastal communities in the U.S. 1/3 of Florida’s population (6 billion people) Coastal population has grown 64% since 1990 30 million visitors/year Where are Florida’s Coral Reefs?
Florida’s Reefs are essential to our way of life. Tourism, recreation and fishing are the basis of Florida’s economy and the Floridian lifestyle. Reef-related tourism, diving and fishing annually provide: $6.3 billion in sales and income 71,000 jobs 70% of sales attributed to visitors Florida’s reefs provide shelter, food and breeding sites for many recreational and commercial fishery species. Reefs generate sand for our beaches and protect our shorelines from tropical storms and erosion.
Florida’s Reefs are threatened. 1957 1980’s 2007
Florida’s Reefs have been damaged. Photo Series: Phil Dustin
Reefs at Risk Revisited (Burke et al, 2011) Cumulative Impacts
Florida Reef Resilience Program (FRRP) Origin: Discussions between NOAA, GBRMPA, State of Florida, TNC Resilience based management concept Monitoring of entire reef tract Goals –Identify reefs that are likely to resist or recover from bleaching –Guide the protection & management of those reef areas
Impacts of Coral Bleaching Bleaching can lead to disease and sometimes death. Death due to bleaching reduces coral reef biodiversity by decreasing coral species and coral cover. Declines in coral cover can cause a decrease in abundance of reef fish and a large decline in the number of reef species.* * Jones, G. P. et. al. 2004. Coral decline threatens fish biodiversity in marine reserves. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 101: 8251-8253. Bleaching, disease, and death of inshore patch reefs in the Florida Keys (Marilyn E. Brandt, University of Miami)
Monitor coral reef health after disturbances 2005-12 focused on coral bleaching Trained experts survey stony corals on FL reef tract during peak annual temperatures (6-8 weeks) Follow-up surveys after moderate/severe bleaching years (e.g. 2005) Can be used for other disturbances (e.g. hurricanes, cold water) Disturbance Response Monitoring (DRM)
Random sites generated and assigned to teams 1 x 10m belt transects (2/site) Measure/assess all corals (>=4 cm) Species level identification Degree of bleaching and presence of disease Data entered online Database queried for results DRM Field Methods
EXAMPLE: REEF WAVE ATTENUATION Wave heights during storm No live coral on reefRole of Coral
1900 2000 2100 2200 Year Mitigation: Reduce rate & magnitude of sea temperature change Reef condition Increase resilience: Refugia Water quality Biodiversity Connectivity Increase resilience: Refugia Water quality Biodiversity Connectivity “Resilience threshold” What we need to do