NOAA, Florida Space Authority, Submerged Visions, Inc. and Estuary Coastal Ocean Sciences (ECOS) are working on the creation of a Marine Sanctuary offshore Cape Canaveral. The sanctuary would provide economic benefits to area research. The preservation of food fish will benefit both sport and commercial fishermen throughout the east coast. Primary area of concern is the Oculina Bank, however the entire ecosystem from the lagoons to the deep coral reefs will be discussed.
Oculina Marine Sanctuary
Among those working on the project are:
Dr. Grant Gilmore (ECOS), an expert on the resources from Cape Canaveral to the lagoons to the deep coral banks. Dr. Gilmore is a world renowned biologist and has appeared on several "Discovery" series.
Andy Shepard works on NOAA's ocean research and outreach priorities and needs, NASA/NOAA collaborative activities and Oculina Reef Evaluation plan. Andy is the director of NOAA's National Underwater Research Center in Wilmington, NC.
Billy Causey is the superintendent of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and South East Shelf Ecosystem Region working on the benefits and impacts of Sanctuaries to the public.
For more info Please contact Joe Bartoszek of Submerged Visions, Inc. at 321.537.9751.
Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas Systemwide Management Plan
October 26, 2005
Subject: Florida DEP CAMA Systemwide Management Plan available for review and
During this past summer, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas (CAMA), conducted public workshops around the state in order to introduce the development of CAMA's Systemwide Management Plan and the processes in which the Office will create and update individual Aquatic Preserve management plans.
Nine (9) meetings were held between July 18 and August 10, 2005, and were effective in communicating CAMA's plan to develop the Systemwide management plan, and were also very helpful in collecting valuable input from aquatic preserve users and stakeholders. Since that time, CAMA staff has evaluated the information gathered and made every effort to incorporate the public's comments and ideas into the draft System wide Management Plan.
CAMA now invites all interested parties to visit the CAMA website at www.aquaticpreserves.org where the draft Systemwide Management document is now posted and ready for review and comments.
The two-week commenting period will begin on Friday, October 28, 2005, and will end Friday, November 11, 2005. Stakeholder comments on the Draft Plan are encouraged by the Department and to further facilitate public participation in the Final Plan development. Comments may be sent to the contact listed on the website.
At the end of this commenting period, the next step will be for CAMA staff to evaluate the additional information gathered and then evaluate the comments and ideas that will be incorporated into the final System wide Management Plan.