FLORIDA CELEBRATES OCEANS DAY
~Florida Oceans and Coastal Council reports featured as focal point of celebration~
TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) joined a host of public and private partners today to celebrate Florida Oceans Day at the Capitol. Sponsored by the Florida Ocean Alliance (FOA), the theme of this year's celebration was "Florida's Ocean Assets in a Changing Climate and Economy" and aims to make our oceans and coasts cleaner, healthier and more productive.
"Attracting millions of visitors each year, Florida's clear waters, world-class beaches and coral reefs are national treasures providing food, recreational and economic opportunities," said DEP Deputy Secretary Bob Ballard. "It is our responsibility as environmental stewards to protect our oceans by managing and enhancing their fragile resources effectively."
As part of this year's Florida Oceans Day celebration, the Florida Oceans and Coastal Council (FOCC) hosted an exhibit in the Capitol Rotunda featuring displays from their report, The Effects of Climate Change on Florida's Ocean and Coastal Resources, which was presented to the Governor's Energy and Climate Commission on January 26, 2009. Additional exhibits featured Florida's Ocean and Coastal Economies Report, Phase II, which was generated for the council by the National Ocean Economics Program and presented to the Governor and Cabinet in September 2008.
The events also included a roundtable discussion entitled, Guidelines for Enhancing Florida's Ocean and Marine Resources, which included a presentation by Robbin Peach of the Massachusetts Ocean Partnership Fund on Massachusetts' management strategies.
The Florida Oceans and Coastal Council was created in 2005 by the Oceans and Coastal Resources Act and is comprised of 18 individuals who coordinate coastal and marine research in Florida, identify research gaps, create an annual research plan and recommend new strategies and tools to enhance management and conservation efforts for the state's coastal and marine resources. For more information on the FOCC visit www.FloridaOceansCouncil.org.
To view Florida's Ocean and Coastal Economies Report, Phase II and The Effects of Climate Change on Florida's Ocean and Coastal Resources report, visit http://www.floridaoceanscouncil.org/reports/default.htm