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This version of NSU News has been archived as of February 28, 2019. To search through archived articles, visit nova.edu/search. To access the new version of NSU News, visit news.nova.edu.

This version of SharkBytes has been archived as of February 28, 2019. To search through archived articles, visit nova.edu/search. To access the new version of SharkBytes, visit sharkbytes.nova.edu.

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Division of Public Relations and Marketing Communications
Nova Southeastern University
3301 College Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33314-7796


SharkBytes Archives


Division of Public Relations and Marketing Communications
Nova Southeastern University
3301 College Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33314-7796

(954) 262-5353
(800) 541-6682 x25353
Fax: (954) 262-3954

NSU Joins Florida Department of Environmental Protection to Learn How Reefs Are Being Used


FORT LAUDERDALE-DAVIE, Fla. – Florida is world-famous for its pristine beaches, abundant sunshine and the various watersports it offers both visitors and residents. Many of those ocean activities involve coral reefs in some way. Whether it’s a day of scuba diving, fishing for the next “big catch” or taking part in mini-lobster season, Florida’s reefs are a major attraction. But there’s more to the story – these reefs are in distress.

“Since the 1960s,OurFloridaReefs Logo NSU’s Oceanographic Center has been working to learn more about our marine environment, the role it plays and how we can be better stewards of this natural resource,” said Richard Dodge, Ph.D., dean of the Oceanographic Center. “Today, more than ever, it’s vital that we continue to learn how to strike a balance between enjoying our precious resources in the sea and ensuring that they remain vibrant and thrive for generations to come.”

To that end, NSU’s Oceanographic Centerhas teamed up with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative (SEFCRI) to launch the Our Florida Reefs Coastal and Ocean Use survey. This survey is being conducted as part of a local initiative for our area, known as Our Florida Reefs. The survey is intended for anyone – local, state, national or international – who has enjoyed the coral reefs in Southeast Florida to provide information on their experiences. You can find the survey by visiting Our Florida Reefs Webpage at www.ourfloridareefs.org and clicking on the MAPPING tab.

Brian Walker, Ph.D., a researcher at NSU’s Oceanographic Center, has been working with local stakeholders and Point 97, a company dedicated to developing technology solutions for assisting in costal management, to develop a reef-use survey to poll the public.

“The data collected from the survey will provide essential information for developing appropriate management strategies whilst affecting the least amount of users,” Walker said.

“The Our Florida Reefs Community Working Group members are crafting recommendations to balance use and protection of southeast Florida’s coral reefs using the best available science, but they cannot complete their task without information about the diverse interests of all ocean users,” said Jamie Monty, manager of the FDEP Coral Reef Conservation Program and chair of the SEFCRI team. “We’re thrilled to launch the OFR ocean and coastal-use survey to ensure this important information is captured and used during this process.”

By providing information on where they fish, dive, boat, surf, etc. local residents, reef users, business owners, visitors and the broader public in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Martin counties will be part of the data used by the Our Florida Reefs Community Working Groups to enhance recommendations on managing our reefs to better balance resource use and protection while ensuring healthy coral reefs for future generations.


About Nova Southeastern University: Situated on 314 beautiful acres in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is a dynamic research institution dedicated to providing high-quality educational programs at all levels.  NSU is an independent, not-for-profit institution with 26,000 students at campuses in Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach and Tampa, Florida as well as San Juan, Puerto Rico. NSU awards associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, doctoral and first-professional degrees in a wide range of fields. NSU is classified as a research university with “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and it is one of only 37 universities nationwide to also be awarded Carnegie’s Community Engagement Classification. For more information, please visit www.nova.edu. Celebrating 50 years of academic excellence!

About NSU’s Oceanographic Center: The Oceanographic Center provides high-quality graduate education programs (i.e. master’s, doctoral, certificate) in a broad range of marine science disciplines. Center researchers carry out innovative, basic and applied marine and research programs in coral reel biology, ecology, and geology; fish biology, ecology, and conservation; shark and billfish ecology; fisheries science; deep sea organismal biology and ecology; invertebrate and vertebrate genomics, genetics, molecular ecology, and evolution; microbiology; biodiversity; observation and modeling of large scale ocean circulation, coastal dynamics, and ocean atmosphere coupling; benthic habitat mapping; biodiversity; histology; and calcification. For more information, please visit http://www.nova.edu/ocean

About the Florida Department of Environmental Protection: The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s principal environmental agency, created to protect, conserve and manage Florida’s environment and natural resources. The department enforces federal and state environmental laws, protects Florida’s air and water quality, cleans up pollution, regulates solid waste management, promotes pollution prevention, and acquires environmentally sensitive lands for preservation. The agency also maintains a statewide system of parks, trails and aquatic preserves. To view the department’s website log on to www.dep.state.fl.us.