NSU Researchers Part of Tortuga Music Festival’s Conservation Village
FORT LAUDERDALE-DAVIE, Fla. – It has quickly become one of the music events in the Southeast United States – the Tortuga Music Festival. The two-day event, held on world-famous Fort Lauderdale Beach, brings together surf, sand, sun and music – as well as the opportunity to heighten awareness for the need for ocean conservation.
To that end, Nova Southeastern University will once again be participating in the event’s Conservation Village. This is an area of exhibits that provides a wealth of information, educational experiences and interactive lessons to festival attendees. The idea is to maximize the opportunity to spread information about the perils that face our oceans and the creatures that call those waters their home.
“This event is great because it allows us to share information with people in a fun location,” said Richard Dodge, Ph.D. dean of NSU’s Oceanographic Center. “People come for the music and the setting, and we’re able to provide them with some valuable information at the same time.”
NSU is very excited to be part of this event, which is scheduled for Sat., April 11 and Sun., April 12, as it provides a venue for researchers to share what they’ve learned working in our oceans both locally and globally. One of the groups participating is NSU’s Guy Harvey Research Institute (GHRI), which will be on hand to share information and their love of one of the ocean’s most famous residents – sharks.
For many years, Guy Harvey, Ph.D. has been working with researchers at NSU’s Oceanographic Center to study and better understand these apex predators. Their efforts in tagging and tracking various sharks – from makos to tiger to oceanic white-tips – have gathered a plethora of data that is used for improved management and conservation efforts. Those interested can check out NSU’s GHRI tagging program online and follow various sharks and billfish via the dynamic tracking software.
Joining GHRI will be the NSU Coral Nursery Initiative, a hallmark research project of the NSU’s Oceanographic Center. Located about a mile off the coast of Fort Lauderdale, the coral nursery is fostering re-growth and increased abundance of the threatened staghorn coral species (Acropora cervicornis), which is listed as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
The nursery project offers hope for species recovery and for coral reef restoration. Coral reefs aren’t just beautiful, they serve a vital function as protection from coastal erosion and are a tourist destination, providing an economic impact on local economies.
NSU Fisheries Lab researchers will also provide information on the issue of bycatch and the impact it has on various fish populations. The display will feature data from NSU’s labs and includes electronic tagging, diets, and efforts to minimize bycatch in fisheries for swordfish and tuna. Video displays will show footage of NSU’s field research and there will be billfish and swordfish bills available for visitors to handle, electronic tags used in the tagging projects and smaller monitors showing tracks of the tagged animals following their release.
And finally, sea turtles will be front and center via NSU’s presence at this year’s Conservation Village. For a quarter century, NSU has been leading the way with Broward County in overseeing the Broward County Sea Turtle Conservation Program. Given that nearly 70 percent of the nation’s sea turtle nesting occurs in Florida, it’s vital that South Florida residents know what they can do to help these magnificent creatures.
About Nova Southeastern University (NSU): Located in beautiful Fort Lauderdale, Florida, NSU is a dynamic research institution dedicated to providing high-quality educational programs at the undergraduate, graduate and first-professional degrees levels. An independent, not-for-profit institution with approximately 25,000 students, NSU has campuses in Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Miami, Miramar, Orlando, Palm Beach and Tampa, Florida as well as San Juan, Puerto Rico and online globally. For more than 50 years, NSU has been awarding degrees in a wide range of fields, while fostering groundbreaking research and an impactful commitment to community. Classified as a research university with “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, NSU is one of only 37 universities nationwide to also be awarded Carnegie’s Community Engagement Classification. For more information, please visit www.nova.edu
About NSU’s Oceanographic Center: NSU’s 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
Associate Director / Public Affairs