Protect our Florida Reefs

Lorea Thomson
Posted by Lorea Thomson
Updated on
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Published in Boating

 

The “Great Florida Reef” is the only living coral barrier reef in the continental United States.  It is the third largest coral reef on the planet.  Florida is the only state that has wide-ranging shallow coral reefs along the coastline.  The Florida Reef Track expanses 358 miles.  These reefs are habitats for a multitude of plants and sea life, providing shelter, breeding grounds, and nourishment.

A natural coral reef occurs in specific environmental conditions. The favorable environmental conditions required for the growth of a natural coral reef are rather warm, clear waters, a solid configuration for attachment, low phosphate and nitrogen nutrients as well as water movement (waves).

Microsoft co-founder and marine conservationist Paul Allen, has accidently ripped up 14,000 square feet of a sensitive reef in the Cayman Island destroying the majority of coral on the protected reef. Unfortunately, throughout the world, damage is occurring to these coral reefs. The vessels anchor chain destroyed about 80% of the protected reef. Allen was not aboard when the incident occurred which may result into a fine in excess of $600,000!  The accident is particularly embarrassing to Allen given his foundation’s effort supporting marine conservation and tackling overfishing.

Please use GPS reef charts available for public fishing and diving on reefs. Use the reef charts for fishing, diving, spear fishing, lobster diving and boating in South Florida. Enjoy the inshore fishing spots, offshore fishing spots, fishing reefs and blue water fishing spots carefully and respect the natural habitats.

View South East Florida’s reefs by on your mobile device by downloading the FREE Esri ArcGIS mobile app on your smartphone or tablet from an app store. Search for the icon and typing Southeast Florida Coral Reef Locator.

 

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