Coral Reefs, Ecosystems, Conservation of Natural Resources, United States, Coral Reef Monitoring, Management, Status Report
The northern extension of the Florida reef tract and a complex of limestone ridges run parallel to the subtropical Atlantic coastline of southeast Florida. Spanning 170 km from the northern border of Biscayne National Park (BNP) in Miami-Dade County to the St. Lucie Inlet in Martin County, the reefs and hardbottom areas in this region support a rich and diverse biological community (Figure 5.1). Nearshore reef habitats in southeast Florida include hardbottom areas, patch reefs and worm reefs (Phragmatopoma spp.) exhibiting abundant octocoral, macroalgae, stony coral and sponge assemblages. Offshore, coral reef associated biotic assemblages occur on linear Holocene Acropora palmata mid-shelf and shelf margin reefs that extend from Miami Dade County to Palm Beach County (Lighty, 1977; Figure 5.2). Anastasia Formation limestone ridges and terraces colonized by reef biota characterize the reefs from Palm Beach County to Martin County (Cooke and Mossom, 1929). The coastal region of southeast Florida is highly developed, containing one third of Florida’s population of 16 million people (U.S. Census Bureau, 2006). Many southeast Florida reefs are located just 1.5 km from this urbanized shoreline. Despite their unique position as the highest latitude reefs along the western Atlantic seaboard, the reefs of southeast Florida have only recently received limited scientific and resource management attention. Andrews et al. (2005) discussed the reefs of southeast Florida and the critical need to implement actions that fill resource knowledge gaps and address conservation and threats to reef health. This report further examines and updates the list of stressors imperiling the health of southeast Florida’s reefs, and presents information gained from new research, monitoring and management efforts to determine the extent and condition of reef resources in this distinctive region.
NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 73
The State of Coral Reef Ecosystems of the United States and Pacific Freely Associated States: 2008
Chantal Collier, Rob Ruzicka, Ken Banks, Luiz Barbieri, Jeff Beal, David Bingham, James Bohnsack, Sandra Brooke, Nancy Craig, Richard E. Dodge, Lou Fisher, Nick Gadbois, David S. Gilliam, Lisa Gregg, Todd Kellison, Vladimir Kosmynin, Brian Lapointe, Erin McDevitt, Janet Phipps, Nikki Poulos, John Proni, Patrick Quinn, Bernhard Riegl, Richard E. Spieler, Joanna Walczak, Brian K. Walker, and Denise Warrick. 2008. The State of Coral Reef Ecosystems of Southeast Florida .The State of Coral Reef Ecosystems of the United States and Pacific Freely Associated States: 2008 : 131 -159. https://nsuworks.nova.edu/occ_facreports/153.