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Marine Spatial Planning in Florida

This month we have updated our Florida page to include a variety of projects that encompass a variety of MSP activities taking place within the state. New projects include:

Spatial Planning to Support Oyster Fisheries and Restoration in Pensacola Bay

TNC is working with community stakeholders in the greater Pensacola Bay system to develop the state’s first oyster ecosystem-based fishery management (EBFM) plan. The plan will integrate the needs of the wild and aquaculture oyster fisheries with the need to deliver ecosystem services and benefits provided by oyster habitat. The success of designing and implementing an Oyster EBFM plan requires a community’s commitment to a collaborative approach that is inclusive of its diversity of stakeholder voices. In this way, EBFM can realize integration across an array of management objectives and actions necessary to restore and manage oysters at the abundance and locations needed to fulfill the desired ecological and socio-economic goals.

South Florida Coral Reef Initiative (SEFCRI)

TNC has supported the development of recommendations through the South Florida Coral Reef Initiative with service on both the primary SEFCRI Stakeholder Team and the SEFCRI Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).  A variety of Local Action Strategies have been designed through SEFCRI to raise awareness, address pollution, address impacts from diving, coastal construction and other maritime activities.  Another important result of the SEFCRI process was passage of legislation that created the Southeast Coral Reef Coral Ecosystem Conservation Area (Coral ECA) in 2018. The Coral ECA is a new management boundary that is intended to focus and enable effective management actions to protect and restore coral reefs and associated ecosystems.  A management planning process will be initiated to determine what additional and spatially-explicit management actions are needed within the Coral ECA area and will be informed by the SEFCRI TAC and other stakeholder input.

Learn more about these, and other Florida-based projects here.

Photo credit: © Carlton Ward