Superintendent Statement from Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

This week Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary began work with federal and state governmental agencies, academic institutions and nonprofit organizations to identify areas of the Florida coral reef tract damaged by Hurricane Irma.

Science dive teams are conducting surveys and collecting data to determine which areas may benefit from immediate actions, such as removing debris and repositioning coral. This rapid assessment will give us a snapshot of the current status of the reef, and it will inform future management of the sanctuary resources.

This collaboration also illustrates the community’s extraordinary concern for our natural resources. Partners in this effort include several branches of NOAA: Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, NOAA Fisheries Habitat Conservation, Restoration Center, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and the Coral Reef Conservation Program. Additionally, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, National Park Service, Nova Southeastern University, Coral Restoration Foundation, The Nature Conservancy and Florida Aquarium Center for Conservation are also working on this effort with funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Sarah Fangman, Superintendent
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary