John Reed and Stephanie Farrington, the FAU Harbor Branch Robertson Deep-Water Coral team, have reason to celebrate. After years of research, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council approved Coral Amendment 8 (which extends the area of protection for the deep-water Oculina coral reefs by over 300 square miles). This nearly doubles the current area of the Oculina marine protected area. This action was built on the invaluable research that was led in recent years by HBOI's Cooperative Institute for Ocean Exploration, Research and Technology (CIOERT) team. They achieved this in partnership with NOAA's Deep-Sea Coral Research and Technology Program. The amendment goes to the Secretary of Commence for final signature as part of the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act.
Dr. Brian Lapointe , FAU Harbor Branch scientist, recently presented information during a hearing in Washington, D.C. Dr. Lapointe presented information on what can be done about the issues facing the Indian River Lagoon during the hearing (which was hosted by U.S. Congressmen Patrick Murphy and Trey Radel). Other presenters included: representatives from the Department of Interior, Everglades Foundation, Florida Department of Environmental Protection and elected officials from Martin and St. Lucie county.