MELBOURNE, FLA.—A $100,000 contract to examine regulatory compliance and enforcement issues associated with coastal construction projects that may impact coral reefs in southeast Florida has been awarded to Ken Lindeman. A research professor, Lindeman is on the faculty of Florida Institute of Technology’s Department of Marine and Environmental Systems.
The project was developed by the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative (SEFCRI) Maritime Industry and Coastal Construction Impacts team, which is made up of representatives from local, state and federal agencies, universities, nongovernmental organizations and public stakeholders. Many regulatory authorities for coral protection exist in southeast Florida because these reefs are under increasing pressure from coastal development, land-based sources of pollution, over-fishing, vessel groundings and other impacts.
“The project team has identified administrative opportunities for agencies to evaluate and encourage more effective coral reef permitting in Florida. We are developing scientific and legal support with our partners for this initiative,” said Lindeman.
The project will identify methods and processes to increase the level and effectiveness of oversight and monitoring to improve compliance monitoring with regulatory conditions. The project calls for characterizing current laws and policies for managing southeast Florida reefs among local, state and federal agencies and will involve subcontracting with the School of Law at the University of Florida.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Coral Reef Conservation Program is funding this SEFCRI project using funds from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coral Reef Conservation Program.