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Coral-Reef Meeting Held in St. Petersburg

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Chuck Birkeland and Jim Parrish (USGS, Honolulu, HI) and Ginger Garrison and Bob Halley (USGS, St. Petersburg, FL) hosted the U.S. Geological Survey's Coral Reef Science Plan planning meeting on June 19 and 20 at the Holiday Inn in St. Pete Beach, FL. The goal was to structure the Straw Coral Reef Science Plan into a 10-year USGS Coral Reef Program. All disciplines within the USGS were represented, with additional participation from the National Park Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Minerals Management Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Florida Marine Research Institute, the Florida Institute of Oceanography, and the University of South Florida.

The first day involved introductions and informative presentations of coral-reef concepts, with the underlying theme of how the USGS could use the information to build a comprehensive coral-reef program.

  • Caroline Rogers of the USGS' Biological Resources Discipline (BRD) presented a broad overview of past and present USGS coral-reef research, as well as possible future directions.

  • Bob Halley of the USGS' Geologic Discipline (GD) followed Caroline's presentation with a demonstration on the infinite possibilities of coral-reef characterization.

  • Larry Langebrake, Director of the Center for Ocean Technology at the University of South Florida, provided a large-scale view of the future of marine sensing using Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS).

  • Ginger Garrison (USGS, BRD) discussed the environmental and anthropogenic perturbations and emerging threats to coral-reef environments.

  • Cheryl Woodley of NOAA's Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research provided insight into their molecular approach with respect to investigating some of the stresses discussed by Ginger.

  • Chuck Birkeland (USGS, BRD) and Jim Parrish (USGS, BRD) contributed their expertise on the importance of marine protected areas (MPAs) and how such areas will benefit coral-reef environments and national parks.

  • John Ogden, Director of the Florida Institute of Oceanography in St. Petersburg and mediator for the planning meeting, provided the final presentation, titled "Science, Policy, and the Future of Coral Reefs."

The second day of the meeting entailed the presentation, discussion, modification, and prioritizing of the Straw USGS Coral Reef Science Plan. USGS managers and scientists discussed appropriate issues and content that should be addressed within the proposed 10-year plan.

A select few were chosen for the writing team and were given the substantial task of completing a printed version of the USGS Coral Reef Science Plan.

The meeting was a great success, thanks to the hard work of all participants.

Related Web Sites
Coral Reefs
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

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Southern California Offshore Hazards Survey

Mapping Georges Bank

Research Ground Water Diesel Fuel Contamination

Parasites as Indicators of Coastal-Ecosystem Health

Outreach Florida's Hillsborough River

Climate-Change Effects Lecture

Meetings Coral-Reef Meeting

usSEABED - Seabed Characteristics

Awards Lake Mead Poster

von Huene Receives Prestigious Award

Staff & Center News Hapke's Thesis Defense

New WHFC Employees

WHFC Summer Interns

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