[Coral-List] FW: Florida chosen as site for 2008 International Coral Reef Symp osium (DEP news release)

Precht, Bill Bprecht at pbsj.com
Tue Jul 6 11:38:50 EDT 2004

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Coral Reef Symposium

--Event focuses on marine and reef protection--

OKINAWA, JAPAN- Governor Jeb Bush today applauded a decision by the 10th
International Coral Reef Symposium to hold the 2008 international summit in
Florida. The Sunshine State was chosen from scores of international
locations as host for the conference that draws thousands of coral reef
experts from around the world.

"The Sunshine State is a natural location for this prestigious gathering of
ocean scientists," said Governor Bush. "Florida's commitment to coastal
protection serves as an international model. This meeting of the minds will
increase protection for some of the world's most diverse and sensitive
natural systems."

Held every four years, the week-long gathering attracts an international
array of coral reef scientists, governments and non-governmental
organizations to exchange information on research, management and coral reef
conservation. The last two symposia were held in the eastern Pacific -- Bali
and Okinawa.

Drawing millions of visitors each year, Florida's clear waters, sandy
beaches and coral reefs support a $53 billion tourism industry and a $14
billion marine industry. Recognizing the importance of healthy coastal
habitats, Florida has taken important steps to strengthen protection for
coral reefs over the last five years.

Florida is home to North America's only barrier coral reef system. In 2001,
the State and federal governments designated the Florida Keys National
Marine Sanctuary as a "no discharge zone" and established the Tortugas
Ecological Reserve to create the largest underwater refuge in the Northern

Last year, Governor Bush and the Florida Cabinet adopted a rule for laying
underwater fiber optic cable using designated reef gaps off the coast of
Broward and Palm Beach counties, which protects coral while maintaining
South Florida as a gateway for worldwide communications. Governor Bush this
year proposed funding to enhance science-based ocean management, advance
state-of-the-art coastal observation technologies, expand recreation and
ocean education, and restore coral reefs.

Coral reefs are some of the most remarkable habitats on Earth. While making
up less than two-tenth's of one percent of the ocean floor, they provide
habitat for more than 25 percent of all marine life. In addition, compounds
from coral reefs have been harvested to treat health conditions.

The National Coral Reef Institute at Nova Southeastern University, the
Florida Department of Environmental Protection, National Oceanic Atmospheric
Administration, Florida Institute of Technology, University of South Florida
and Florida Institute of Oceanography worked together to bring the
International Coral Reef Symposium to Florida.

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