Florida Homeowners Handbook for Natural Hazards
The Florida Homeowners Handbook was created by the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Coastal Community Resilience priority issue team to help homeowners prepare for natural hazards to reduce risks to family and property. While it is never possible to eliminate all damage from a natural hazard, homeowners can take action and implement many small and cost-effective steps that could significantly lower risk. The handbook includes sections on how to prepare before the storm, mititgation measures to increase residential resilience, and insurance options available to homeowners in Florida.
Gulf Regional Sediment Management Master Plan Case Study Compilation
As part of the development of the Gulf Regional Sediment Management Master Plan, twelve case studies were selected for inclusion including dredging projects, federal navigation projects, and others. Cases studies were selected by the HCRT GRSMMP Subcommittee to provide examples from around the Gulf that demonstrate the beneficial application of RSM principles in projects along with some where opportunities may have been missed. The case studies chapter was compiled by Applied Coastal Research & Engineering and completed in May 2011.
The first case study to be conducted was for Whiskey Island in Florida. Excerpt from the Whiskey Island study: "Whiskey Island was cut off from its original source of sediment when the Mississippi River changed course, and since then it has been erosional. Westward littoral transport supplied sediment to downdrift beaches until Whiskey Pass enlarged enough to inhibit this transport process. Now, Whiskey Island will need to be continually nourished if it is to remain viable as an island."
Read more, get the full report.
Larry Parson and Carl Ferraro
K - 20 Mini-grants in Florida
The Alliance's Education Team supports environmental education in Florida by providing the following K-20 mini-grants:
- Florida A&M University for Pilot Summer Program for Stewardship and Conservation
- Santa Rosa County School District for Conservation Through Edcuation
- City of Bradenton Beach for Coastal Crusaders Conserving Native Florida
- The Florida Aquarium for Teens Teaching Tweens About the Coast
- Marine Science Academy in Escambia County for Assessing Water Quality in Pensacola Bay
- Nature's Academy, Inc. for Island Adventures Pilot Project
Outreach & Education Mini-grants in Florida
The Alliance's Education Team supports outreach efforts in Florida by providing the following mini-grants:
- NOAA Environmental Cooperative Service Center at Florida A&M for Minority Students and Community Outreach on Hurricane Preparedness and Adaptation
- Florida Dept of Environmental Protection for Increasing Access to Science-based Environmental Education
Registry established for Molecular Markers
Improving methods for identifying the sources of contaminated waters is one of the areas of emphasis. One very promising area of methods research uses “molecular markers” from DNA and RNA found in the contaminated waters to help determine whether the source of waste contaminating a water body is of human or animal origin, and to identify the type of animal. This information can help greatly in determining the risk to human health and in focusing efforts to remove the contamination. Researchers in this arena identified the need for a central registry containing the methods that have been tried, with sufficient information about the tested markers so that other researchers and managers can choose methods appropriate for their area and likely sources of contamination.
The Water Quality Team identified the information needed by researchers and managers and organized it into a web-based registry. This registry is open for addition of new molecular markers and new marker methods and is intended to be a resource for all such research. New information submissions are reviewed before addition to ensure the integrity of the registry contents. The registry can be found below. Please click on file and "Save" to your computer, then opened with Microsoft Excel.
Sea-level rise Modeling for Gulf National Wildlife Refuges in Florida
The Alliance's Habitat Conservation & Restoration Team completed sea-level rise modeling on five National Wildlife Refuge Study areas, including three in Florida: 1) Great White Heron NWR, FL; 2) Ten Thousand Islands, FL; and 3) Lower Suwannee NWR, FL. These sites were selected from a list of 21 refuges that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service had proposed modeling for but that had not been funded. Proposed sites for which available data did not meet HCRT minimum data requirements were trimmed from that list.
Read more, get the full report.
StormSmart Coast Network in Florida
The state of Florida is the 4th most populated state in the country. With most residents living or working near the shoreline, it is imperative that communities stay informed about the latest in preparedness for natural hazards. The StormSmart Coasts web site for Florida is customized with information relative to Florida, including categories such as "Before the Storm", "During the Storm", "After the Storm", and "Funding." The accompanying professional networking site, StormSmart Connect, allows local decision makers to share information with one another through profiles, groups, and forums.
White Paper on Gulf of Mexico Mercury Fate and Transport
As part of the risk-reduction efforts, the Water Quality team wrote the White Paper on Gulf of Mexico Mercury Fate and Transport: Applying Scientific Research to Reduce the Risk from Mercury in Gulf of Mexico Seafood. This document lays out the present understanding of mercury sources, transport, fate, pathways into seafood, and identifies populations that may be at risk from consuming seafood with high levels of mercury. It also highlights accomplishments by the Water Quality Team to improve understanding, and describes key research priorities to better help managers understand the steps to reduce mercury in seafood. CLICK "View PDF" below for document.