SOUTH FLORIDA ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION TASK FORCE

Florida Keys Project Coordination Team - PCT 6

BACKGROUND:    Sub-region #6 includes all of the Florida Keys, an Area of Critical State Concern, and adjacent waters, roughly equivalent to the boundaries of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and the eastern half of Biscayne National Park. This area includes the coral reef tract from Dry Tortugas to Biscayne National Parks on the ocean side and the waters of Card Sound, Barnes Sound, and most southern waters of Florida Bay.

Numerous human impacts threaten the ecological system of the Florida Keys, including: the continuing loss of upland and shoreline habitat from ongoing development; water quality degradation from numerous potential sources (both local and external); and physical impacts to coral reefs and seagrass habitat stemming from a continuing rise in visitation and related water-borne activities including boating, diving/snorkeling, and fishing. Probably the single most serious of these problems is degraded water quality. Although the sources of this degradation are not completely understood, local wastewater treatment and influences from upstream sources including Florida Bay, and associated land use and water management practices throughout the Everglades system all contribute to the water quality decline in the Florida Keys. Human impacts on upland vegetation and habitats include extensive presence of exotic plant and animal species.

A number of projects related to ecosystem restoration and sustainability in the Florida Keys are included in the Integrated Financial Plan. Representative projects include the FKNMS Water Quality Protection Plan, Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Study, the Wastewater Master Plan, removal of exotic terrestrial species, land acquisition, and ecological restoration. The success of these projects, along with a number of other programs and projects relevant to sustaining a healthy Florida Keys ecosystem will be dependent upon interagency cooperation and integration, and obtaining adequate funding. In addition, these restoration efforts are crucial for maintaining a sustainable economy in the Keys, as the local economy is fully dependent upon a healthy environment.

PURPOSE:    The team will coordinate the development of plans, programs, projects and activities that address the restoration, preservation and protection of the Florida Keys ecosystem while promoting a sustainable region. It will serve as a forum for discussion of issues pertinent to the restoration of the ecosystem. It will also serve a separate role, as described in the Final Management Plan of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, as the Interagency Group which will implement an integrated, continuous management process and coordinate agency activities related to the protection of local marine resources.

MEMBERS:

Dick Frost, NPS, Co-Chair

Paul Moen, FKNMS, Co-Chair

Bill Kruczynski, EPA

Barry Stieglitz, USFWS

Jim Bohnsach, NOAA/NMFS

Ted Pruett, COE

Christine Coffin, USDA

Lisa Hogan, US DOJ

Dave Thatcher, SFWMD

Rick Alleman, SFWMD

Barbara Bernier-Culhane, FDOT

Pat Wells, FPS

Phil Frank, FG&FF

Charles Pattison, DCA

Ty Symroski, DCA

George Garrett, Monroe County

Teresa Tinker, Governor's Office

Estes Whitfield, Governor's Office

Mike Collins, Governor's Commission

George (G.P.) Schmahl, DEP

Allyson Simmons, DEP (Public Affairs representative)

Margaret Miller, NOAA/NMFS (Science Team Representive)

Nick Funicelli, USGS/BRO

Billy Causey, NOAA, WG Advisor

DEP representative to be named

Any Working Group member may appoint a representative to the team by notifying Dick Frost at (305) 230-1144, ext. 3002.

GUIDANCE:

a. The goal of the team is to provide a forum for coordination among agencies and projects related to ecosystem restoration.

b. The team will focus initially on identifying the appropriate project managers from various agencies, assembling the information on ongoing projects and developing an initial course of action.

c. In accordance with the FKNMS Final Management Plan the team will meet at least twice a year in support of the integrated, continuous management of the Sanctuary and adjacent marine areas.

d. The team chair will coordinate with the Working Group chair or the Office of the Executive Director to arrange a briefing at an appropriate Working Group meeting.

e. As issues develop that provide opportunities for the restoration effort, these issues will be presented to the Working Group for assistance. The presentation of these issues will normally be included in one of the Working Group’s regularly scheduled meetings.

f. The team will stay current with and provide input to the preparation of the "systemwide plan".

g. All team meetings will be open to the public and will include opportunity for public comment.

h. Deliverables:

1. The team will identify, review, and approve project sheets for inclusion in the Integrated Financial Plan and notify the Working Group.

2. The team will revise and keep updated the Florida Keys section of the most current edition of the Integrated Financial Plan and present all proposed revisions to the Working Group in a timely manner.

3. The team will prepare the Florida Keys section of the Annual Report and present it to the Working Group in a timely manner.

4. The team will provide assistance to the other Working Group teams as needed.

ADMINISTRATIVE INSTRUCTIONS:

a. The team will include a Science and a Public Affairs member:

The science member will coordinate with the Chair of the Science Team and refer to current written guidance for instructions and fundamental responsibilities, including provision of technical support that is needed for the team.

The public affairs member will be responsible for providing public affairs support to the team, according to existing Working Group procedures, to include: providing adequate public notice of team meetings, facilitating public comment and preparing a summary of each meeting.

b. If the team desires to establish an advisory group, the Chair will notify the Working Group Chair and coordinate with the Office of the Executive Director for additional guidance.

c. The Chair will coordinate with the office of the Executive Director, (Sandy Soto, (305) 348-1665) to receive additional administrative instructions or to arrange for any additional support needs for the team.

 

  Back to Florida Keys PCT - Home Page

This page is designed and maintained by the Office of the Executive Director.

Project Director