Researchers from University of West Florida recently estimated the value of Artificial Reefs to Florida’s coastal economy. Bay County artificial reefs provide 49.02 million dollars annually in personal income to local residents. Bay County ranks 8th in the state of Florida with 1,936 fishing and diving jobs. This important economic study gives updated guidance and insight for industry and government leaders. This same level of detailed insight is available for other Northwest Florida counties and counties throughout the state.
The UWF research team is one of several contributors scheduled to present at the Northwest Florida Artificial Reef Manager’s Workshop February 22. Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission and Florida Sea Grant are hosting the workshop. This meeting will bring together about fifty artificial reef managers, scientists, fishing and diving charter businesses, and others interested in artificial reefs to discuss new research, statewide initiatives and regional updates for Florida’s Northwest region. The meeting will be held at the UF/IFAS Extension Okaloosa County Office in Crestview, FL.
Cost is $15.00 and includes conference handouts, light continental breakfast with coffee, lunch, and afternoon refreshments. Register now by visiting Eventbrite or short link url https://goo.gl/VOLYkJ.
A limited number of exhibit tables/spaces will be available. For more information, please contact Laura Tiu, firstname.lastname@example.org or 850-612-6197.
Northwest Florida Artificial Reef Workshop Tentative Agenda
Date: February 22, 2017
8:15 Meet and Greet
9:00 Welcome and Introductions – Laura Tiu UF/IFAS Okaloosa Co and Keith Mille, FWC
9:25 Regional and National Artificial Reef Updates – Keith Mille
9:50 Invasive Lionfish Trends, Impacts, and Potential Mitigation on Panhandle Artificial Reefs – Kristen Dahl, University of Florida
10:20 Valuing Artificial Reefs in Northwest Florida – Bill Huth, University of West Florida
11:00 County Updates – Representatives will provide a brief overview of recent activities 12:00 LUNCH (included with registration)
1:00 NRDA NW Florida Artificial Reef Creation and Restoration Project Update – Alex Fogg, FWC
1:15 Goliath Grouper Preferences for Artificial Reefs: An Opportunity for Citizen Science – Angela Collins, FL, Sea Grant
1:45 Current Research and Perspectives on Artificial Reefs and Fisheries – Will Patterson, University of Florida
3:30 Association between Habitat Quantity and Quality and Exploited Reef Fishes: Implications for Retrospective Analyses and Future Survey Improvements – Sean Keenan, FWRI
3:50 Innovations in Artificial Reef Design and Use – Robert Turpin, facilitator
4:10 Using Websites and Social Media to Promote Artificial Reef Program Engagement – Bob Cox, Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association & Scott Jackson, UF/IFAS Bay Co
4:40 Wrap Up and Next Steps – Keith Mille and Scott Jackson
5:00 Adjourn and Networking
Register now by visiting Eventbrite or short link url https://goo.gl/VOLYkJ. Live Broadcast, workshop videos, and other information will be available on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/floridaartificialreefs/ (Florida Artificial Reefs) .
An Equal Opportunity Institution. University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension, Nick T. Place, Dean.