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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 21, 2007

Contact: Leigh Espy, 305-809-4700, ext. 240

NOAA Teams with Florida Keys Community College to Offer Seminar on Marine Research, Conservation in the Keys

NOAA’s Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and Florida Keys Community College will provide Keys residents and visitors with a unique opportunity to learn about marine research, conservation, and undersea exploration from leading ocean experts during a six-week seminar beginning Jan. 22.

The seminar, the third of its kind hosted by the sanctuary, will offer a Keys perspective on the 2008 International Year of the Reef, a worldwide campaign to educate the public about the value and importance of coral reefs and threats to their sustainability.

The seminar will feature lectures from scientists fishery research biologist Jim Bohnsack on the latest successes of marine protected areas and Kim Ritchie of the Mote Marine Laboratory on new findings about corals’ ability to fight disease. Brenda Lanzendorf, archeologist and cultural resources manager for Biscayne National Park, will provide exciting details about latest underwater archaeological discoveries and techniques in the Florida Keys and Biscayne Bay.

Billy Causey, southeast regional director for the National Marine Sanctuary Program, will explain the importance of the Florida Keys as a part of the greater Caribbean and South Atlantic ecosystem, and Ellen Prager, chief scientist at the Aquarius Reef Base, will provide a behind-the-scenes look at the world’s only undersea research station. Jim Hendee will preview the new frontier of ecological forecasting and its importance to the coral reef.

The seminar will meet Tuesdays from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center on the Truman Waterfront in Key West.  Each session will include a presentation and a discussion period. The cost for the seminar, which runs through Feb. 26 and includes six class sessions, is $19. To register, call Florida Keys Community College at 305-809-3188. For more information, contact Ivy Kelley at ivy.kelley@noaa.gov or by phone at 305-852-7717, ext. 36.

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary protects 2,900 square nautical miles of critical marine habitat, including coral reef, hard bottom, seagrass meadows, mangrove communities, and sand flats. The NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Program and the state of Florida co-manage this unique marine environment.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 70 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.

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On the Web:

NOAA: http://www.noaa.gov

NOAA National Ocean Service: http://www.oceanservice.noaa.gov

NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Program: http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary: http://floridakeys.noaa.gov

 

 

 

 

 

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