Increasing knowledge of Biscayne Bay’s science status and trends

Full Title: Increasing knowledge of Biscayne Bay’s science status and trends: Identify monitoring course of action through a synthesis of experts’ knowledge
Biscayne Bay is a crucial and diverse ecosystem, but it faces rapid changes due to increasing disturbances, both natural and human-induced. To address these challenges, initiatives are underway to consolidate data and expertise, aiming to enhance understanding and develop monitoring strategies for the bay’s ecological and physicochemical patterns and processes.
Lead Investigator: Dr. Rolando Santos, Assistant Professor Biological Sciences
Project Team: Joseph Serafy NOAA-NMFS, Todd Crowl Florida International University, James Fourqurean Florida International University, Jennifer Rehage Florida International University
Collaborator: NOAA-NMFS
Award Amount: $9,708
Year Funded: 2023
Award Period: 1 year
Project Abstract:

Biscayne Bay seascape is biologically diverse and vital for maintaining ecological processes and services that benefit society. However, the Biscayne Bay area (BBA) ecosystem is experiencing drastic, fast changes due to various natural and anthropogenic disturbances increasing in frequency and magnitude. In reaction to the compounding disturbance events and related chronic and acute ecological responses in BBA, multiple initiatives have begun to consolidate environmental data sources and cultivate a network of experts to analyze and discuss current BBA environmental issues. However, these efforts are fragmented and not focused on synthesis to increase our knowledge of BBA’s physicochemical and ecological patterns and processes. Thus, concentrated synthesis efforts should occur through meetings, working workshops, and symposia to advance our understanding of BBA’s status and trends and identify the gaps that should be addressed with monitoring activities. As a start, we propose a workshop with experts across different fields of study to synthesize information on BBA’s ecosystem components and propose a monitoring course of action. Specifically, we will organize the workshop under seven themes: Geological, physical and chemical dynamics, Plankton patterns and processes, Benthic and shoreline resources, Coral reef monitoring and management, Marine mammals and reptiles, Fish and fisheries ecology, and Human dimensions.

No cost extension (NCE) was granted through 2/28/24 due to the need to postpone the projects proposed workshop until December (scheduling conflicts and other logistical issues). The NCE provided time to integrate a thorough analysis of the information collected before, during, and after the workshop into the final report.

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