Seagrass habitat plays an important role in maintaining a diverse and healthy coastal ecosystem in Florida. Unfortunately, this valuable habitat is threatened by human activities such as urban and agricultural runoff, dredging, and boating accidents.
There are currently more than 30 seagrass restoration projects are underway across Florida, many of them in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The Marine Sanctuary protects over 2,900 square nautical miles of critical marine habitat, including coral reef, hard bottom, seagrass meadow, mangrove communities and sand flats.
With the newly elected administration in Florida threatening to make severe cuts to environmental restoration projects as well as a legislature that is largely apathetic to environmental causes, it is important for citizens to let their voices be heard.
As you may know, seagrass habitat plays an important role in maintaining a diverse and healthy coastal ecosystem in Florida. It provides a critical habitat for many species of fishes, crustaceans, and shellfish. Seagrasses and the organisms that grow on them are also food sources for many animals, including wild manatees. Additionally, they provide nursery areas for much of Florida's recreationally and commercially important marine life.
Unfortunately, this valuable habitat is threatened by human activities such as urban and agricultural runoff, dredging, and boating accidents. Without funding and legislative support for restoration efforts, Florida's seagrasses could become greatly diminished. This could threaten coastal areas with increased erosion, devastate fisheries that support Florida's economy, and cause harm to marine wildlife that depend on the seagrasses for food and protection.
Please support all legislation and other legal action that will ensure Florida's seagrasses are protected, and make sure restoration projects across the state, from the northern Gulf of Mexico to the Florida Keys, are fully funded. Our coasts, our wildlife, and our economy depend on it.
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