Key Biscayne is the southernmost barrier island in the U.S., and its coastal and nearshore environment are characterized by valuable mangrove, seagrass, and coral reef habitats. Unfortunately, these habitats are threatened by a variety of global stressors, such as climate change, ocean acidification, and sea level rise, as well as local environmental stressors including overfishing, poor water quality, and boat groundings. Additionally, current or proposed activities occurring locally which include the Port of Miami expansion, Bear Cut Bridge construction, and the Virginia Key Waste Water Treatment Plant, can all potentially damage these habitats. To assist in developing an environmental ethic on Key Biscayne, and thereby build a constituency for a local Citizen Scientist Project (CSP) focusing on monitoring and protecting these habitats, I worked with the CSP team to establish a presence on Key Biscayne and to gain volunteers that were interested in becoming citizen scientists. To achieve this, I created a socio-economic profile of Key Biscayne, used social media and online communications to educate on environmental issues, and held two popular Youth Fishing Clinics where we taught children to be better marine stewards and ethical anglers. I also initiated workshops to teach residents about the mangrove and seagrass ecosystems of Key Biscayne. Finally, I developed a preschool and kindergarten outreach material. Together, these allowed the CPS name to reach many potential volunteers on Key Biscayne and teach these residents about their local environment.
Burchfield, Audra Noele, "Developing a nearshorecoastal ecosystem education and outreach program for the Citizen Scientists Project of Key Biscayne" (2013). Internship Reports (Restricted). 166.
For UM Patrons Only