Florida coral reefs have been declining in abundance and health for many decades (McManus 2001). This report focuses on the conservation of the northern portions of the Florida Coral Reef Tract which have received less management focus than other reef resources in the past. The continuing degradation of coral reefs in southeast Florida falls under the jurisdiction of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and their Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP). The CRCP's goal is to preserve corals by increasing the research and monitoring of them, and to help develop a management plan containing stakeholder-developed management alternatives. Due to the relationship between corals and the reef fish, a management plan needs to incorporate both resources if there is to be a positive outcome for the entire ecosystem of coral reefs. This report researches the benefits of using management alternatives towards the preservation of coral reefs in southeast Florida. Utilizing previous and current management tools for corals and fisheries, along with case studies of place-based coral reef ecosystem management, can offer stakeholders information to make improved management decisions. By incorporating more aspects of the reef’s ecosystem into the management plan as well as understanding the interactions that take place, like between reef fish and corals, we might see greater success in protecting coral reefs.
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