2022 Coastal & Estuarine Summit
Hosted by Restore America's Estuaries
New Orleans, LA | December 4-8, 2022
Florida’s Nature Coast: Partnering to Protect a Way of Life
Tue, 6 Dec, 16:00 - 17:30 Central Time (UTC -5)
Location: Magazine
Moderator: Cameron Jaggard, The Pew Charitable Trusts
Track: America's Gulf Coast
Florida’s Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve was designated on June 30, 2020, and spans more than 700 square miles of Gulf coast waters north of Tampa Bay. The preserve is part of a network of 42 state aquatic preserves, and was the first one designated in more than 30 years. It protects part of the Gulf of Mexico’s largest seagrass meadow, as well as sponge fields, mangrove forests, oyster reefs, and salt marshes that form the backbone of the region’s nature-based economy. More than 100 coastal businesses, recreational fishing groups, marine industry leaders, and conservation organizations backed establishment of the preserve. More recently, these supporters worked alongside local governments, state natural resource agencies, law enforcement, and academic partners to develop a place-based management plan that will guide stewardship of the preserve in the face of climate change-related impacts, increased human use, and coastal development. The panel discussion will begin with a joint presentation by the session facilitator and panelists, all of which were intimately involved in this initiative. These presentations will lead into a panel discussion where the moderator and audience members can pose questions around common challenges, best practices, and lessons learned from this highly collaborative, community-based approach to coastal conservation and management.

Aquatic Preserve Program

Michael Shirley, Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Angling for a Sustainable Environment and Economy

Bruce Pohlot, International Game Fish Association

Reaching Consensus for Conservation

Laura Reynolds, University of Florida

Local Perspectives on the Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve

Melissa Charbonneau, Pasco County

Local Perspectives on the Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve

Captain William Toney, Homosassa Inshore Fishing