Hundreds of people—concerned about the future of the Gulf of Mexico—gathered at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota Wednesday – for discussions on how best to restore, protect and improve the world’s ninth largest body of water. The Gulf of Mexico Alliance – a coalition of federal and gulf state representatives– is holding a series of 10 such workshops. The Alliance formed after a federal commission—last year—called for a comprehensive national ocean policy… emphasizing the need for integrated management plans. The Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program co-hosted the event with Mote. Its Director - Lisa Beever - says several issues came to the fore.
“Non-point-source pollution & nutrient loading is one, funding is another, loss of habitat and conservation of habitat is the third, the fourth is red tide, and the fifth is education and stewardship. There’ll be a Gulf of Mexico Action Plan developed over the next few months, and the outcomes of these stakeholder workshops will go into the development of that plan.”
Beever says there WAS talk of Hurricane Katrina – and what impact its devastation may have on the gulf. The U-S Coast Guard is currently responding to seven major oil spills in the southern Louisiana area. Beever says the effects of Katrina will certainly add to the already long list of problems the gulf is facing. She DOES expect to see some effects in southwest Florida in the coming months…. But says it's too early to predict what they may be.
Thursday, 15 September 2005 01:00
Gulf AllianceWritten by WGCU Newsroom