Ecosystem Assessment and Restoration


Florida’s diverse fish and wildlife species face threats every day. Biologists with the Ecosystem Assessment and Restoration section track many of these threats. Researchers monitor harmful algal blooms, including Florida red tide, which can cause human health and economic problems, and monitor and investigate fish and wildlife diseases and die-offs. Section researchers also evaluate the status of habitats, providing data that aid in preservation, management and restoration decision-making.


Leanne Flewelling,
Section Administrator

Annual Budget: $13,314,234
Staff: 108

Highlights on Current Research

  • softshell turtle in grass

    Investigating a Softshell Turtle Mortality Event Caused by a Novel Virus

    In 2018, FWC biologists began researching a freshwater turtle mortality event in the St. John’s River watershed, with research currently ongoing. While the investigation is primarily in the St. John’s River watershed, it extends to other areas of the state as well.

  • Example of severe mangrove damage

    Monitoring the Recovery of South Florida Mangroves after Severe Damage by Hurricane Irma

    FWRI researchers study the damage, mortality, and initial recovery of mangrove forests in the Lower Florida Keys and Ten Thousand Islands following direct hits by Hurricane Irma in 2017.