The Ecosystem Assessment and Restoration Section is responsible for monitoring and investigating harmful algal blooms such as Florida red tide; collecting and analyzing habitat and species data for terrestrial, freshwater, and marine habitats; and monitoring for and responding to fish and wildlife disease outbreaks. This section monitors the condition of Florida’s seagrass, coastal wetlands, coral reefs, terrestrial habitats, and freshwater plants, as well as evaluates the effects of management actions on these habitats. Researcher staff provide technical assistance related to harmful algal blooms, fish and wildlife health, and habitat to partners; respond to fish and wildlife mortality events, including stony coral tissue loss disease; study the unknown neurological disorder impacting the endangered Florida panther; and conduct surveillance for wildlife diseases such as Chronic Wasting Disease in deer.
Annual Budget: $19,258,983
Highlights on Current Research
Surveillance and Monitoring of Chronic Wasting Disease in Florida’s Deer
A Fish and Wildlife Health Team has begun a risk assessment for Chronic Wasting Disease, a nervous system disease that is fatal to deer. The data obtained in the assessment study will allow management of the disease in Florida.
Red Tide Monitoring with Imaging FlowCytobot Instruments
Staff with the Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) group are monitoring HABs using a new device called an Imaging FlowCytobot. This technology allows researchers to learn more about HABs and monitor them more effectively.
Habitat Restoration in the Peace River Watershed
Habitat Research staff have restored two highly degraded sites in the Peace River Watershed. They are collecting data from the sites to evaluate the effects of the restoration.