Ecosystem Assessment and Restoration

diver underwater in reef

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.

Section Contacts

Leanne Flewelling,
Section Administrator

Amber Whittle,
Section Administrator

    Annual Budget
    including grants

    Highlights on Current Research

    Coral Disease and Event Response

    In late 2014 a coral disease outbreak started off the coast of Miami and has spread north to Martin county and potentially as far south as the Middle Keys.   Read More >

    Flatwoods Salamander Habitat

    Upland habitat researchers are working in the Florida Panhandle to restore the delicate breeding habitat of the flatwoods salamander.   Read More >

    New World Screwworm Outbreak and Response

    In October 2016, FWC began assisting with an emergency response to an outbreak of New World Screwworm in Florida’s endangered Key deer population.   Read More >

    Sample of Active Projects

    Small rat in foliage

    Sanibel Rice Rat

    Sanibel Island is home to a unique sub species of rice rat found nowhere else in the world, the Sanibel Rice Rat. Upland habitat scientists are involved in a study to determine habitat selection for this state-threatened species, whose main threats are habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation.

    Woman at centrifuge

    Environmental DNA

    Researchers with the Harmful Algal Bloom research program are using environmental DNA, or eDNA, sequence data for possible improvement to the development of screening tools for specific toxic algae and their associated communities.

    Coral underwater

    Dry Tortugas Monitoring

    The Coral Reef Evaluation and Monitoring Project (CREMP) is one of the longest running coral reef monitoring projects along the Florida Reef Tract. FWC researchers monitor 54 coral reef sites in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and Dry Tortugas National Park.