More and more of us are plugging in and turning on. No, not to the age of free love and flower power, but to the Internet. Computers are a fact of life for most and it is becoming increasingly simple to look to the electronic realm for news and information. We can buy airline tickets, cars, toys and any number of items from our own desktop. We can talk back and forth with people we know and people we have never met from our keypads. Want to learn about anything from apples to zebras? There is most likely a web site devoted especially to it. Now it is true for Florida Bay and the South Florida Ecosystem. Several web sites are available that provide up to date information on the research of Florida Bay and the efforts to restore the South Florida Ecosystem.
This cyber-space journey can begin close to home with the Florida Bay Education Project homepage at http://www.flseagrant.org/FLBAY.HTM. This site offers information on Florida Bay Research Radio (1610AM), and access to Research Project Profiles that interpret individual research projects. The Florida Bay Education Project newsletter, Seahorse Sentinel, can be viewed as well. You can also link to either the University of Florida homepage or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Lab site dedicated to Florida Bay. Let's take a look at the NOAA site at http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/flbay.
When you enter this site you will think you have hit the jackpot. It is full of useful information on both Florida Bay and the larger South Florida Ecosystem Restoration. There are important documents such as the Interagency Strategic Science Plan that is driving the research program in Florida Bay. Reports from each of the research teams conducting work in Florida Bay is available. The very important Central and Southern Florida Project Comprehensive Review Study Hydrologic Performance Measures ("Restudy") which details the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plan for restructuring water management in South Florida also can be viewed on-line. The management of the Florida Bay Research Program and the agencies participating in the program are detailed here, reports on specific workshops focusing on seagrasses, nutrients, higher trophic levels, Hurricane Georges, model integration, circulation, water quality and paleoecology. There is much more, or, if you aren't exhausted, you can jump over to the Everglades National Park site at http://www.nps.gov/ever/eco/fbrp.htm
The Everglades site is the last detailed here and it too is a wealth of information. If you have questions on Land Management in South Florida, water supply plans, the Everglades research program, or maybe outreach to tribes, you can find answers here.
Other sites available that relate to Florida Bay include:
Say you don't have a computer? Many libraries today offer Internet access so check with your local branch of the public library. Getting information on your favorite topics has never been easier.
For more information on this research, contact the Florida Bay Education Project at 305-852-3592. Additional information on a variety of topics is available from the University of Florida/Monroe County Cooperative Extension Service, 5100 College Road, Stock Island or call at 292-4501; fax: 292-4415; email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our web site http://monroe.ifas.ufl.edu. Our services are free and available to all without regard to race, color, sex, or national origin.