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May 30, 2020

This page last modified:
March 21, 2001

Florida Bay Research Projects Profiled

by Pam Wingrove

University of Florida/Monroe County Cooperative Extension

Florida Bay Education Project

Consider this: "Multiple lines of paleoecological and geochemical evidence indicate that Florida Bay became more saline during the early part of this century"; or this "Comparisons of the patterns in variability of distribution and abundance data for the seagrasses Thalassia testudinum and Halodule wrightii Ascherson (Shoal grass), obtained by the quantitative and visual techniques, indicated that precision, defined as standard error/mean, is significantly better for the visual data compared with the quantitative density data." It may seem at times that you need a Ph. D. to understand what scientists are saying. Technical terms and standards are necessary for communication within the scientific community to clearly detail methods and findings in terms that relate to other research. However, for most who do not work in the field of science, it may seem like a foreign language. The Florida Bay Education Project has developed the Florida Bay Project Profile series to help solve this problem. The Project Profile series translates the scientific language of Florida Bay researchers into more easily understood information for us all.

Currently over 100 research projects are underway in Florida Bay all designed to address one of five important questions. Those questions include; 1: Where is the water coming from and where is it going? 2: Where are the nutrients coming from and what effects do they have in the Bay? 3: What is causing the algal blooms in the Bay? 4: What is causing the changes in seagrass beds and other bottom habitats in the Bay?; and 5: How does all of this affect the animals?. The answers to these questions are critical to understanding how the Bay works and what we can do to improve its ecological conditions. Understanding the answers is important to all of us to equip us with the knowledge to make our own decisions on the value and appropriateness of management actions resulting from research recommendatons. The Florida Bay Project Profile series is designed to make information on each research projects understandable to non-scientific audiences.

There are currently 17 profiles available on topics including sedimentology, paleoecology, water circulation and currents, higher trophic levels, and seagrass ecology. The profiles identify the researcher, the question being asked, how the experiment is being conducted, findings to date, the status of the project, impacts to restoration and who funds the research. Spanish translations are provided on the reverse side of each profile.

Copies of project profiles are available from the Florida Bay Education Project office in Tavernier. Each project profile is available on-line as well as through the Florida Bay Education Project website at:

The Florida Bay Education Project is a program of the Florida Sea Grant and the Monroe County Cooperative Extension Service sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Coastal Ocean Program. Designed to bring the research of Florida Bay to audiences throughout south Florida, the program is in its third year of implementation. To learn more about the Florida Bay Education Project and its programs and products, contact the project office at 305-853-3592 or write Florida Bay Education Project, 93911 Overseas Highway, Tavernier, Florida 33070.

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: or visit our web site Our services are free and available to all without regard to race, color, sex, or national origin.

The Florida Bay Education Project is an archived site. For more information go to NOAA's South Florida Ecosystem Education Project at