FWC News Release

Artificial reef summit scheduled in Cocoa Beach

January 12, 2010
Contact: Keith Mille, 850-488-6058

The 2010 Florida Artificial Reef Summit will be held Jan. 21-23 next in Cocoa Beach. Florida Sea Grant, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension Service are co-organizing this important event, which occurs every three to five years and is intended to bring together stakeholders involved with artificial reef development, management and monitoring in Florida.

This will be the eighth in a series of statewide conferences on artificial reefs and will encompass artificial reef legislation, technology and monitoring. Previous conferences were held in Daytona Beach (1979), Miami (1987), Tallahassee (1990 and 1993), Palm Beach (1998), Fort Lauderdale (2001) and Sarasota (2004). Federal, state and local program managers and representatives, scientists, researchers, regulators, volunteers and others from around Florida and other states will participate.

The theme for the 2010 Florida Artificial Reef Summit is "Fisheries Management and Artificial Reefs." The agenda includes 33 speakers and 20 poster presentations - ranging from topics of ecological considerations of artificial reef development to lessons learned, regulatory issues, ships-to-reefs and other Florida artificial reef-related issues. There will also be several exhibitors representing organizations, contractors and consultants involved in artificial reef planning, construction and monitoring.

Interest in the 2010 Florida Artificial Reef Summit is exceptionally strong, with 175 attendees currently registered. Registration is full for Thursday's and Friday's sessions. However the Saturday session, which is specifically targeted for volunteer groups and citizen participation in artificial reef development, is still open.

The summit will take place at the Cocoa Beach Hilton, 1550 North Atlantic Avenue (A1A) in Cocoa Beach. The complete agenda of summit activities and registration information is available on the Florida Sea Grant Web site at http://www.flseagrant.org/index.php...=143:2010-florida-artificial-reef-summit.