On January 5, at 10a.m., the non-profit group Friends of Withlacoochee Gulf Preserve is hosting one of the free educational programs offered at the preserve throughout the year. Dr. Jennifer Seavey will be exploring the options for conservation of Florida’s Big Bend oyster reefs to prevent their further decline, in her presentation of Restoring Resiliency in a Changing World: Oysters in Florida’s Big Bend.
Seavey is assistant director at Seahorse Key Marine Laboratory, where the University of Florida maintains a field station for studying and researching coastal marine sciences. She holds degrees in Biology, Wildlife Science and a Ph.D. in Landscape Ecology and has conducted home and international research on birds and coastal issues. Seavey is currently focusing on Florida’s oyster reefs and how they are affected by climate change ecology.
The Nature Conservancy reports that 85 percent of oyster reefs have been lost worldwide. It seems Florida’s remain a global stronghold but they have seen considerable decline since the 70s. A multi-billion dollar tourist industry and coastal real estate play a major part in the state’s economy but, nonetheless, are elements of the negative impact on coastal ecosystems.
Seavey will be explaining the fine balance that is too easily upset by conflict between humans and their natural environment.