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Water Matters Week 1: Coasts & Oceans
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Reefs in Your Backyard​

​Did you know? Broward County reefs are part of Florida's Coral Reef, which stretches almost 350 miles from the Dry Tortugas in the Florida Keys to the St. Lucie Inlet in Martin County. They are also part of the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Ecoysystem Conservation Area​, a marine managed area that includes the waters off Martin, Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

Discover reefs in our backyard - take a dive!

image school of fish 

Image: Deep Discovery: Scuba Diving in Fort Lauderdale

Why are reefs important?

​Reefs are our first line of defense - they protect us from storms and provide important economic benefits. However, our reefs are threatened by a variety of stressors, including fishing pressure, plastics and marine debris and poor water quality which can lower coral resilience and make them susceptible to disease.​

Coral Disease

image diseased coral

Image: Stony coral tissue loss disease (SCTLD)

​Story Map: Saving the Exceptional Corals in Florida's Coral Reef Ecosystem Conservation Area

Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease Response

​What Can You Do? Protect reefs from urban pollution

​Responsible management starts at home! Learn about the best management practice for yards and landscaped areas.

​​Both of these programs provide information and guidance on lawn and landscape management practices to reduce non-point sources of pollution and protect Florida's water resources. 

  • ​Be aware of what goes into your storm drains.​
  • ​​Yard  Runoff  Canals  Inlets  Ocean ​ Coral Reefs

Marine Pollution: How Fertilizers Can Damage Marine Ecosystems

image Only rain in the drain
Image: City of Fort Lauderdale Stormwater Pollution Prevention

​Critter Corner​ & Activity Books

​In addition to coral reefs, the marine environment in Broward County is host to a variety of charismatic creatures, including sea turtles and the Florida manatee. 

Sea Turtles - Activity Book

Three species of sea turtles (loggerhead, green and leatherback) nest on Broward County beaches. The Broward County Sea Turtle Conservation Program conducts daily sea turtle nest surveys March 1 through October 31. More 

​Florida Manatee - Activity Book​

This native marine mammal is found in many Florida waterways, especially fresh water springs and power plant discharge basins where the waters are warm.

​Florida Manatee Program​

Webcams: Save the Manatee Club