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2006 Florida Oceans Day and Earth Day Highlights.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida Ocean Alliance Chair David McDonald and Mote Marine Laboratory President and CEO Kumar Mahadevan today joined Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Deputy Secretary for Regulatory Programs and Energy Mike Sole to celebrate Oceans Day and Earth Day at the Capitol. The event highlighted the Florida Oceans and Coastal Resources Council's efforts as well as waterway protection.

"We are honoring the work of the Florida Oceans and Coastal Resources Council that will help address Florida's most important oceans research issues. Their work will help protect and enhance ocean resources for continued social and economic benefits for all Floridians," said David L. McDonald, chair of the Florida Ocean Alliance. Vice Chair Kumar Mahadevan, President and CEO of Mote Marine Laboratory, added: "The work of the Council will help Florida balance conservation with development in facing the state's challenges to our coastal and marine resources."

This year's Ocean's Day theme, "Ocean Partners for Florida's Future," salutes the work of the Florida Oceans and Coastal Resource Council. The Council was created by the 2005 Legislature to help manage the state's coastal and marine resources and to develop an annual Research Plan for these resources. The Council is charged with developing priorities for ocean and coastal research as well as coordinating public and private ocean research for more effective coastal management.

The Earth Day theme, "Water is Life," celebrates waterways as a source of recreation, nourishment and a resource to be protected. Florida has 1,350 miles of coastline, more than 700 freshwater springs and thousands of miles of rivers and lakes, all of which depend on environmentally-safe activities on land for preservation.

"Oceans Day and Earth Day remind us of our obligation to protect the State's natural resources and preserve our waterways," said DEP Deputy Secretary for Regulatory Programs and Energy Mike Sole. "The initiative taken by the Florida Ocean Alliance and Mote Marine Laboratory to protect the State's marine habitat serves as an example to citizens and visitors."

The Florida Ocean Alliance is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, public-private partnership of government, academic, and private sector organizations. Formed in 1999, the Alliance promotes awareness and understanding of the ocean's importance to the ecology and economy of Florida. More information on the Alliance is available at its website: http://www.floridaoceanalliance.org. The Florida Atlantic University Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions serves as secretariat for the Florida Ocean Alliance.

The Florida Alliance Board of Directors includes: Chair David McDonald of the Florida Ports Council; Vice Chair Kumar Mahadevan, President and CEO of the Mote Marine Laboratory; Dr. James Cato of Florida Sea Grant; Dr. Andrew Clark, President of the Maritime Communications Services; Dr. Duane DeFreese, Director of Research of the Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute; Eric Draper, Deputy State Director of Audubon of Florida; Elaine Heldewier, Director of Environmental Health and Safety of Carnival Cruises; Frank Herhold, Executive Director of the Marine Industries Association of South Florida; Rob Kramer, President of the International Game Fish Association Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum; Steve Lewis, Attorney at Lewis Longman & Walker; Dr. George A. Maul, College of Engineering, Florida Institute of Technology; Dr. John Ogden, Director of the Florida Institute of Oceanography; Dr. Shirley Pomponi, President and CEO at the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution; Dr. Ellen Prager, Consultant to the Dean at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami; Richard M. Pruitt, Director of Environmental Programs at Royal Caribbean International Cruises; Jerry Sansom, Executive Director, Organized Fishermen of Florida; Jody Thomas, Director of the Florida Keys Office of The Nature Conservancy. Staff includes James F. Murley and Dr. Lenore Alpert of the Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions at Florida Atlantic University.

The Department of Environmental Protection is the state's principal environmental agency, created to protect, conserve and manage Florida's environment and natural resources. DEP enforces federal and state environmental laws, protects Florida's air and water quality, cleans up pollution, regulates solid waste management, promotes pollution prevention and acquires environmentally-sensitive lands for preservation. The agency also maintains a statewide system of parks, trails and aquatic preserves.

For more information on the Florida Ocean Alliance, visit http://www.floridaoceanalliance.org. For information on DEP, visit http://www.floridadep.org.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Apr 19, 2006
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