HTML _ 98-975 - An Endangered Species Act Issue for Southeastern Florida: Johnson's Seagrass
9-Dec-1998; Eugene Buck; 6 p.

Abstract: Johnson's seagrass, a small marine plant growing in shallow estuaries and coastal lagoons only along the southeastern Florida coast, has been listed by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the first marine plant so listed. The continued existence of this species appears to be most affected by water clarity and sediment disturbance (e.g., stormwater runoff, boating and personal watercraft activities, and siltation.) as well as by hurricanes and storm surges. In addition, limited seed production by this species makes its recovery uncertain. State and local government officials, marine industries, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as well as private citizens are concerned that protection under the ESA could preclude, or increase expenses for, routine dredging projects and the expansion of three Florida ports. NMFS will seek to protect this species through ESA measures and address local concerns that species protection may interfere with maintenance dredging projects. This report will be updated as this issue evolves. [read report]

Topics: Biodiversity, Wetlands, Marine

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