FY 2010 expenditures: $670,109
FY 2011 budget: $885,463
We count on the oceans for the air we breathe and the food they provide, but with 95 percent of the seas still unexplored, we’ve barely scratched the surface of what marine ecosystems can provide and teach us. Nevertheless it is increasingly apparent that the oceans are not an infinite resource, and that in order to take advantage of all they have to offer, we need to be more careful about what we put into and take from them.
As enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida, funds from the Save Our Seas Specialty License Plate can be used to:
Save Our Seas license plate revenue primarily supports a range of marine habitat conservation and exploration research and, beginning with FY 2011 funds, postdoctoral researchers at HBOI-FAU. These early-career scientists, chosen because their research interests complement existing programs, provide new energy and perspective that can help advance science. A portion of the funds supports Florida fisheries and shark research by the Guy Harvey Research Institute of the Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center.
HBOI-FAU Marine Botany and Harmful Algal Bloom researchers have been conducting research and monitoring activities in the Indian River Lagoon and Florida coastal regions for decades. Ongoing program efforts include assessments of water quality, seagrass status, and algal composition and abundance, which support and are supported by initiatives to advance monitoring technology and explanatory modeling. Of particular recent interest are the effects of stormwater runoff and freshwater discharges in the Indian River Lagoon. HBOI-FAU researchers include Dr. Dennis Hanisak and Dr. Brian Lapointe.
Three postdoctoral investigators have begun two-year appointments (August 2010 – August 2012) supported by Save Our Seas license plate funding: Dr. Mikki McComb, who is examining the effects of habitat degradation in the Indian River Lagoon on visual performance of coastal marine fishes with mentors Dr. Tammy Frank (HBOI-FAU) and Dr. Steven Kajiura (FAU); Dr. Georgios Kallifatidis, who is working with the collection of marine natural products culled from the seas by Harbor Branch-FAU researchers to find compounds that aid pancreatic cancer treatment with mentors Dr. Esther Guzmán (HBOI-FAU) Dr. Vijaya Iragavarapu-Charyulu (FAU); and Dr. Gero Nootz, who is working to advance underwater laser imaging as a next-generation ocean exploration tool with mentors Dr. Fraser Dalgleish (HBOI-FAU) and Dr. William Rhodes (FAU).