The purpose of the Southwest Florida Coastal Watershed Workshop is to bring together researchers, managers, and policy makers to compile and discuss the current state of knowledge regarding the coastal watersheds of southwest Florida and their receiving waters. By compiling our knowledge of the area, our goal is to identify gaps that will need to be addressed in future research endeavors and collaborations to provide the data needed to best manage and protect these areas in the future.
The general structure of the workshop will consist of morning presentations (8 – 10 each day) on current research projects being conducted in southwest Florida, followed by afternoon breakout groups to discuss 4 – 5 specific topics related to the morning’s talks. After an approximate 90-minute discussion, the groups will reconvene to summarize their discussions, followed by an open discussion to begin the synthesis of knowledge and gaps therein. Poster sessions with refreshments will occur at the end of day 1 and 2. We would like to extend a special invitation to students, and wish to encourage them to attend and submit abstracts for presentations or posters.
The first day of the workshop will focus on the geology, chemistry, and physics of the estuaries and nearshore waters of southwest Florida, in order to provide the background and setting for the dynamic processes occurring in these systems. The second day of the workshop will focus on the biology and ecology of the estuaries and nearshore waters to integrate how biological processes are affected by the physical/chemical dynamics discussed on day 1. The third day of the workshop will focus on the status of terrestrial coastal communities, particularly wetlands, and the status of ecological restoration and keystone species, as well as how human activities are impacting the coast of southwest Florida. By integrating our knowledge of these subjects, we will be able to target areas where additional knowledge/research is needed to better understand cause/effect relationships and better meet future management goals.