During the last 40 years, the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) has convened a meeting every two years at different coastal communities around the U.S. This year about 1,500 scientists will be coming to Daytona Beach’s Ocean Center during November 6-10, 2011 to participate. The conference will include over 1,100 presentations from scientists, educators, and students that will showcase their study results. New for this conference, and keeping with the theme, will be a community outreach poster session, entitled Science for Community Leaders. The intent is to invite representatives of the surrounding community in order to address topics of their concern. The Museum of Arts and Science is a cosponsor with CERF to organize this session and make connections with local leaders.
If you are interested and want more information, please contact Robert Chamberlain (firstname.lastname@example.org), Dr. Linda Walters (UCF, email@example.com), or Holly Greening (TBEP and conference co-chair, firstname.lastname@example.org). Or, visit the CERF website at www.erf.org, then follow the link to meetings. To view the conference’s green art, Ocean’s Eleventh Hour by local artist Paul Baliker, go to the CERF website (www.erf.org) and click on the picture.
Estuaries are located where marine water mixes with freshwater. Along with the surrounding wetlands that are usually associated with estuaries, these areas serve as nursery areas for many organism. Locally, the Indian River Lagoon contains a greater diversity of species than any other estuary in the U.S. and supports over a billion dollars in resource-based business activities. Over 75% of Florida’s commercial fish species depend on estuaries during some part of their life. Places like Chesapeake Bay are significantly important in our nation’s history, providing safe harbors, centers for commerce, and valuable resources for the cities that have expanded along their shores. There will be talks at the conference on the Gulf oil spill, as well as potential impacts related to sea level rise.
As an organization, CERF has increasingly focused not only on understanding these nearshore ecosystems, but also provided information necessary to manage human related changes that can influence biodiversity and the sustainability of natural resources. At this year’s conference in Daytona Beach, the theme is “Adapting to Change,” which reflects the realization that human societies are an integral component of nearshore ecosystems and both their futures are interdependent and very dynamic. This conference will explore how understanding and managing these dynamics must also include approaches at regional and global scales. To a greater extent than at previous CERF conferences, this year will include an effort to specifically address society’s economic drivers and related ecosystem responses.
Conference attendees can donate to the Carbon Emissions Offset Fund, which will support an ongoing oyster restoration project in the Mosquito Lagoon (see http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/florida/explore/floridas-oyster-reef-restoration-program.xml ).