The actions of people can have large negative or positive effects on habitats, wildlife and water quality in the Florida coastal zone, particularly because of the close proximity of a huge population and the sensitivity of those natural environments to human and natural impacts. Therefore, in addition to active resource management, it is critical that residents, businesses and tourists understand the values of our natural coastal habitats and of good water quality, as well as take actions to protect and sustain them through what often are simple changes in lifestyle.
Florida Sea Grant has captured the essence of those lifestyle changes in a book called A Practical Guide to Estuary-Friendly Living, and will continue to carry out a comprehensive statewide program to educate people about appropriate actions. There also is a large workforce in the coastal zone that can benefit from training provided by Sea Grant – training that is either required for them to remain employed or in business, or training that can help them advance in their careers. This training goes hand-in-hand with actions that protect the coastal environment and ensure safety of marine aquatic products. Florida Sea Grant will continue its active programs in environmental literacy and workforce development, expanding it to include a greater array of opportunities for recent graduates to transition into the coastal workforce through targeted internship programs.