|Photo: Florida Ocean Alliance|
TALLAHASSEE – Florida legislators will join scientists, researchers and maritime industry representatives on April 4 in Tallahassee to celebrate the 2013 Florida Oceans Day, highlighting the economic importance of the state's ocean resources. The event is sponsored by the Florida Ocean Alliance, Mote Marine Laboratory and the Florida Institute of Oceanography.
Healthy coasts and oceans are critical to the state’s economy and provide sustainable resources for all Floridians. This year’s Oceans Day theme, Oceans of Opportunity for Economic Growth, focuses on the value of the state’s oceans and coasts to the state’s economy.
The day’s public activities will include an Oceans Day workshop in the Historic Capitol, Old Senate Chambers, and exhibits in the Capitol. Workshop speakers will highlight the importance of ocean resources to Florida’s economy. Will Seccombe of VISIT FLORIDA will speak on Tourism, Steven Cernak of Port Everglades on Ports/Shipping, Rob Kramer of the International Game Fish Association on Recreational Fishing and Kevin Claridge of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection on Restoration of the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Speakers will showcase the importance of ocean industries for jobs in Florida.
The ocean and coastal exhibits are provided by industry, research institutions and nonprofit organizations. Exhibits will be open to the public from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in the Courtyard, Rotunda and on the second and third floors of the Capitol.
“This year’s Oceans Day highlights our ocean and coastal economies that contribute $584 billion to Florida’s economy,” said Steven M. Cernak, chair of the Florida Ocean Alliance. “While the state is recovering from a difficult economic time, it is important to recognize that oceans and coasts support hundreds of thousands of jobs in Florida, related to tourism, seaports and recreation. Oceans Day allows us to educate the public and Florida’s legislators about the importance and impact of Florida’s oceans and coasts on the state’s economy and jobs, and the challenges we face.”
Dr. Kumar Mahadevan, president and CEO of Mote Marine Laboratory, added:
“Florida is an ocean state. Our oceans and coasts are key drivers of our state economy. It is critical to understand and protect our marine resources so that they continue to provide economic benefits to the state and nation. Oceans Day is an excellent opportunity for Florida’s leaders and residents to remember why oceans matter.”
About the Florida Ocean Alliance
The Florida Ocean Alliance is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, public-private partnership of government, academic and private sector organizations promoting awareness and understanding of the ocean’s importance to the ecology and economy of Florida.