Coral reefs are symbolic of Florida, not only for their natural beauty and distinctiveness, but for the jobs and businesses they support. Recreational fishing is an important driver in our state, generating $9.3 billion in economic impact and supporting more than 123,000 jobs.
While our fisheries are in excellent shape because of the skillful management of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, corals continue to suffer and decline because of poor water quality, warming seas, ocean acidification, coral disease and invasive species.
Thankfully, Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Carlos Curbelo are leading the fight in Congress to restore our treasured coral reefs. I recently joined more than 70 other Florida sport fishing business owners in a letter thanking the Ros-Lehtinen and Curbelo for introducing the Conserving Our Reefs And Livelihoods (CORAL) Act.
This bill addresses the real problems affecting our coral reefs by developing effective solutions for their long-term recovery. From combating invasive lionfish to supporting scientifically based research and decision making, this bill is a win for Florida’s corals and the economy that depends on them.
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Karl Crook, president &CEO,
Crook and Crook, Miami