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 impacts and supporting more than 123,000 jobs. While our fisheries are in excellent shape due to the skillful management of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, our corals continue to suffer and decline due to poor water quality, warming seas, ocean acidification, coral disease and invasive species.
Thankfully, U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Miami) and Carlos Curbelo (R-Miami and the Keys) are leading the fight in Congress to restore our treasured coral reefs. I recently joined more than 70 other Florida sportfishing business owners in a letter thanking Ros-Lehtinen and Curbelo for introducing the Conserving Our Reefs And Livelihoods Act. This bill addresses the real problems affecting our corals 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. Thank you to Reps. Ros-Lehtinen and Curbelo for working to preserve our environmental treasure and our economic future.
Karl Crook, Miami