Ecosystem Assessment and Restoration
The Ecosystem Assessment and Restoration Section is responsible for monitoring and investigating harmful algal blooms such as Florida Red Tide; collecting and analyzing habitat and species data for terrestrial, freshwater, and marine habitats; and surveilling and responding to fish and wildlife disease outbreaks. The section monitors the condition of Florida’s seagrass, coastal wetlands, coral reefs, terrestrial habitats, and freshwater plants, as well as evaluates the effect of management action on these habitats. Research staff provide technical assistance related to harmful algal blooms, fish and wildlife health, and habitat condition to Agency partners, as well as the public; respond to fish and wildlife mortality events, including Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease; study the unknown neurological disorder impacting the endangered Florida panther; and protect local populations from encroaching wildlife diseases such as Chronic Wasting Disease in deer.
Caroline Gorga, Section Leader
FY 2022-2023 Budget: $19,189,626
In the News
Researchers monitor, investigate causes and assist in the management of fish and wildlife diseases and die-offs. Staff members also conduct wildlife veterinary research.
Mark W. Cunningham, DVM, Mark.Cunningham@MyFWC.com
Avian, Herpetological, and Aquatic Health Program
Rebecca Hardman, DVM, Rebecca.Hardman@MyFWC.com
Sport Fish Health Program
Theresa Cody, Theresa.Cody@MyFWC.com
Biologists collect and analyze terrestrial, freshwater, estuarine and marine habitat and species data to aid in effective conservation, management and restoration action.
Bradley Furman, Bradley.Furman@MyFWC.com
Coastal Wetlands Program
Kara Radabaugh, Kara.Radabaugh@MyFWC.com
Rob Ruzicka, Rob.Ruzicka@MyFWC.com
Freshwater Plants Program
Craig Mallison, Craig.Mallison@MyFWC.com
Terrestrial Habitat Program
Johanna Freeman, Johanna.Freeman@MyFWC.com
Staff monitor coastal waters for harmful algal blooms (HABs), working closely with other agencies to protect public health, release up-to-date status reports and generate short term forecasts of red tides. Researchers also study the Florida red tide organism and other HAB species to understand the environmental factors that influence blooms.
Katherine Hubbard, Katherine.Hubbard@MyFWC.com