October 10, 2018

RENEE DUNCAN/Contributed
Oceanside mangroves show damage from Hurricane Irma, a year after the storm. State experts will speak on status of the Florida Keys marine environment after Irma, including a segment on mangroves, during an Oct. 16 report in a Marathon meeting.

RENEE DUNCAN/Contributed Oceanside mangroves show damage from Hurricane Irma, a year after the storm. State experts will speak on status of the Florida Keys marine environment after Irma, including a segment on mangroves, during an Oct. 16 report in a Marathon meeting.

MARATHON — Three experts will outline effects of Hurricane Irma, a year later, to advisers of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary in an Oct. 16 meeting.

The open session of the Sanctuary Advisory Council, held at the Hyatt Place Faro Blanco Resort in Marathon, also includes updates on the stony coral disease affecting the Keys reef, and status of the sanctuary’s pending management plan.

Expected to last an hour, the status report on hurricane damage to the Keys natural resources and ongoing recovery tentatively is scheduled soon after the meeting convenes at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Kara Radabaugh of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute will report on extent of damage to Keys mangroves, a critical environment that provides shoreline protection and serves as a nursery for reef and game fish.

John Hunt, program administrator for the FWRI’s Marathon office, covers the state of oceanic hardbottom, while Jim Fourqurean of Florida International University reviews impacts to water quality and seagrass.

In a later report, FWC biologist Kate Hubbard speaks on the harmful algal blooms along mainland shores and potential “implications for the Florida Keys.”

An afternoon working session limited to the volunteer sanctuary council advisers is slated to discuss “constituent outreach plans.”