Making a Difference as Floridians for Our Reefs

Posted on Aug 8th 2018 by Marilu Cristina Flores

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As Floridians, we are fortunate to enjoy a state surrounded by year round natural beauty and a tropical climate that allows us to enjoy the outdoors no matter the season. Florida is home to some of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in our entire United States, and is home to the Florida Coral Reef tract — the third largest coral barrier reef in the World.

In fact, almost every county in our state features a state or national park, including underwater parks and beach parks. So with all of this natural beauty and abundance in Florida, I believe we owe it to our environment to protect and ensure our special places are cared for. Earlier this year, our Florida House of Representatives passed a bill establishing the Florida Coral Reef Ecosystem Conservation Area, which will protect our reefs offshore of Broward, Martin, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach Counties from the St. Lucie Inlet to the northern boundary of the Biscayne National Park.

Why is this important and what does this have to do with health care? Over the past decade, coral reefs have been studied for their potential for medical resources and while scientists continue to research the medicinal possibilities of these living ecosystems, coral reefs remain an important source to study. The Florida Coral Reef tract is the only living coral barrier reef in the continental United States, and we are so very fortunate to share our home in Florida with this priceless natural resource! Our reefs matter and our choices as Floridians matter, so if you’re out enjoying the sunshine please make sure to use “reef safe sunscreen” and be cautious when swimming near reefs to not damage, touch or take anything from our protected reefs. 

Filed under: Education  

Marilu Cristina Flores

Marilu is a veteran of the entertainment industry, her career in entertainment spans over thirteen years having worked with some of the most prominent creative media houses known, including, Warner Brothers, MTV and Universal Pictures. In 2014, she shifted gears to begin working as a digital marketing professional. Prior to her work at Florida Blue, she worked for Keurig in Waterbury, Vermont. Marilu is incredibly passionate about our oceans, wildlife, and conservation, and has been featured as a guest speaker at conferences nationwide for her knowledge and expertise on Marine environments and the issues affecting our oceans. A Miami native, she holds a degree in Tropical Coastal Ecosystem Resource Management from the University of Queensland and currently acts as the Surfrider Foundation's Regional Coordinator in Florida.

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