Become a Member

The Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA) is an entirely grant and donor funded 501(c)(3) organization of Northwest Florida State College. Monetary donations to CBA are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Click here to donate today.

2016-2017 Stewardship Report.

The Northwest Florida State College Foundation is the fiduciary agent of CBA. NWF State College is permitted only one 501(c)(3) organization under Florida’s Direct Support Organization Statute (FS 1004.70); therefore, donations to CBA flow through NWF State College Foundation.

Monitoring



The Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA) of Northwest Florida State College works with the University of Florida’s Florida LAKEWATCH program to conduct monthly water quality monitoring of more than 130 stations in throughout the watershed, including Choctawhatchee Bay, Choctawhatchee River, and Walton County’s coastal dune lakes. This collaboration allows us to establish baseline water quality data for our local water resources, which can then be used to help identify areas of poor water conditions, determine the causes of water degradation, and identify solutions to improve water quality throughout the basin. CBA’s data are uploaded to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Watershed Information Network and the University of Florida’s Florida Water Resource Monitoring Catalog, both of which are available to the public. The data that CBA collects is public knowledge and the data is available upon request. Currently, CBA is working on creating an interactive map that will display data trends within the watershed. The data collected is used by local municipalities as well as state and federal agencies to manage and regulate our waters.

Our water quality monitoring program is conducted by a large group of dedicated citizen scientist volunteers. In the field, a surface- and bottom-level reading of the following parameters are recorded at each station: temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, salinity, specific conductivity, oxygen saturation, and water clarity. In addition, two water samples are collected which are analyzed by the Florida LAKEWATCH program for nutrient concentration (total nitrogen and total phosphorus), algae content (chlorophyll). Water transparency and water depth is analyzed using a secchi disk.

The Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance training goal is to maintain qualified citizen monitors over the 130+ sampling sites located within the Choctawhatchee Bay, Choctawhatchee River, all the coastal dune lakes in Walton County, and even in the Gulf of Mexico, just offshore in Okaloosa and Walton County. Click here to view a map of CBA’s current sampling stations. CBA staff conducts multiple new water quality monitoring volunteer trainings each year, maintaining over 30 water quality citizen scientists.  If you are interested in participating in this program, please email Brandy, our Monitoring Coordinator, your contact information (foleyb@nwfsc.edu).



Choctawhatchee Bay has two main types of seagrass. Shoal Grass, or Halodule wrightii, is the most commonly found species in the bay and thrives in areas with higher salinity levels. The species sports long narrow strands and can form carpet-like beds. Widgeon grass, or Ruppia maritima, is often said not to be a “true” seagrass because it tolerates both freshwater and marine water. It has thin leaves that grow from branched stems, and can have small buds or blooms.

In 2009, CBA began a seagrass monitoring program designed to cost-effectively determine the abundance and distribution of seagrasses in Choctawhatchee Bay. That year, CBA staff and interns sampled over 100 sites within the Bay. Because the newly-formed monitoring program was designed to be linked to photo interpretation of Landsat 5 TM satellite imagery, each sampling site needed to be 30 meters by 30 meters square, the resolution of the Landsat photos. At each square, CBA samplers recorded map coordinates for the site, along with the estimated percent coverage of sea grass, water depth and clarity, and sediment type.

CBA then collaborated with University of Florida graduate student Jenney Lazzarino, who used Landsat 5 TM Imagery and the information collected by CBA to generate a seagrass map for Choctawhatchee Bay. Mrs. Lazzarino created an algorithm that interpreted, or “read,” color and reflective signatures in the Landsat satellite imagery of Choctawhatchee Bay to pinpoint seagrass presence in the bay.  Using the reference points collected during CBA’s seagrass sampling, Mrs. Lazzarino was able to ground-truth her photo interpretation methods and determine that the earliest version of the model predicted the presence of sea grass with a 70% accuracy. In subsequent years, CBA’s sampling confirmed that model’s accuracy had improved to close to 90%. This combination of modeling and sampling has proven a cost-efficient way to routinely sample seagrass abundance and distribution in Choctawhatchee Bay.



As part of our living shorelines initiative, CBA has constructed several shoreline oyster reefs in Choctawhatchee Bay. For a closer look at these projects, check out our Choctawhatchee Bay Living Shorelines Map.

After project completion, CBA staff monitored constructed oyster reefs to determine:

  • Presence, size and density of oysters;
  • The amount and type of flora and fauna found on the reef;
  • The amount of of sediment accumulation near the reef.

Compiled over time, this information enables us to say whether the reef is successfully:

  • Recruiting new oysters;
  • Being utilized as habitat for other marine organisms;
  • Arresting or reversing shoreline erosion.


Ongoing and innovative research within these unique ecosystems is an integral component of CBA’s work. Each study supports the others, together seeking to provide a comprehensive understanding of the functioning and importance of the local coastal dune lakes. All research endeavors are undertaken jointly with the Mattie Kelly Environmental Institute.

In addition to water chemistry, sediment fluctuations, and plant communities, CBA has been sampling for fish diversity in the coastal dune lakes. As of yet, fish identification data is very limited on the lakes and could provide valuable supporting information for further conservation. In addition, Alexis Janosik, Assistant Professor of Biology at the University of West Florida, has been collecting water samples since late 2016 to analyze for fish environmental DNA in the coastal dune lakes.

For a list of research projects, click here.



Click here for datasheets, maps, instructions, and more.


 

Education

education, nature, choctawhatchee basin alliance


CBA’s Grasses in Classes is a hands-on, environmental education program that gives students a direct role in the restoration of Choctawhatchee Bay. In partnership with AmeriCorps and with partial funding from the USFWS Coastal Program, Boeing Corporation, and National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, CBA provides teachers in Okaloosa and Walton Counties the equipment and materials required to grow shoreline grasses at their school.

Grasses in Classes students tend salt marsh nurseries throughout the school year, and receive monthly education on local estuarine topics that meet Florida’s state science standards from CBA and CBA partners (e.g. AmeriCorps members). Periodically, the schoolchildren split the grasses to increase the nursery stock. At the end of the school year, Grasses in Classes culminates with students planting their shoreline grasses at one of our salt marsh restoration sites along Choctawhatchee Bay as part of our living shoreline initiative. The program instills a love of local habitat, restores shoreline, and inspires the next generation of watershed stewards.

For more on the history of the Grasses in Classes program, click here.



The Dunes in Schools program educates middle school students about the rare dune lake and barrier island ecosystems which exist in their local environment. Students begin the school year with an exploratory field trip to the beach where they collect data and restore the coastal habitat through planting sea oats. The remainder of the year, the students participate in monthly lessons.

The goal of the curriculum is to build students’ knowledge about dynamic coastal systems and how their sea oats will benefit this unique habitat. The lesson includes teachers and CBA staff co-instructing the students within the classroom. Additionally, the lessons are correlated to the State of Florida’s Science middle school standards. To ensure concepts are supported throughout the implementation of the program, teacher trainings are offered. During the trainings, teachers become comfortable with the Dunes in School’s online classroom, along with the concepts and material covered throughout the modules. Dunes in Schools engages students with a hands-on science program that encourages each of them to become personally vested in their local environment by gaining an understanding and awareness of coastal systems.



“From Shelves to Shores” is a hands-on science program offered at community libraries. The program runs for six weeks in June and July and is free and open to the public. Activities include growing shoreline grasses, an interactive touch tank, and more. Our final activity will be an exciting trip to Choctawhatchee bay. Stay tuned for our summer dates and locations.



To engage area youth in oyster restoration, CBA will offer a hands-on, place-based aquaculture program known as Spat On! to area high school students. The initiative will provide students with several hands-on activities and lessons that foster their understanding of oyster ecology and the estuarine habitat.

Spat On! will contain field experiences and in-class assignments. To introduce the students to oyster restoration, students help construct an oyster reef by bagging recycled oyster shell and placing the material. They will monitor growing oysters using various aquaculture techniques, including GoPro Cameras and iPad minis, to analyze spat attachment and water regulation. Towards the end of the year, students will move their matured oysters from the cultivation areas to a reef during a Move Your Mollusk event.  Finally, during classroom activities, participants will use the cameras and tablets to analyze water quality data recorded by Choctawhatchee Oyster Gardening volunteers, interpret oyster monitoring data collected by CBA, and create the educational signage that will be placed at the two oyster reef sites.



Local citizen scientists and volunteers join our program and raise their own oyster gardens for restoration. With weekly maintenance amounting to only one hour per week, it’s easy to add oyster gardening to weekend morning routines. If you do not have your own dock, no need to worry. We also need Oyster Allies to help our monitoring team with data collection and garden maintenance for dock owners that may not have the ability to maintain their gardens as often as needed.

Our goal is to promote environmental awareness and facilitate hands-on learning for both our students and volunteers by restoring one acre of oyster habitat in Choctawhatchee Bay. Community stewards, students, and CBA will construct two new oyster reefs, eventually colonizing them with community-grown oysters.


Restoration


A living shoreline is a shoreline management option that uses living plants, recycled oyster shells, fossilized oyster shell, sand fill, or a combination of natural structures with riprap or offshore breakwaters to protect property from erosion. Living shorelines present an ecological and economic alternative that is viable for low-erosional settings in Choctawhatchee Bay.

In Choctawhatchee Bay, many property owners use hardened structures such as sea walls, riprap, groins and bulkheads (as opposed to Living Shorelines) to stabilize and protect waterfront property from erosion caused by wind and wave action. While these “hard” solutions may prevent some localized shoreline erosion, they often act to increase erosion by reflecting wave energy and altering natural sediment movement. Vertical shoreline structures eliminate the varying water depths, wave attenuation and diverse habitat types associated with natural, gradually sloping beaches, seagrass meadows and salt marshes. Loss of nursery, feeding and refuge habitats leads to loss of vital estuarine species.

CBA’s living shoreline initiative is mainly comprised of two components: oyster shell breakwaters (artificial reefs) and native shoreline grass plantings. Combined, the reefs and shoreline grasses help to reduce shoreline erosion, act as habitat for marine-life, filter stormwater run-off, and improve water clarity and water quality in Choctawhatchee Bay. CBA uses recycled oyster shell to construct artificial reefs that act as a breakwater for impeding erosion.

The oyster reefs not only benefit the stability of the shoreline they are protecting, but they also serve as habitat for intertidal marine life. Many creatures from Choctawhatchee Bay call our reefs their home, including live oysters! Oyster larvae float along in the current and attach themselves to like-surfaces, slowly populating the artificial reef. Oysters are filter-feeders: one adult oyster is capable of filtering 50 gallons of water in one single day. As hundreds of oysters grow on the reef, they improve the water clarity and water quality, benefitting the entire Bay. To stabilize the shoreline, CBA plants smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora). Native shoreline grass such as smooth cordgrass acts as a filter for stormwater run-off, in addition to providing habitat for marine-life and birds.

CBA’s hands-on environmental education program, Grasses In Classes, allows elementary-age youth to fulfill the role of repopulating native shoreline grass by growing, acclimating, monitoring, and planting the smooth cordgrass. In combination with the recycled oyster shell reefs, the native cordgrass restores the degraded shoreline and completes CBA’s living shoreline initiative.



Stormwater is simply water that accumulates on land as a result of storms, and can include runoff from urban areas such as roads and roofs. Historically, stormwater has been diverted away from urban areas and road ways as fast as possible – usually into the nearest waterbody. Our local Choctawhatchee Bay and its bayous receive significant amounts of stormwater from the uplands adjacent to them.

Under the Federal Clean Water Act, local municipalities must obtain a permit to discharge stormwater into local waterbodies. CBA has partnered with local municipalities to help achieve maximum compliance with their National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Program. The partnership is the initial step in uniting local governmental entities to protect the ecological integrity of the Choctawhatchee Watershed.

The NPDES Program is a mandate from the Environmental Protection Agency that requires municipalities to submit a permit to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) that outlines an initial five (5) year strategy on improving water quality through six (6) guidelines:

  • Public Education/Outreach
  • Public Participation/Involvement
  • Illicit Discharge Detection/Elimination
  • Construction Site Runoff Control
  • Post-Construction Runoff Control
  • Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping

Currently, CBA works with the City of Destin and Walton County. The products of these partnerships include brochure and newsletter outreach, Sediment and Erosion Control Inspector Training, Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Training, rain barrel and rain garden workshops, stormwater education for schoolchildren, and stormwater remediation construction projects.

We have the unique ability to unify the community’s resources in helping our partners achieve maximum compliance with their NPDES permits. These partnerships are a major step to enhancing the overall water quality within the Choctawhatchee Watershed. Through these partnerships, CBA hopes to fulfill all aspects of its mission: to protect and preserve the watershed but also to sustain and provide optimum utilization of the Choctawhatchee Basin Watershed.

For more information about NPDES go to the following link:  http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/



In November 2010, CBA and our Americorps Green Team launched the new O.Y.S.T.E.R. Shell Recycling Program. The ultimate goal of the O.Y.S.T.E.R. Shell recycling program is to collect the oyster shells that would otherwise end up in a landfill, and reuse them to construct oyster reef habitat. Oyster populations have declined in many places worldwide, and Choctawhatchee Bay is no exception. By building reefs, we are providing a hard structure for oyster spat to settle and thrive as well as habitat for a variety of other important species. Since an adult oyster can filter as much as two and a half gallons of water per hour, it is very important that their populations flourish. Additionally, oyster reefs provide a barrier against waves and boat wake, helping reduce shoreline erosion.

Restaurants who participate in the O.Y.S.T.E.R. Shell Recycling Program are given bright blue, 30 gallon recycling bins, which are kept outside the restaurants, as well as smaller buckets, which are kept inside near the shucking station. Whenever oysters are shucked, the top shells are placed in one of our smaller buckets and then transferred to the outside containers when full. We are not asking restaurants to save the oyster shells that end up on the plates of guests, although we have hopes of making this convenient enough so that we can collect those shells in the future. CBA picks up the blue bins at each restaurant 2-3 times per week, depending on the restaurants’ needs, and replaces each used bin with a clean one.

Once the shell is picked up, it is placed in an outdoor drying area and left for several weeks. Eventually, sun, rain, and time work to clean the shell and destroy any harmful microorganisms, and the shell is then ready to use for restoration. CBA staff and volunteers will shovel the clean shell into mesh bags. The shell bags, which weigh 20-30 pounds each, will be used as building blocks to construct a new oyster reef.

Since the start of the O.Y.S.T.E.R. Shell Recycling Program, we have grown to include 10 restaurants, with several more planning to come on board as soon as the busy tourist season starts.

Current participating restaurants are:

The Back Porch

Bayou Bill’s Crab House

Buster’s Bar & Grill

Captain Dave’s on the Gulf

The Crab Trap (Destin)

O’Quigley’s

Kenny D’s Beach Bar & Grill

Shrimp Basket (Destin)

The Surf Hut (Destin)

Whole Foods Market (Destin)

Shunk Gulley

Half Shell (Destin)

AJ’s in Grayton Beach

If your restaurant or one you know of is interested in participating, please let us know. Educational materials about the program are available in all participating restaurants. So go out and support these restaurants, buy some oysters and thank them for their participation. It is because of their efforts that we will have a supplemental supply of oyster shells to continue to build oyster reefs and further enhance the health of the Choctawhatchee Basin Watershed.



Launched on Earth Day, April 22, 2014, CBA’s Monofilament Recycling Program began as a class project for the Destin Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2013-2014 Destin FORWARD class. Each year, the Destin FORWARD group is tasked to come up with a positive impact on the Destin community. Understanding the economic ties Destin has to its waterways as a vacation/fishing destination, the 2013-2014 group knew establishing a Monofilament Recycling Program would benefit the health and sustainability of local waterways.

Often, derelict fishing line finds its way into the marine environment, where it poses a threat to both humans and wildlife. Hundreds of fish, birds and land animals are entangled in monofilament each year. Wildlife monofilament entanglement results in drowning, starvation, loss of flipper, tail or wings and even death.Comprised of non-degradable plastic, monofilament takes over 600 years to break down!

CBA’s Monofilament Recycling Program bins are located at various points along the Destin Harborat Bluewater Bay Marina Complex in Niceville, FL, and at Nick’s Seafood Restaurant in Freeport, FL.


 


A living shoreline is a shoreline management option that uses living plants, recycled oyster shells, fossilized oyster shell, sand fill, or a combination of natural structures with riprap or offshore breakwaters to protect property from erosion. Living shorelines present an ecological and economic alternative that is viable for low-erosional settings in Choctawhatchee Bay.

In Choctawhatchee Bay, many property owners use hardened structures such as sea walls, riprap, groins and bulkheads (as opposed to Living Shorelines) to stabilize and protect waterfront property from erosion caused by wind and wave action. While these “hard” solutions may prevent some localized shoreline erosion, they often act to increase erosion by reflecting wave energy and altering natural sediment movement. Vertical shoreline structures eliminate the varying water depths, wave attenuation and diverse habitat types associated with natural, gradually sloping beaches, seagrass meadows and salt marshes. Loss of nursery, feeding and refuge habitats leads to loss of vital estuarine species.

CBA’s living shoreline initiative is mainly comprised of two components: oyster shell breakwaters (artificial reefs) and native shoreline grass plantings. Combined, the reefs and shoreline grasses help to reduce shoreline erosion, act as habitat for marine-life, filter stormwater run-off, and improve water clarity and water quality in Choctawhatchee Bay. CBA uses recycled oyster shell to construct artificial reefs that act as a breakwater for impeding erosion.

The oyster reefs not only benefit the stability of the shoreline they are protecting, but they also serve as habitat for intertidal marine life. Many creatures from Choctawhatchee Bay call our reefs their home, including live oysters! Oyster larvae float along in the current and attach themselves to like-surfaces, slowly populating the artificial reef. Oysters are filter-feeders: one adult oyster is capable of filtering 50 gallons of water in one single day. As hundreds of oysters grow on the reef, they improve the water clarity and water quality, benefitting the entire Bay. To stabilize the shoreline, CBA plants smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora). Native shoreline grass such as smooth cordgrass acts as a filter for stormwater run-off, in addition to providing habitat for marine-life and birds.

CBA’s hands-on environmental education program, Grasses In Classes, allows elementary-age youth to fulfill the role of repopulating native shoreline grass by growing, acclimating, monitoring, and planting the smooth cordgrass. In combination with the recycled oyster shell reefs, the native cordgrass restores the degraded shoreline and completes CBA’s living shoreline initiative.


Stormwater is simply water that accumulates on land as a result of storms, and can include runoff from urban areas such as roads and roofs. Historically, stormwater has been diverted away from urban areas and road ways as fast as possible – usually into the nearest waterbody. Our local Choctawhatchee Bay and its bayous receive significant amounts of stormwater from the uplands adjacent to them.

Under the Federal Clean Water Act, local municipalities must obtain a permit to discharge stormwater into local waterbodies. CBA has partnered with local municipalities to help achieve maximum compliance with their National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Program. The partnership is the initial step in uniting local governmental entities to protect the ecological integrity of the Choctawhatchee Watershed.

The NPDES Program is a mandate from the Environmental Protection Agency that requires municipalities to submit a permit to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) that outlines an initial five (5) year strategy on improving water quality through six (6) guidelines:

  • Public Education/Outreach
  • Public Participation/Involvement
  • Illicit Discharge Detection/Elimination
  • Construction Site Runoff Control
  • Post-Construction Runoff Control
  • Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping

Currently, CBA works with the City of Destin and Walton County. The products of these partnerships include brochure and newsletter outreach, Sediment and Erosion Control Inspector Training, Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Training, rain barrel and rain garden workshops, stormwater education for schoolchildren, and stormwater remediation construction projects.

We have the unique ability to unify the community’s resources in helping our partners achieve maximum compliance with their NPDES permits. These partnerships are a major step to enhancing the overall water quality within the Choctawhatchee Watershed. Through these partnerships, CBA hopes to fulfill all aspects of its mission: to protect and preserve the watershed but also to sustain and provide optimum utilization of the Choctawhatchee Basin Watershed.

For more information about NPDES go to the following link:  http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/


Using grant funding, CBA removes invasive species from sensitive shoreline areas along the Choctawhatchee Bay and coastal dune lakes. Once removal is complete, staff and volunteers plant native vegetation species to increase the health and resiliency of the waterfront habitat. MORE?


The Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA) of Northwest Florida State College works with the University of Florida’s Florida LAKEWATCH program to conduct monthly water quality monitoring of more than 130 stations in throughout the watershed, including Choctawhatchee Bay, Choctawhatchee River, and Walton County’s coastal dune lakes. This collaboration allows us to establish baseline water quality data for our local water resources, which can then be used to help identify areas of poor water conditions, determine the causes of water degradation, and identify solutions to improve water quality throughout the basin. CBA’s data are uploaded to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Watershed Information Network and the University of Florida’s Florida Water Resource Monitoring Catalog, both of which are available to the public. The data that CBA collects is public knowledge and the data is available upon request. Currently, CBA is working on creating an interactive map that will display data trends within the watershed. The data collected is used by local municipalities as well as state and federal agencies to manage and regulate our waters.

Our water quality monitoring program is conducted by a large group of dedicated citizen scientist volunteers. In the field, a surface- and bottom-level reading of the following parameters are recorded at each station: temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, salinity, specific conductivity, oxygen saturation, and water clarity. In addition, two water samples are collected which are analyzed by the Florida LAKEWATCH program for nutrient concentration (total nitrogen and total phosphorus), algae content (chlorophyll). Water transparency and water depth is analyzed using a secchi disk.

The Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance training goal is to maintain qualified citizen monitors over the 130+ sampling sites located within the Choctawhatchee Bay, Choctawhatchee River, all the coastal dune lakes in Walton County, and even in the Gulf of Mexico, just offshore in Okaloosa and Walton County. Click here to view a map of CBA’s current sampling stations. CBA staff conducts multiple new water quality monitoring volunteer trainings each year, maintaining over 30 water quality citizen scientists.  If you are interested in participating in this program, please email Brandy, our Monitoring Coordinator, your contact information (foleyb@nwfsc.edu).



Choctawhatchee Bay has two main types of seagrass. Shoal Grass, or Halodule wrightii, is the most commonly found species in the bay and thrives in areas with higher salinity levels. The species sports long narrow strands and can form carpet-like beds. Widgeon grass, or Ruppia maritima, is often said not to be a “true” seagrass because it tolerates both freshwater and marine water. It has thin leaves that grow from branched stems, and can have small buds or blooms.

In 2009, CBA began a seagrass monitoring program designed to cost-effectively determine the abundance and distribution of seagrasses in Choctawhatchee Bay. That year, CBA staff and interns sampled over 100 sites within the Bay. Because the newly-formed monitoring program was designed to be linked to photo interpretation of Landsat 5 TM satellite imagery, each sampling site needed to be 30 meters by 30 meters square, the resolution of the Landsat photos. At each square, CBA samplers recorded map coordinates for the site, along with the estimated percent coverage of sea grass, water depth and clarity, and sediment type.

CBA then collaborated with University of Florida graduate student Jenney Lazzarino, who used Landsat 5 TM Imagery and the information collected by CBA to generate a seagrass map for Choctawhatchee Bay. Mrs. Lazzarino created an algorithm that interpreted, or “read,” color and reflective signatures in the Landsat satellite imagery of Choctawhatchee Bay to pinpoint seagrass presence in the bay.  Using the reference points collected during CBA’s seagrass sampling, Mrs. Lazzarino was able to ground-truth her photo interpretation methods and determine that the earliest version of the model predicted the presence of sea grass with a 70% accuracy. In subsequent years, CBA’s sampling confirmed that model’s accuracy had improved to close to 90%. This combination of modeling and sampling has proven a cost-efficient way to routinely sample seagrass abundance and distribution in Choctawhatchee Bay.



Ongoing and innovative research within these unique ecosystems is an integral component of CBA’s work. Each study supports the others, together seeking to provide a comprehensive understanding of the functioning and importance of the local coastal dune lakes. All research endeavors are undertaken jointly with the Mattie Kelly Environmental Institute.

In addition to water chemistry, sediment fluctuations, and plant communities, CBA has been sampling for fish diversity in the coastal dune lakes. As of yet, fish identification data is very limited on the lakes and could provide valuable supporting information for further conservation. In addition, Alexis Janosik, Assistant Professor of Biology at the University of West Florida, has been collecting water samples since late 2016 to analyze for fish environmental DNA in the coastal dune lakes.

For a list of research projects, click here.