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The Our Florida Reefs Community Working Group (CWG) met again in April for a 2 day meeting at Fern Forest Nature Center in Broward County. At this meeting, CWG members finished reviewing the thousands of comments received at the Winter 2016 Community Meetings as well as online and made edits to their draft Recommended Management Actions (RMAs) accordingly. Through small-group work and large-group discussion, the CWG members were able to come to consensus on some of those RMAs that had drawn the most public comment during January and February.
The final big task for the CWG members is to prioritize their list of 68 RMAs to meet the stated mission of Our Florida Reefs- to establish a better balance between the use and protection of our coastal and ocean resources. To start this difficult process, the CWG members reviewed the initial prioritization from the voting they did in November 2015. After a group discussion, it was clear that the primary focus of this prioritization should be on the relative benefit that the action would have on the coral reef ecosystem here in southeast Florida. With this in mind, CWG members will have the ability to review and revise the RMA prioritization list at what will likely be their final meeting in June of 2016.