Florida’s Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 11, 2015
COSEE Florida Participates in National Invasive Species Awareness Week with Vero Beach Science Café
Vero Beach, FL – Florida’s hospitable climate brings millions of people to the state each year, but it is also welcoming to invasive plants and animals that compete with native species, threaten fragile ecosystems, and cost hundreds of millions of dollars to manage. As a part of National Invasive Species Awareness Week, COSEE Florida is sponsoring a free Science Café in downtown Vero Beach on Tuesday, February 24th at 6:30pm at Osceola Bistro to share information about invasive species in the Indian River Lagoon and Florida’s coastal ecosystems - all while enjoying some delicious food and drinks!
A science café is a casual event in a fun atmosphere that features audience-driven conversation with scientists and other experts. The February science café will focus on the science of invasive species and give participants a chance to engage with local researchers. Speakers include scientists studying marine invaders, as well as those involved in invasive species management:
· Dominique Lazarre, of University of Miami, studies how lionfish larvae are transported around the Caribbean and investigates the potential impact of lionfish on the spiny lobster fishery in the Florida Keys.
· Holly Sweat, of Florida Institute of Technology, focuses on invasive species that are transported via boat hull fouling, such as mussels, barnacles, and tunicates.
· Emily Dark, researcher and conservation biologist, will speak about the work being done to manage the lionfish invasion.
Non-native animals and plants can harm humans and the environment and impact our nation's economy, costing the U.S. billions of dollars each year. “Invasive species present serious economic and environmental challenges, but awareness is an important step to manage these issues”, said Jasmine Wanek, COSEE Florida Program Assistant. Each speaker will briefly present on their topic, followed by the floor being opened for audience-driven discussion.
Light appetizers will be provided during this free event in the garden patio dining area at Osceola Bistro in downtown Vero Beach. Osceola Bistro, located at 2045 13th Avenue in Vero Beach takes pride in supporting the local economy and promoting sustainable sourcing through the serving of fresh, local food. Join COSEE Florida for conversation, appetizers, and drinks - then stay for dinner! To assist with the planning of this event, please RSVP to Jasmine Wanek at 772-465-3271 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Invasive Species Awareness Week is organized to bring attention to the impacts, prevention, and management of invasive species - and all those who are working toward healthy, biodiverse ecosystems. In addition to a week full of events in Washington, DC, activities promoting awareness of invasive species are taking place around the country. For more information, visit www.nisaw.org.
About COSEE Florida
COSEE Florida's mission is to spark and nurture collaborations among scientists and educators to promote ocean discovery and literacy, and to enhance the public's understanding, appreciation, and stewardship of the ocean. Visit us online at http://www.coseeflorida.org.
COSEE Florida, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Marine Station, Indian River State College, Ocean Research & Conservation Association, and Florida Institute of Technology, is funded through a National Science Foundation Grant through the Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE) Program.
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