Scientists in Florida have led the world in enhancing understanding of the function and management of mangroves, yet much of their research is overlooked, according to a certified professional wetland scientist based in Tampa.
Roy R. “Robin” Lewis III, who has consulted on wetland issues around the world, will present a public lecture on the subject at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21 at the Harvey Kapnick Education and Research Center at the Naples Botanical Garden, 4940 Bayshore Drive.
His presentation is part of the free “Moonlight on the Marsh” lecture series sponsored by FGCU’s Everglades Wetland Research Park in Naples. The series features distinguished scientists from around the world sharing their expertise on renewable energy, nature conservation and other environmental topics of interest to Southwest Floridians.
Because previous research largely has been ignored by state coastal managers, Lewis believes, most of Florida’s publicly owned mangroves currently are vulnerable to “heart attacks” from poorly managed ecohydrology resulting from land use changes and piecemeal restoration projects.
Education and research centered at the Everglades Wetland Research Park and based on restoration case studies within Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve could be used to model mangrove management around the world, he says.
Lewis is president of Lewis Environmental Services Inc. and Coastal Resources Group, a nonprofit education and research organization, both based in Tampa and Salt Springs. He has published more than 125 papers on mangrove forest and seagrass meadow ecology, management and restoration and designed and constructed more than 200 wetland restoration projects around the world.
For more information about the lecture series or the research park, go to www.fgcu.edu/swamp or contact Dr. William J. Mitsch at (614) 946-6715.