Earlier today U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-20) and Vice President Al Gore spoke at the grand opening of Nova Southeastern University's (NSU) $50 million Coral Reef Research Center.
Rep. Wasserman Schultz helped NSU secure a $15 million federal grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to create a world-class research facility dedicated to the study and support of coral reefs. The grant was one of 12 awarded by the Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as a result of a nationwide competition. NSU was one of only two institutions to receive the largest amount awarded at $15 million.
"Coral reef ecosystems are biologically, environmentally and economically valuable," said Rep. Wasserman Schultz. "Florida is home to a significant percentage of the nation's reef ecosystems which contribute over $6 billion annually to South Florida's economy and result in more than 71,000 jobs in the hospitality industry and research sectors.
"Thanks to the Recovery Act, South Florida is now home to the largest and only state-of-the-art research facility in the country that is solely dedicated to coral reef ecosystems research. This new center will have a lasting impact on South Florida's economy, drawing researchers from around the world. It's created 22 new academic jobs and 300 construction jobs, and will employ 50 graduate students as well as preserve 22 existing academic jobs, all focusing on research that is important not only here in Florida, but throughout the world."
For more information and photos of the center, please go to http://www.nova.edu/ocean/excellence/index.html