Nothing defines Florida more than its coast. With tourism, fishing and recreational sport bringing billions of dollars into the state each year, the coast is also Florida's economic engine. But now the state's unique beaches are being threatened by pollution, unsustainable development and overfishing that are leading to plummeting fish catches, outbreaks of harmful algae, dying marine life and beach closures. This issue paper, originally published in September 2006 and updated in April 2007, provides a blueprint for how local leaders and decision makers can -- and must -- take action to protect Florida's marine and coastal ecosystems. Since its original publication, 160 businesses and organizations have endorsed the Blueprint. The 2009 Florida Coastal and Ocean Policy Report Card provides a detailed analysis and evaluation of the legislative and government actions taken in Florida during 2007 and 2008 toward the goals outlined in this issue paper.
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