Edison Professor Assists NOAA

Sep 10, 2007

Edison College Charlotte Campus oceanography professor, Dr. Alex Brylske, was recently invited to give a keynote address at a conference sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOAA . The program entitled “Greening the Dive Industry: Exploring Options That Promote Best Practices for Sustainable Marine Tourism in National Marine Sanctuaries” was held in June at the agency’s headquarters near Washington, DC.

Dr. Brylske’s presentation provided an overview and context for more than two dozen representatives of federal agencies, non-governmental organizations and the private sector. The purpose of the gathering was to explore needs and opportunities for public/private partnerships that encourage and support better tourism practices. The gathering focused on America’s National Marine Sanctuaries that contain coral reefs, such as the Florida Keys.

“Diving and snorkeling are primary recreational activities anywhere coral reefs exist,” says Brylske. “And by concentrating on these activities, efforts can be leveraged to promote good practice in all marine tourism sectors. I am honored that NOAA felt that I could help play such a key role in their efforts to help protect critically endangered resources like coral reefs.”

Dr. Brylske is an internationally recognized expert on sustainable marine tourism, and winner of the Walter B. Jones Memorial Excellence Award for Coastal and Ocean Resource Management. The award is given by NOAA biannually for outstanding contributions to ocean conservation. Brylske is also a former member of the Florida Governor’s Ocean Committee, where he helped make recommendations to the Governor’s Cabinet on Florida’s ocean resource management.

In addition to his duties teaching at Edison College, he serves on the Working Group on Recreational Overuse for NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program. He also works closely with a joint State and Federal program called the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative. Those interested in learning more can contact Dr. Brylske directly at abrylske@edison.edu.