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 â€œGreening the Dive Industry: Exploring Options That Promote Best Practices for Sustainable Marine Tourism in National Marine Sanctuariesâ€ was held in June at the agencyâ€™s headquarters near Washington, DC.
Dr. Brylskeâ€™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 Americaâ€™s National Marine Sanctuaries that contain coral reefs, such as the Florida Keys.
â€œDiving and snorkeling are primary recreational activities anywhere coral reefs exist,â€ says Brylske. â€œAnd 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.â€
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 Governorâ€™s Ocean Committee, where he helped make recommendations to the Governorâ€™s Cabinet on Floridaâ€™s ocean resource management.
In addition to his duties teaching at Edison College, he serves on the Working Group on Recreational Overuse for NOAAâ€™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 firstname.lastname@example.org.