Your Donation Can Further the Goals of the
Florida Association of Benthologists

The purpose of this section of the FAB web page is to let you know about the history and current activities of the Florida Association of Benthologists and to offer you an opportunity to support an important effort. Benthology can be defined as the study of organisms and ecological interactions associated with the bottom (substrate-water interface) or other substrates, such as plants or fallen snags in any type of water body (rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, wetlands, estuaries, oceans). Besides seeking a basic knowledge of benthic habitats and the plants and animals that live there, benthologists have learned to apply their knowledge to detect numerous types of human-induced and natural disturbances to aquatic environments. Today many benthologists spend most of their energy identifying and characterizing environmental "hot spots" associated with surface waters, with the goal of identifying and remediating anthropogenically-caused disturbances. Benthology and the use of benthic invertebrates as environmental indicators have grown to be a very important part of the more general effort to conserve and protect our precious natural water resources.

In 1987 we recognized a need for organizing and sharing information related to benthology and founded the Florida Association of Benthologists. In spite of the state-defined appellation, the activities and influence of the organization have gone far beyond state boundaries. Active participants are located throughout the southeastern U.S., and to a lesser extent in the northeast. The information gained by our participants is applied on local, state, and regional levels.

Some of our specific objectives are:

A. To organize meetings which will provide a forum for the efficient exchange of information among the general public and both private and public organizations including state and federal agencies, students and faculty of various educational institutions, environmental groups, and other interested parties.

B. To gather and disseminate information useful to the general public, benthic ecologists, and other scientists.

C. To promote public awareness of benthology as it relates to the effort to conserve and protect water resources.

Since the Florida Association of Benthologists was founded in 1987 to develop and organize these efforts, much has been accomplished. Semiannual workshops focusing on hands-on training are held in various locations throughout Florida. We hold a more formal annual meeting to exchange scientific ideas and to provide general information related to water resource protection. Other activities include field trips, publications, and special water resource investigations. Our vision for the future includes providing training and technical support to voluntary community-based water quality monitoring programs.

Please consider supporting our activities by making a contribution by completing and submitting a contribution form. The FAB Endowment has been established to provide long term income to offset expenses related to workshop training, publications, water quality monitoring support, and other general activities of the organization.

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