Active involvement of the Community Advisory Board in a meaningful consensus-building process is key to the development and implementation of the management and restoration plan. The rigorous selection process for members (involving interviews conducted by the FCRC Consensus Center team) resulted in a dedicated group of people who commit their time and expertise to help develop the recovery plan for the Bay. The members include commercial and recreational seafood harvesters, seafood dealers, and aquaculture experts, as well as representatives from natural resource agencies, local businesses, local government, and conservation organizations.
The Community Advisory Board has met eight times -- four times at the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve (October 2019 to March 2020) and since then virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for social distancing. Meetings will continue to be virtual until the pandemic is contained.
These meetings so far have focused on developing goals, objectives, and strategies for developing the management and restoration plan and expanding community engagement. They also include updates on ABSI science objectives and Board-requested presentations on a range of topics. The meetings, facilitated by FCRC, are open to the public.