Jonathan Simmons / Palm Coast Observer

FL - Sea Grant Extension Agent to Develop Coastal Education and Resiliency Programs for Flagler and Volusia

A UF Sea Grant extension agent position will be divided between the two counties, focusing on nature-based recreation and economic development.

There are plenty of perks to being by the ocean — the fishing, the surfing, the view — and Flagler County is embarking on a partnership designed to make the most of them.

The county is partnering with the University of Florida and the Volusia County government to support a local Sea Grant agent through the university's Extension Services.

UF will pay 60% of the costs associated with the position, while the two counties will both pay 20% each — which comes out to $17,031 per county for 2022.

The agent, who will divide his or her time between the two counties, will develop local marine and coastal resource education programs for the public and support environmental sustainability.

The focus will be on nature-based recreation, economic development and tourism, including coastal resiliency, water quality, invasive coastal and marine species, fisheries and fishing and protected marine species, according to a Flagler County staff document.

The position isn't new, exactly: There's been an extension agent before, but the position was paid fully by UF, and the agent was initially spread across Flagler, St. Johns, Duval and Nassau counties, then divided between Flagler and St. Johns. When it came time to renew the position, St. Johns no longer wanted to participate, a Flagler County staff member said during a Feb. 15 Flagler County Commission meeting.

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