The Department of
Environmental Protection Biology Section specializes in studies of the
nature and extent of man-made disturbances to the aquatic systems of
Florida. By providing a full range of environmental services, including
field sampling, a wide array of laboratory analyses, and the ability to
provide thorough technical review and interpretations of the data, it
helps the Department carry out its mission to protect, conserve, and
manage the air, water, and natural resources of the state. Information
generated by the Biology Section is particularly useful to those who
must make regulatory or ecosystem management decisions.
The biological laboratory
emphasizes determining the relative health of biological communities, both the
structural and functional attributes. This often is a more direct and sensitive
measure of an ecosystem's health than using traditional chemical methods alone.
The Biology Section is also
responsible for the management of the
Statewide Biological Database.
This database of species-level data was developed in the early 1990's in
response to the need for centralization of biological data collected over the
past 40 years by DEP and its predecessor agencies.