Felicia Coleman has been director of FSU's Coastal and Marine Laboratory since January of this year.
In an area still recovering for Hurricane Dennis, Coleman said nearby residents need to pay special attention to the marine environment, especially issues pertaining to water quality and erosion.
"It is important to try and maintain the wetlands areas and even restore wetlands that have been damaged by the hurricane to insure some sort of buffer between the coastal area and the force and winds of hurricane," said Coleman.
Coleman and a team of researchers are preparing to showcase their research in an upcoming open house.
Chris Sedlacek is studying algae, considered the grass of the ocean, which takes sun and transforms it into an energy source for various organisms.
"This lab actually facilitates a lot of research that allows us to understand the processes that go into the costal and oceanic areas," said Sedlacek.
Steve Wilson, who's been with the center 30-plus years, says residents need to know the effect development has on the coastal environment.
"In some respects it can be a bad idea, but if it is done properly and done the right way it can be a good idea," said Wilson.
This weekend, researchers will be on hand giving lab tours, boat trips and discussing different aspects of marine life. The open house is this Saturday beginning at 10 a.m.