Seacamp 2017 Summer Camp – Big Pine Key

Each of our four Summer Camp sessions is jam packed with exciting adventures in the Florida Keys. Returning campers are recommended to participate in our 18-day sessions to gain the most from their continuing experience. 2017 Dates 18 Day Sessions (Ages 12-17, co-ed) Session 1: June 24th – July 11th Session 2: July 14th – July 31st 7 Day […]
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Texas A&M Helping Find ‘Key’ to Preserving Endangered Florida Key Deer

For the past several months, a Texas A&M University System institute has been actively involved in efforts to quash a screwworm outbreak in Florida that has jeopardized an already endangered species, said the director for the Institute of Renewable Natural Resources. “While there had been no screwworm outbreaks in the U.S. for the past 30 years, […]
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County and Key Deer Refuge Projects on Tap in Big Pine Key in 2017

Monroe County has a handful of projects on tap for the Big Pine Key area in 2017. They include, among others, sea level rise prevention work that’s one of a two-part pilot program in the Florida Keys, a revamp of a popular swimming hole and some more smaller jobs like installing a kayak launch in […]
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Looe Key Snorkeling Some of the Best in the Florida Keys – Video

Just east of Key West, Looe Key snorkeling is considered by many locals as the best snorkeling in the Florida Keys. During a snorkel at Looe Key, you may encounter black-tipped reef sharks, sea turtles, parrotfish, anglefish, filefish, butterflyfish and stingrays. There are healthy formations of elkhorn coral and firecoral along with magenta sea fans […]
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Big Pine Key Swimming Hole Amended Design Up For Vote

A familiar recreational area set for a major facelift in the coming years is looking for Monroe County approval to its amended plan. The Big Pine Key swimming hole, located near Pine Channel Bridge, will eventually be transformed into what county officials describe as a park, with multiple amenities to the public. An updated design […]
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Key Deer Refuge Preserving Organs from Dead Deer

As a backup plan to prevent species extinction, a federal agency has started harvesting reproductive organs from dead Key deer. The animals, only found in the Lower Keys, suffered a heavy blow to their population over the last few months from the flesh-eating New World screwworm. While the screwworm eradication effort has prompted the release […]
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Key Deer encounter on Florida’s Big Pine Key – Video

Published on Dec 4, 2016 A close encounter with several endangered Key Deer on Florida’s Big Pine Key. They are very tame. We never fed any of these animals. We stayed in the house for 10 days and I think they just grew accustomed to us. It got to the point where they would walk […]
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National Key Deer Refuge – Population Studies Drive Management Actions

The number of Key deer deaths due to New World screwworm infestation has remained stable at 132 for more than a week; however, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) officials are remaining diligent with protection measures to save this endangered species. The screwworm outbreak has increased the normal mortality rate within the small population of […]
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Emergency Declared After Flesh-Eating Screwworm Found in Florida Keys

The fearsome screwworm is back. Federal officials have identified a small outbreak of the insect, also known as the New World screwworm fly (Cochliomyia hominivorax), in a population of deer and possibly some pets in Big Pine Key, Florida. The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service confirmed that the pest […]
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Diving Big Pine Key Adolphus Busch Sr – Video

Marked by a series of mooring buoys, the remains of the Adolphus Bush, a 210-foot freighter, lay 6 miles southwest of Big Pine Key. The vessel was originally named Ocean Alley but was later renamed Adolphus Busch after the senior member of the Busch brewing family. This ship was intentionally sunk in 100-feet of water […]
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Things to Do In And Around Key West : For Animal Lovers

Want to get to know Key West wildlife? (And no, we’re not talking about nightly festivities at Sloppy Joe’s on Duval Street.) If you’re the kind of person who always puts the local zoo on your travel itinerary, or who fumbles over your camera every time a squirrel or lizard make an appearance during vacation, […]
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Florida Keys Summer Camps 2016

The following is a sample of some of the Florida Keys Summer Camps. Marathon sailing Summer sailing in Marathon’s Boot Key Harbor will begin with the first two week session beginning June 13 – June 24.  Each session will consist of 10 three hour classes in either the morning (9am –Noon) or afternoon (1‐4pm).  Younger sailors (5‐8 […]
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Florida Keys Job Market

Florida’s unemployment rate was 4.5 percent in April 2016, down 0.2 percentage point from the March 2016 rate of 4.7 percent, and down 0.7 percentage point from 5.2 percent a year ago.  The U.S. unemployment rate was 4.7 percent in April.  Florida’s unemployment rate has been less than or equal to the national rate for 26 […]
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Key Deer Are Conservation Success Story – Still Face Threats

Key deer were almost hunted to extinction. By 1950, as few as 25-50 of the animals were left. But the creation of the National Key Deer Refuge on Big Pine Key and protection under the Endangered Species Act have led to a comeback. The most recent population study estimates the herd at 900 to 1,000. “They […]
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FAVORite People – Wildlife Biologist Kate Watts

Kate Watts monitors vegetation in the pine rockland ecosystem on Big Pine Key. Watts serves as Lead Wildlife Biologist for the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Complex, overseeing biologists, technicians and interns at the refuges in the lower Keys. “Although a scientist by trade, I find that it is extremely important to translate the technical […]
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Students Help Preserve Big Pine Key’s Grimal Grove

The Grimal Grove horticultural property at 258 Cunningham Lane was the brainchild of the late Adolf Grimal, an avid tropical fruit tree collector. During his time, Grimal turned the roughly 2-acre site into his own garden oasis. Over time, though, after his passing, the property eventually succumbed to wild overgrowth and hefty code violation fines. […]
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Your Lower Florida Keys Vacation Bucket List

The Lower Florida Keys have some well known destinations. Lying between the Middle Florida Keys and Key West, with Big Pine Key’s Key Deer and Bahia Honda State Park’s beaches as well as one of the top diving spots, Looe Key, will keep visitors busy and happy. There are also may historic locations to satisfy […]
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Paddleboarding Big Pine Key – With Charlie Kemp

Tired of the hustle and bustle of your life? Have you tried PaddleBoarding? Charlie make it look easy in this video of one of his adventures in Big Pine Key. You can choose to get a workout or just relax and enjoy the beautiful outdoors in the paradise we know as the Florida Keys.  
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Local Lobster Mobster Continues Violations – Arrested Again

A Summerland Key [Lobster Mobster] fisherman [in the past he has been identified as from Big Pine Key] arrested in October 2014 for lobster fishing with hundreds of illegal traps was arrested again Thursday for lying on a wildlife form about his marine violation history, according to court records. Lobster Mobster – David Lee Boggs, […]
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Best stops on the Overseas Highway – Big Pine Key

Road trips don’t come more spectacular than the Overseas Highway. Sailing through tropical savanna over the Florida Straits, it links Miami on the mainland with the 180-kilometer-long Florida Keys island chain. Most visitors head straight to Key West, the southernmost city in the continental United States, but if they stopped along the way they’d find secluded […]
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