Good and Evil of Hurricanes for Florida Keys Coral Reefs

Why it’s Time For a Storm or Two in the Florida Keys. It has been over 10 years since the Florida Keys have seen even a close pass of any hurricanes. It was 1998 when the last hurricane actually hit the Florida Keys. Due to the media, you only hear about the evil side but […]
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Fungi – Mushrooms – Play Important Role in Florida Keys Ecosystem

Most people are familiar with the group of organisms called fungi, owing to the mushrooms that you can find in grocery stores. In addition to being a delicious ingredient used in many culinary creations, fungi play a very important role in the ecosystem. This week we will dive under the leaf litter to learn about […]
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Bonefish & Tarpon Trust Has New Florida Keys Manager

An organization focused on conserving and restoring bonefish, tarpon and permit populations through research and education has brought on a new leader to oversee its local efforts on the island chain. Last month, Ross Boucek, a Naples native, was hired as the Florida Keys initiative manager for the non-profit Bonefish & Tarpon Trust  based in […]
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Global Coral Bleaching Event Likely Ending – NOAA

After analyzing satellite and model data, NOAA’s experts say coral reefs around the world may finally catch a break from [ Coral Bleaching ] high ocean temperatures that have lingered for an unprecedented three years, the longest period since the 1980s. The latest NOAA forecast shows that widespread coral bleaching is no longer occurring in […]
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Underwater Music Festival Makes Waves For Reef Protection

An underwater concert is set to promote reef protection and entertain divers and snorkelers Saturday, July 8, during the Lower Keys Underwater Music Festival. The annual event takes place at Looe Key Reef, an area of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary approximately 6 miles south of Big Pine Key. The sanctuary protects the waters […]
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Celebrate Sea Grapes – Beauty Nostalgia of Old South Florida

Visitors to the Florida Keys see them as robust shrubs and trees with large, round, fan-like leaves as big as your hand. They’re often seen in road medians, shopping center landscapes and impeccably landscaped yards. To the locals, they’re useful hedges and screens in yards, as well as important in preventing sand dune erosion. Sea […]
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Coralpalooza Coming Key Largo June 2 2017

In celebration of World Oceans Day, Coral Restoration Foundation is hosting its third-annual Coralpalooza event during the weekend of June 2. The event “aims to bring recreational divers and ocean conservation-minded individuals together to promote coral reef restoration and ocean preservation,” according to the foundation’s press release. Coralpalooza helps raise awareness for World Oceans Day, […]
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Key Largo Woodrat – National Geographic Society

One animal that comes readily to mind when you think of the term “laboratory animal” is the venerable rat, a rodent that is as ubiquitous as it is reviled. Not all rats are “guinea pigs” for the lab, however. Some are highly prized for their rarity, such as Florida’s Key Largo woodrat.   The Key Largo woodrat (Neotoma […]
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Florida Keys Sponge – The Keys to the Keys – Video

Prior to the 1990s the Florida Keys sponge community was a lively underwater city for fish and invertebrates. Curious divers could hear the snap, crackle and pop of snapping shrimp. The noisy bottom was a sign of health for the organisms that provide nursery habitat to juvenile marine species. But now when divers plunge to […]
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Want to See More Florida Keys Butterflies in Your Yard

Do you love to watch wildlife in your yard, especially birds and Florida Keys Butterflies? Do you often wonder if your home’s landscape attracts them? If your landscape doesn’t have a mix of native trees and shrubs, it’s likely you’re not seeing as many varieties of Florida Keys butterflies as you could be. With a […]
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New State Report on Florida Bay Seagrass

A new status report on Florida Bay describes the marine seagrass ecosystem as “fairly stable” — at least it was until a massive 2015 seagrass die-off. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s report released this week gives Florida Bay seagrass an overall color-coded “green” rating, indicating a healthy or improving system. Research for the […]
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Why ‘Gray Ghosts’ Are Disappearing – Bonefish Research

Dr. Jennifer Rehage, fish ecologist and associate professor at Florida International University, has been chasing “gray ghosts” for 15 years trying to tally its declining numbers. She wants to know why bonefish numbers are dropping. She will be sharing what she has learned about bonefish at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 1, at the John Pennekamp […]
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Gumbo Limbo – Not a New Dance But Good for Native Landscaping

These days, most merry-go-round horses are made from molded fiberglass and plastic. However, in the days when they were carved from wood, most of them were made from gumbo limbo, Bursera simaruba. Gumbo limbo is one of the most recognizable trees in the tropical hardwood hammock of the Florida Keys. Its red, peeling bark has […]
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Take Care of Your Fishing Line – Proper Disposal Saves Wildlife

Fishing is a key component of the Florida lifestyle as well as the state’s economy. But fishing line and other fishing tackle frequently enter Florida’s aquatic systems as a result of incidental snags or improper disposal. When left in the aquatic environment, fishing line and tackle create potential traps for unsuspecting wildlife that can become […]
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Mote Marine Laboratory 2017 Summer Camp in Florida Keys

Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium is excited to announce an expanded lineup of summer camps. Mote Summer Camp 2017 offers more opportunities for kids to learn about their local waters, from the beautiful Sarasota Bay to the Florida Keys, in a fun and engaging way. Registration is open now for summer camps from June-August. Ages […]
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Florida Keys Treasures in the Beach Wrack Line

A fun pastime on any beach is looking for what’s washed up with the tides. Interesting things can wind up in the beach wrack line — piles of seaweed and seagrass marking the high tide line along most natural shorelines. Depending on where you are in Florida, you may be hunting for shark’s teeth, shells […]
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2017 Islamorada Priorities – Traffic – Park – Canal Improvements

Islamorada Mayor Jim Mooney said one of the governing board’s main focuses in 2017 will be tackling traffic issues, a recurring theme for much of Monroe County. U.S. 1 has long experienced lengthy delays due to holidays, community events and accidents, among other things. Mooney said the village is working on two solutions to alleviate […]
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Florida’s American Crocodile: Biology and History of a Threatened Species

A comprehensive book, written by a longtime Sanibel resident, which sheds light on the Florida American crocodile, has hit the shelves a month early.Author Charles LeBuff will sign copies of his book Florida’s Crocodile: Biology and History of a Threatened Species from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14, at MacIntosh Books and Paper, […]
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Algae Grazers Are Important to The Health of our Reefs

One of my favorite activities is fish watching on the beautiful coral reefs of the Florida Keys. To me, parrotfish (algae grazers) are the most entertaining fish species to observe. It’s fun watching them zoom around, using their pectoral fins for propulsion. There are 13 different types of parrotfish found in the Keys. Each one […]
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Florida Keys Cacti – Barbed-Wire and Florida Semaphore Cactus

While many folks associate cactus with the sand and heat of a desert in the western part of the United States, South Florida and the Florida Keys are home to six species of native cacti. In this week’s edition of Nature’s Corner, we will introduce you to two native Florida Keys cacti: the barbed-wire cactus […]
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