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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Do Your Part to Help Remove Plastics From the Environment

We drive plastic cars, wear plastic clothes, eat with plastic utensils on plastic plates, buy food contained in plastic bottles and put it in plastic bags to bring it to our homes. We are addicted to plastic. In fact, Americans use more than 2.5 million plastic bottles an hour. Unfortunately, not only is plastic a […]
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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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Queen Conch Research in the Florida Keys – Video

During the summer of 2015, we joined our queen conch researchers for a day of surveying in the Florida Keys! FWC’s queen conch research program has been surveying queen conch throughout the Florida Keys since 1987, and they perform yearly surveys in order to determine trends in the recovery of Florida’s queen conch population. We […]
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Create an Oasis for Butterflies in Your Florida Keys Landscape

Most of us have heard the saying, “Build it and they will come.” Can we apply this to attracting butterflies? If so, what are we building? The answer to the first question is definitely yes. The answer to what we are building is a little more complicated. Before you create a butterfly garden you must […]
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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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Choose Coral Reef Safe Sunscreens

South Florida’s coral reef is one of the longest and most heavily visited in the world. Excited crowds head out to this gorgeous, but sensitive, living structure in increasingly greater numbers. How lucky we are to have such a breathtaking natural area on our doorstep. But like so many things, good fortune is tinged with […]
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Florida Snook Stock Is On The Rise Again

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) took immediate action to help the Florida snook population rebound after a prolonged cold spell in January 2010. The cold snap, which led the FWC to close the fisheries, had a much greater effect on the snook population on the Gulf Coast than it did on the […]
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Mote Launches Coral Restoration Project in Key West

On Monday, June 13 scientists at Mote Marine Laboratory launched a coral restoration project at Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park in Key West, Florida with a goal of creating a publicly accessible coral restoration site at the State Park while demonstrating the techniques of current restoration strategies happening at Mote. Throughout the day, scientists […]
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