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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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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Alligator Reef Lighthouse – Florida Keys History

Built in 1873, Alligator Reef Lighthouse stands guard in honor of its namesake, the USS Alligator. In 1822, just two years out of the shipyard, the Navy schooner was on rounds to recapture and free ships that were taken in the pirate-heavy seas of the Caribbean. At Alligator Reef, a notoriously difficult area to navigate, the […]
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What Do You Know About Florida Keys Names

Ever wondered about Florida Keys Names and why certain locations are named as they are? You may be on vacation in the Florida Keys, or a resident, and asked that question. If you’re boating and come across Alligator Reef, don’t think the name means it’s overrun with reptiles. The reef was named after the USS […]
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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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Florida Keys Perfect for New and Experienced Divers

Snorkeling and Scuba diving unlocks a new world, one that offers amazing adventures and underwater encounters. Explore beautiful coral reefs full of candy-colored sea fans, schools of exotic fish and friendly creatures. Swim face-to-face with a sea turtle or saying hello to a stingray hiding in the sand. New and Experienced divers can do all […]
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My 3 Favorite Things To Do in the Upper Florida Keys

I have been in love with the Florida Keys most of my life. Having been born and raised in South Florida, the natural beauty of the area has captivated me since early childhood. The fortune of growing up in a boating family instilled me with an unending need to experience nature to it’s fullest. The […]
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Florida Keys Reefs Could Support More Sharks

Not all reefs are created equal, a distinction that fish seem to recognize but until now scientists largely overlooked. In a study published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, researchers found that if managed properly, Caribbean reefs could support from 60 to 90 percent more sharks, rays and other large predators than now inhabiting them. They […]
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Loggerhead Turtle Finding a Place to Nap – The Elbow Key Largo – Video

Five species of endangered sea turtles are found throughout the marine waters of the Florida Keys, including the hawksbill, green turtle, Kemp’s Ridley, loggerhead, and leatherback.   Loggerhead turtles are the most abundant of all the marine turtle species in U.S. waters. But persistent population declines due to pollution, shrimp trawling, and development in their […]
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Eyeball Navigation: Reading Florida Keys Water Colors

Between the islands and barrier reef of the Florida Keys are grassy shallows, patch reefs and isolated coral heads. Though these hazards show on nautical charts, changes occur between publications. One skill you can learn to help avoid these dangers is eyeball navigation, a method of reading water depth and bottom composition based on Florida […]
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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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Snorkeling (Not Just) For Wimps Part 2 – Islamorada Alligator Reef

Islamorada Alligator Reef – This was my second ever snorkeling trip and I feel that I have now just about advanced from ‘wimp’ status to ‘slightly nervous snorkeler clenching a noodle’. I smugly noticed that some people were more wimpy than me on this trip. It was satisfying to hear intermittent shrieking that definitely wasn’t my […]
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Snorkeling (Not Just) For Wimps John Pennekamp Coral Reef Trips

I have wanted to go out to the reef snorkeling for the longest time. After all, our wonderful Florida Keys reef is not only the ONLY living reef system in the continental US, no, it is also the third largest in the world (after the Great Barrier Reef and the Belize Barrier Reef). Roughly speaking, the reef […]
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Florida Keys Reef Lighthouses Getting Help

The Florida Keys Reef Lights Foundation has received permission from the Coast Guard to replace the zinc anodes on the Florida Keys Reef Lighthouses Carysfort, Alligator, Sombrero and American Shoal reef lights, according to foundation officials. Zinc anodes, which serve as a sacrificial metal, are used to preserve the iron legs of the lights, much […]
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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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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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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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Enjoy the Florida Keys While Protecting the Reef

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary supports one of the most diverse assemblages of underwater plants and animals in North America. Here are simple ways you can have a fantastic time enjoying the Florida Keys while still Protecting the Reef. Protecting the Reef – Keep your distance. Maintaining a safe distance from corals and other organisms […]
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