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Florida Keys Synchronized Coral Reef Spawning Creates New Life

Divers interested in viewing the underwater phenomenon of coral spawning can join Florida Keys dive operators during select Coral Reef Spawning charters — twilight trips to shallow reefs on or around the full moons in August and September to watch the reproductive action along the continental United States’ only living coral barrier reef. Scientifically observed…

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Florida Keys Public Awareness Campaign Spiny Lobster Sport Season

An extensive public awareness initiative has begun to help leisure Florida Keys travelers and residents have an enjoyable, safe and non-impacting experience during both the two-day Spiny Lobster Sport Season and the traditional lobster harvesting season. A dedicated website, KeysLobsterSeason.com, includes interactive videos with need-to-know dive and boating safety tips, up-to-date rules, regulations for lobster hunting…

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2021 Spiny Lobster Sport Lobster Season In The Florida Keys

Traditionally, thousands of Keys visitors and residents participate in the spiny lobster sport season. Officials emphasize that it’s important to catch lobsters responsibly and protect their habitats. Florida lobster “mini” sport season, named for its short time duration, begins at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, July 28, 2021, and ends at midnight Thursday, July 29, 2021. The…

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FWC 2021-2022 Manatee and Sea Turtle Decals 

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) just released the new 2021-2022 manatee and sea turtle decals. These high-quality waterproof stickers feature two different designs and are a fun way for people to directly support research, rescue and management efforts that conserve these species and spread awareness about the challenges they face. Each July,…

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Reef-Wide Outplanting of Corals Begins in Florida Coral Reefs

FWC, DEP, and our coral reef restoration partners announce the recent successful outplanting of 1,152 coral colonies along the Florida Coral Reefs as part of the largest coordinated experimental outplanting effort in Florida to date.  Reef restoration experiments in Florida have never been replicated on such a large scale before, with 24 outplanting sites spanning from…

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Lower Florida Keys Underwater Music Festival Make Waves for Reef Protection

Divers and snorkelers can explore a portion of the continental United States’ only coral barrier reef while enjoying an Underwater Music Festival that promotes reef preservation Saturday, July 10, in the Lower Florida Keys. The 37th annual Lower Keys Underwater Music Festival, a melodic experience that spotlights environmentally responsible diving as well as reef protection,…

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FWC Explores Goliath Grouper Access Opportunities

At its May meeting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) listened to a presentation and stakeholder input on goliath grouper in Florida state waters. The Commission directed staff to continue ongoing efforts that recognize the goliath’s role in the ecosystem and promote stock rebuilding while allowing access to goliath through catch-and-release, ecotourism, and dive…

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Florida Keys Divers Can Help Take a Bite Out of Lionfish

Florida Keys Divers can help preserve the Florida Keys’ native reef fish populations during the fun, socially distanced Reef Environmental Education Foundation 2020 Lionfish Derby. Scheduled Thursday through Sunday, Sept. 10-13, the derby challenges participants to capture and remove as many non-native lionfish as possible from Keys waters. This year, COVID-19 restrictions have forced organizers…

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Coral Spawn Late Summer Circle of Life Florida Keys Reefs

The hard corals of the Florida Keys reefs have spent eons developing a simple system to perpetuate the species. Coral Spawn, it’s one of nature’s mysteries that works without human intervention or complete understanding. The coral spawn is scientifically observed and documented each year along the continental United States’ only living coral barrier reef, which…

Win a Florida Keys Superfan Coral Reef Restoration Eco-Adventure
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Win a Florida Keys Superfan Coral Reef Restoration Eco-Adventure

For travelers seeking “voluntourism” opportunities to help sustain the continental United States’ only living coral barrier reef, the “Florida Keys Superfan” eco-adventure giveaway offers an enticing prize. One entrant is to win a five-night vacation that includes accommodations, eco-attractions and diving experiences to plant corals. The winner is to discover how divers can serve as…

10 Florida Keys Locals Reveal the Best Places to Eat – Drink and More
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10 Florida Keys Locals Reveal the Best Places to Eat – Drink and More

Looking for the best Florida Keys places to eat and drink? Here are suggestions from 10 Florida Keys Locals. Teri JohnstonPHOTOGRAPH BY JOHN E. MCDONALD Where to Meet Locals According to Teri Johnston, mayor of Key West When Teri Johnston was sworn in as mayor of Key West last year, the occasion made headlines around the…

Sea Urchins To The Rescue Help Revive Ailing Reefs
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Sea Urchins To The Rescue Help Revive Ailing Reefs

University of Florida researchers at The Florida Aquarium have begun breeding long-spined sea urchins to help Florida’s ailing reefs recover. NOAA Florida has an underappreciated secret weapon to help heal its ailing reefs: prickly sea urchins. This week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration unveiled a $97 million rescue effort expected to take five to seven years….