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…

REEF Fest 2019 October 17-20 Key Largo
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REEF Fest 2019 October 17-20 Key Largo

REEF Fest 2019 registration is now available! Book diving and snorkeling, register for events, and purchase your ticket to ‘For the Love of the Sea’ banquet online today! REEF Fest is an annual, four-day celebration to acknowledge the success of marine conservation and education initiatives in the Florida Keys. Events include educational seminars, social gatherings, diving and eco-adventures…

What’s New in the Florida Keys for Fall 2019
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What’s New in the Florida Keys for Fall 2019

The Florida Keys with community efforts to sustain precious natural resources through the Connect & Protect initiative, continue to unveil ways to preserve the Keys’ environment and connect visitors who love the outdoors to the island chain’s unmatched beauty. Efforts to replant and preserve coral along the Florida Reef Tract are ongoing. In addition, two new eco-stay properties, tucked…

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FKNMS Lionfish Removal Permits

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary encourages the safe removal of invasive lionfish from its waters and issues lionfish removal permits to divers for the collection of lionfish from Sanctuary Preservation Areas (SPAs). The permit allows lionfish to be removed from the SPAs, which are otherwise no-fishing, no-take zones, with hand nets or slurp guns only. Spearguns or…

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Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehab Center Monthly Lecture Series

With native tropical flora of the Florida Keys being impacted by a growing population and urban development, the Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center has begun sponsoring a conservation lecture series, “Wings N’ Things.” The next presentation will feature guest speaker Lynn Miller, Ph.D., wildlife education director at the South Florida Wildlife Center, which is…

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Bleaching Dive Gear May Stop Spread of Coral Disease

Cleaning scuba equipment between each dive could help slow down the rapid spread of Coral Disease, white blotch-like lesions, that attack and eventually kill coral colonies, local agencies say. The Florida Reef Tract, the world’s third largest barrier reef and the only in the continental U.S., is suffering from a large-scale stony coral tissue loss,…

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Fishing Line Disposal – More than just Monofilament

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 fishing line disposal. When left in the aquatic environment, fishing line and tackle create potential traps for unsuspecting wildlife that…

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Invasive Venomous Lionfish Killing Atlantic Reefs – Please Eat It

What do you do with an invasive fish, covered from head to fin with venomous spines as sharp as hypodermic needles; a fish that can’t be caught with a rod or in a trawling net as it multiplies rapidly, deep in our oceans, flummoxing fishermen and scientists alike? Lionfish. Note: Venomous is not the same as…

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FWC Approves Status Changes for Monroe County Osprey

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved Species Conservation Measures and Permitting Guidelines for eight of the more than 50 species, the only local is the Monroe County Osprey, in the agency’s Imperiled Species Management Plan. Based on thorough scientific review, FWC staff determined that the eastern chipmunk, harlequin darter, Homosassa shrew, southern…

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Sixty Acres on Big Pine Key Targeted for Habitat Restoration

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Institute for Regional Conservation will begin a two-month restoration effort in the pine rockland habitats of the National Key Deer Refuge this week. This work, funded through a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant for hurricane restoration of habitat and species, will include a reduction of potential…

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Reel Remove Recycle – Don’t Leave Your Fishing Line Behind

The Monofilament Recovery and Recycling Program (MRRP) is an innovative statewide project dedicated to reducing the environmental damage caused by discarded fishing line. MRRP aims to educate the public on the problems caused by monofilament line left in the environment, encourage recycling through a network of line recycling bins and drop-off locations, and help citizens…

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Research Natural Area – Dry Tortugas National Park – Video

The Research Natural Area (RNA) was designated as an area of special protection within Dry Tortugas National Park in 2007. The RNA was designed to work along with the two existing ecological reserves as a network to protect the shallow water habitats and reef fish species found in the Tortugas. Recent research shows that the…

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Best Natural Sunscreen for Scuba – Snorkeling – Swimming in Florida Keys

Sunscreen is a necessity for most scuba divers, but not all sunblock is created equal. Some contain an ingredient that’s destroying coral reefs around the world. The evidence is so strong, Hawaii may pass a law banning certain sunscreens. The primary chemical culprit is oxybenzone, an ingredient used in popular sunscreens made by Banana Boat, Coppertone,…

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Mangrove Black – White – Red – the Protector of Our Florida Keys Coastlines

The Mangrove is a shrub or small tree that grows in coastal saline or brackish water. The term is also used for tropical coastal vegetation consisting of such species. Mangroves occur worldwide in the tropics and subtropics, mainly between latitudes 25° N and 25° S. Mangrove are salt-tolerant trees, also called halophytes, and are adapted to live in harsh coastal conditions. They contain a complex salt filtration system and…

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Smartphone App Collects Data Help Save Florida Reefs

Wondering how you can help in the fight against the decline of corals? With a new smartphone app called OkCoral, the Coral Restoration Foundation is hoping it can answer that question by turning underwater photographers into a citizen scientists. Florida Reefs The idea behind the app is getting recreational divers to help monitor the health of coral clusters that the foundation…