FAVORite People – Wildlife Biologist Kate Watts

Kate Watts monitors vegetation in the pine rockland ecosystem on Big Pine Key. Watts serves as Lead Wildlife Biologist for the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Complex, overseeing biologists, technicians and interns at the refuges in the lower Keys. “Although a scientist by trade, I find that it is extremely important to translate the technical … Read more

Wildlife Corridors: Nature’s Highway In Your Yard

Public and private gardens, including the green places (Wildlife Corridors) in each individual’s yard, play a wide role in wildlife and bird conservation. They create an urban or suburban corridor to enhance migration. For instance, in Key West there is a corridor from the Botanical Gardens on Stock Island to the salt ponds beside the … Read more

Florida Keys Hammocks: Story of the Understory

South Florida forests are known as “hammocks,” which is derived from a Native American word meaning “shade tree.” Walking into a hammock in the Florida Keys, you will see many tree trunks, and if you don’t know the trees by their bark, you will have to look up to find leaves to identify them. These … Read more

Native Plants: A Better Florida Keys Alternative

“I got rid of my lawn,” said self-identified plant-aholic Patricia Nolan. “I covered it with cardboard, mulch and began building soil. Now my yard is full of birds, bees and butterflies, all like little children.” Nolan was speaking before the lecture at the Key West Botanical Gardens given by Janice Duquesnel, a biological scientist from … Read more

Senate panel OKs Florida Keys Stewardship Act

A Florida Senate committee approved Florida Keys Stewardship Act Tuesday a $25 million per year investment, lasting 10 years, for water quality, restoration and protection of the habitat surrounding the Florida Keys. The Senate Committee on Community Affairs passed Senate Bill 770, known as the Florida Keys Stewardship Act, which seeks to protect the water … Read more

Middle Florida Keys Suggestions For Your Bucket List

The Middle Florida Keys are an often overlooked destination. Lying between the Upper Florida Keys where you will find the Diving & Fishing Capitals of Key Largo and Islamorada and the Lower Florida Keys with Big Pine Key’s Key Deer and world famous Key West, the Middle Florida Keys is sometimes referred to as the Heart … Read more

Florida Snook Fishery Has Rebounded Significantly Since 2010 Freeze

There are no recommendations, only cold hard numbers in the state’s 2015 assessment of the Florida Snook fishery, which was decimated during 11 consecutive days of freezing temperatures in January 2010. Estimates at the time were that one third of the snook population perished during those shivering days. The assessment numbers, cold and objective as … Read more

Upper Florida Keys Suggestions For Your Bucket List

Do you know how many parks there are in the Upper Florida Keys? Me neither. Between the City Parks: Islamorada’s Founders Park and Anne’s Beach, Monroe County Parks: Harry Harris, Florida State Parks: John Pennekamp and Lignumvitae and the National Parks-Refuges-Sanctuaries: Everglades, Crocodile Lake and the all encompassing Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, you are … Read more

Barracuda FWC Workshops in Florida Keys in February 2016

These workshops will help FWC gather public input and develop a better understanding of the public’s view on management, including discussing recent management changes that went into effect Nov. 1, 2015, and the need for any additional management changes. Anyone with an interest in management of barracuda in Florida is encouraged to participate. Barracuda Workshop Dates … Read more

Turning Florida Keys Yard Waste To Electricity

An Annapolis firm is turning a Florida community’s waste into mulch, with long-term plans of transforming it into electricity. Last year, Energy3 — which designs, builds, operates and finances municipal energy products — became the yard waste hauler for Monroe County, Florida. Currently, the waste is taken to Moore Haven, Florida, where it is being turned … Read more

25th Anniversary – Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

November 15th marks the 25th anniversary of the creation of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, a federally designated area protecting some 2,900 nautical miles of waters that surround the Keys island chain including the continental United States’ only living coral barrier reef. The preserve features an ecosystem with shallow seagrass beds, mangrove-fringed islands and … Read more