State Considering New Mutton Snapper Limits

State fishery managers will take the first step this week in lowering the bag limit for mutton snapper, one of the Florida Keys’ most highly targeted species of fish. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission board will meet Wednesday, Nov. 18, in Panama City to discuss a series of proposed reductions to the mutton … Read more

Scientists Connect the Reefs of Pulley Ridge to Florida Keys

This week, a team of university, state, and federal scientists is exploring a little known deep reef, Pulley Ridge, where spectacular plate coral colonies blanket the seafloor and red groupers actually help create habitat. Scientists believe this ecosystem, which lies 33 miles northwest of the western most boundary of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, … Read more

4 Florida Keys Plants Closer to Endangered Species

Florida Keys plants move closer to being Endangered Species. In accordance with a landmark settlement agreement with the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced that four increasingly rare plants in Florida may qualify for Endangered Species Act protection. The Big Pine partridge pea, wedge spurge, sand flax and Blodgett’s … Read more

Giant Barrel Sponges Increasing on Florida Keys Reefs

Between 2000 and 2012, the giant barrel sponge, Xestospongia muta — which can grow to over a meter tall and wide — covered increasing territory on two reefs off Florida’s Key Largo. The number of sponges per square meter increased on both reefs, on one by an average of 122 percent, researchers report in an … Read more

Everglades Park Plan Calls for No-Motor Zones

Nearly 200 square miles of Florida Bay waters could be managed as no-motor or idle zones under Everglades National Park’s new management plan released Friday. Park staff intends to designate 102,838 acres of shallow water — about 160.7 square miles — as “poll or troll zones” where use of outboard motors would not be allowed. Another … Read more

Sanctuary Reef Exhibit Comes to Islamorada

  Sanctuary Reef, a unique traveling exhibit that gives a shrimp’s eye view of an oversized coral reef, is now on display at Keys History & Discovery Center in Islamorada, through Feb. 28, 2016. This interactive display developed by Mote Marine Laboratory brings the ocean’s coral reefs and vital scientific research to life through hands-on … Read more

Experts Look to See if Parrotfish Harm or Help Corals

Jacksonville University researchers have embarked on a study of critical importance to scientists rearing and out-planting coral on the Florida Keys reef. Mote Marine Laboratory, the Coral Restoration Foundation, The Nature Conservancy and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have spent millions of dollars rearing and out-planting coral on the Keys reef for nearly … Read more

No Fed Action to be Taken on Offshore Party Spots

On-the-water revelers can continue partying at offshore hot spots throughout the Keys, as far as the federal government is concerned. The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council decided not to consider a proposed recommendation that could have eventually resulted in no-anchoring zones at popular shallow-water areas like Marathon’s sandbar off Valhalla, Picnic Island, Snipe … Read more

Best of The Florida Keys – Key Largo – Islamorada – Key West

The Chica Travelsita, Travel Blogger and Travel Agent explores the Florida Keys from Key Largo to Key West! She stays at The Casa Morada in Islamorada, explores the waters with Upper Keys Sport Fishing and The Florida Fisherman and experiences delicious food and drinks at Lorelei’s Restaurant and Bar, Bitton Bistro and The Square Grouper. … Read more

Coral park coming to Fort Zachary Taylor

Mote Marine Laboratory is expanding its coral restoration efforts so that those who can’t make the 3 to 6 mile boat trek to the reef can see coral and the marine life it supports. Mote has partnered with the state Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary to bring 5,500 nursery-raised … Read more

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