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Sanctuary Friends Foundation of the Florida Keys
February 2014
Sanctuary Friends Foundation of the Florida Keys
News & Notes


Donate Now!
Our dedicated Board of Directors, members and allies are committed to guaranteeing the future of our economically-precious treasures that are in critical danger here in the Keys. Please join us as a member, renew your membership or volunteer with us in 2014.

Lionfish Removal Shown to Be Effective

in Recovery of Native Fish Populations

A new study, conducted by REEF’s Lad Akins and others, confirms for the first time that controlling invasive lionfish populations in the western Atlantic Ocean can pave the way for a recovery of native fish. Even if it's one speared fish at a time, data are showing that removals can be effective, and not every lionfish need be removed.
Lionfish collected from a Derby event
The ground-breaking findings, featured in a paper published in January in the scientific journal Ecological Applications, document that reducing lionfish numbers by specified amounts will allow a rapid recovery of native fish biomass. Over an 18-month time period, the biomass of native prey fishes increased an average 50 to 70 percent on reefs where lionfish numbers were suppressed below target levels predicted to cause prey depletion. On reefs where lionfish numbers remained higher than target levels, the biomass of prey fishes decreased by a further 50 percent.
While complete eradication of lionfish from the Caribbean is not likely, groups are actively removing them from coastal areas (mostly via spear and net). This study is a first step in showing that strategic local efforts that suppress the invasion to low levels can help protect and recover native fish communities affected by lion fish.
Click here to view the paper, “Linking removal targets to the ecological effects of invaders: a predictive model and field test.” The research was conducted as a collaboration between REEF, Oregon State University, Simon Fraser University and the Cape Eleuthera Institute.

Everglades Botanic Art Exhibit at Eco-Discovery Center

Botanical Exploration in the Everglades, an art exhibit by Tropical Botanic Artists, is currently at the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center thru March 2014. This special exhibition features original portraits of plants discovered by botanists in the 19th and 20th centuries in the South Florida tropical wetlands now known as the Everglades. The plants were given common and scientific names that reflect the identities of those intrepid explorers.
Simpson's Apple Cactus (Harrisia simpsonii): Watercolor by Kathleen Konicek-Moran
Early botanists braved biting insects, large reptiles and poisonous plants that made this unique ecosystem one of the country’s last frontiers of botanical exploration in order to document these species and discover how plants were used by the wetland's native peoples.
Tropical Botanic Artists is a collective of local watercolorists established in Miami in 2006 to pursue the beauty of tropical plants through art. Its members come from all walks of life and each brings a unique viewpoint to the botanical subjects they portray.
The Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm. Admission is free to the Center and art exhibit. For more information, please visit

Legacies of Those Who Love the Water Live On

In 2006, Sanctuary Friends started the Matthew W. Beard Memorial Fund in memory of a young man who loved the water and was a developing coral researcher. In 2007, $3,500 was raised and put toward continuing his research.
In Memory of Larry Battaglia
This year, a Sanctuary Friends Memorial Fund has been set up in memory of Marathon Captain Lawrence ‘Larry’ Battaglia, the primary captain for the past 10 years for A Deep Blue Dive Center in Key Colony Beach. He was always extremely active in the Marathon dive community, working and sharing his knowledge of boats and the water with all who sought his advice. He had been a PADI Instructor for 36 years and A USCG 100-ton Master Captain for 34 years. After going through cancer treatments for the past five months, he decided to spend his last days on the water at his home in the Florida Keys. Since he relied daily on NOAA’s Weather Station at Sombrero Light House, it is appropriate that his Memorial Fund will be used to help supplement maintenance at the weather station.
"In loving memory of Larry Battaglia. You will forever be a wise and legendary captain and instructor who taught us things we will never forget. You put the meaning to the word mentor, a father figure to all. You taught us many of life's lessons, particularly how to live life well. You will be remembered continuously in everyone's hearts and lives. We all will honor you forever and miss you dearly."
To make a donation, please click here and note "In Memory of Larry" in the memo. Sanctuary Friends continues to let the legacies of those who love the water live on.


Upcoming "Fishinar" Schedule

REEF’s 2014 Fishinars are off to a great start, with lots of exciting, fun and educational topics in store this year! Not sure what a Fishinar is? These popular online REEF webinar training sessions provide fishie fun in the comfort of your own home. You don't even need a microphone or a webcam to participate, just a web browser! Current and archived Fishinars are free to REEF members (membership is FREE, just signup online!) and are a great way for new fish surveyors to learn and for experienced fish surveyors to brush up on their ID skills. The next Fishinars are Feb. 25 & 26, and the schedule runs through June. You must register to participate. Explore the Fishinar webpage for detailed information and a schedule.

Our Mission
Sanctuary Friends Foundation of the Florida Keys supports the Florida Keys and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS) in the preservation, restoration, and sustainable use of our coral reef ecosystem, from the uplands to the deep sea. We focus on development of community support and advancement of public awareness, education, outreach and scientific research.

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In This Issue:
Lionfish Removal Study
Art Exhibit at Eco-Discovery Center
Larry Battaglia Memorial Fund
Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

Please add your upcoming events to our online Florida Keys Environmental Calendar. This community-wide resource allows any organization or group to set up an account and post environmentally-related events.

Discovery Saturday: H2O Olympics
Feb. 15, 10-11 am,
 Eco-Discovery Center, Key West
Kids in kindergarten through fifth grade are invited to join this free, fun-filled event where they will learn about the environment of the Florida Keys and the marine life that live here while playing games and making craft projects. Every third Saturday of the month. Call 305-809-4750 for more information.

FKNMS Sanctuary Advisory Council (SAC) Meeting
Feb. 18, 9 am-4:45 pm, Double Tree Grand Key Resort, Key West
The Council provides advice regarding management of the FKNMS. All meetings are open to the public and include morning and afternoon public comment periods. This month’s agenda focuses on enforcement opportunities, needs and challenges for Sanctuary and Marine Zone management. Download the draft agenda.

Friends in Focus Movie Nights
First & third Tuesdays of the month, 7 pm, Sail & Power Squadron Education Building, 12 Loggerhead Lane, Marathon. 
Feb. 18: Double Feature: Shark Reef & Scourge of the Lionfish; March 4: Cape Spin!. Part of a monthly film series sponsored by Sanctuary Friends and the Marathon Sail & Power Squadron. Social begins at 6:30 pm.

Membership Update
January 2014
Welcome! Thank you for your support!

New & Returning Members ($30-$199)

Sandra Moore



Ocean Reef Community Foundation

The Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory

Shirley Shumway

Charles Causey

Mike Klayman

Bruce Ferrer

Mr. & Mrs. Russel W. Fisher

Mildred Ryan

Please support the companies that support the FKNMS and Sanctuary Friends.
Waste Management
Marathon Garbage Service
Keys Sanitary
Sunbelt Rentals
Little Palm Island Resort
Cressi International
Centennial Bank
The Weekly Newspapers
Hawks Cay Resort
Marathon Jet Center
Keys Acoustics Insulation
Tranquility Bay Resort
Meacham Electric
Marathon Boat Yard
Grader Mike Construction
First State Bank
Stephen Frink Photography
Marathon Chamber of Commerce
A Deep Blue Dive Center
Christina’s Boutique
Paver Dave
Keys Contracting Services
Florida Keys Contractor’s Association
CSA Coral Restoration
Bee Brothers
Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory 

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We want your input!
If you have stories of note or just want to comment on our newsletter, please email:
Sanctuary Friends Foundation of the Florida Keys
Located at the at the historic Crane House at Crane Point Museum and Hammock
5550 Overseas Hwy.
Marathon, Florida 33050
Tel: (305)
289-2288 Fax: (305) 289-2289

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Sanctuary Friends Foundation of the Florida Keys
PO Box 504301
Marathon, FL 33050

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