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Sanctuary Friends Foundation of the Florida Keys
February 2011
Sanctuary Friends Foundation of the Florida Keys
News & Notes


2011 Membership Drive
Oct. 1, 2010 - March 31, 2011

Become a Sanctuary Friend or renew your membership now and become eligible for a drawing for a framed print by renowned underwater photographer Stephen Frink! Memberships start at $30 and are good until Dec. 31, 2011. Please join us!

Cuba: The Accidental Eden

Cuba may have been restricted politically and economically for the past 50 years, but its borders have remained open to wildlife for which Cuba’s undeveloped islands are an irresistible draw. While many islands in the Caribbean have poisoned or paved over their ecological riches on land and in the sea in pursuit of a growing tourist industry, Cuba’s wild landscapes have remained virtually untouched, creating a safe haven for rare and intriguing indigenous animals, as well as for hundreds of species of migrating birds and marine creatures. Coral reefs have benefited, too. Independent research has shown that Cuba’s corals are doing much better than others both in the Caribbean and around the world.
Cuba: The Accidental EdenThus begins the description of the PBS film “Cuba: The Accidental Eden,” which was shown on February 10 in Marathon, sponsored by Sanctuary Friends and the Marathon Sail & Power Squadron. At the conclusion of the film, Larry Benvenuti, a local professional photographer, presented a slideshow about Cuba. Larry has traveled to the country 20 times, and his photos were a great complement to the film.
More than 100 people attended the showing a discussion of travel to Cuba ensued. There was so much interest Sanctuary Friends has taken the lead in scheduling a series of roundtable discussions concerning national political discussion & future travel. To participate in the discussion, please email Diana with your contact information to be put on the list for future dates and locations.

A Call to Action for Divers to Support Our Nation's Sanctuaries
(Excerpt from an essay in Alert Diver by Bob Talbot)

"What can I do protect the ocean?" is the question I'm most asked in my travels. Divers share an intimate relationship with the sea. We witness both its beauty and its fragility. We take pictures, tell stories and bring others under the sea to share our adventures. We revel in the sea's magnificence, are angered by its destruction and long for ways to protect it.
What can we do protect the ocean? Today, one of the many answers to that question rises to the top: Support National Marine Sanctuaries. The National Marine Sanctuary System is one of our most powerful tools to protect special marine areas. Now more than ever they need our help to become everything the name implies.
Read the entire article here.
Photo by Stephen Frink, Alert DiverWe are very excited to share with you this article by Bob Talbot, Chair of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, in the current issue of Alert Diver. In a very personal, eloquent and powerful way, Bob discusses the importance of sanctuaries in conserving and protecting our ocean. Won’t you take action? – by donating, signing up for our e-newsletter, or signing the petition to “Put the Ocean First.”

"Friends In Focus"

Stephen Frink, renowned underwater photographer and publisher of Alert Diver magazine, is the creator of “Friends in Focus.” This program, sponsored by Sanctuary Friends, has come a long way since the original 2003 event.
Today "Friends In Focus" has evolved into a monthly film and seminar series revolving around marine life and diving. Boaters, snorkelers, divers and natural history buffs are invited to entertaining films, presentations by guest speakers, informal discussions, and some laid-back, Keys-style fun with friends who share common passions.
Friends in Focus Film Series
Key Largo - “REEF, Fish & Friends” seminar series on the second Tuesday of the month combining a friendly social gathering with presentations about timely “fishy” topics. More information: 305-852-0030.
Marathon - Monthly film series on the second Thursday of the month co-sponsored by the Marathon Sail & Power Squadron. More information: 305-289-2288.
Key West - NOAA’s Robert Keeley and the Eco-Discovery Center have built a library of more than 130 environmental films, with public performance rights for many of them. You can catch two films each Sunday as part of the Environmental Film Series at the Eco-Discovery Center at 2 and 4 p.m. For a recorded message of upcoming films, call 305-809-4755.
All of these events are listed in Sanctuary Friends’ Florida Keys Environmental Calendar.


"Smart from the Start" Program

The U.S. Department of Energy is offering new funding opportunities of up to $50.5 million over five years for projects that support offshore wind energy deployment. Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia have been classed as part of The Interior Department's "Smart from the Start" plan announced in November 2010. This approach uses coordinated environmental studies, large-scale planning and expedited approval processes to speed offshore wind energy development.
"The United States is synchronizing new research and development initiatives with more efficient, forward-thinking planning so that we can help quickly stand up an American offshore wind industry," according to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. "This initiative will spur the type of innovation that will help us create new jobs, build a clean energy future, and compete and win in the technologies of the 21st century."
Deployment of clean, renewable offshore wind energy will help meet President Barack Obama's goal of generating 80 percent of the nation's electricity from clean energy sources by 2035.

Celebrating the event ... Honoring the earth and sea
We invite you to hold your special celebrations, business meetings and other occasions in a meaningful way at the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center. Our staff will help you celebrate in a green way, and your donations will help to give back to the “Sanctuary.” Call today to reserve your date and share your celebration with the earth and sea! More information. Email.
Tel: 847-612-4712.

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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.

Sanctuary Friends Foundation of the Florida Keys is a non-profit, 501(c)(3), tax-exempt organization (Tax ID# 59-2443959).
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In This Issue:
From the Board
Travel to Cuba?
A Call to Action
Friends in Focus


Upcoming Events

From the Board

Dear Friends:
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS) was a concept whose time had come in the 1980s and that came to fruition in 1990 after a contentious battle. It was clear we were “loving the Keys to death.” In close proximity to a South Florida population of 4.5 million people plus visitors, the anthropogenic impact to all resources, upland and marine, was obvious. Neglecting to implement point and non-point runoff collections of nutrient loading over the years negatively impacted nearshore water quality … which negatively impacted biota recruitment … which ultimately affected the fisheries and our economy.
These excerpts were taken from Common Sense vs Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, a book authored by Key West businessman and former county commissioner Ed Swift. “My friends, this is a time to take a stand … The bureaucrats and environmental activists who want to saddle us with this monster forever will be gone in a few years, dashing off to the latest worthy cause … If we want our grandchildren to be able to use the resources, and not just look at it, we must keep control …”
Don DeMaria, biologist and supporter of FKNMS was quoted as saying: “The commercial & recreational fishermen, left to their own devices, will fish it down to the last fish and then hold a tournament to see who catches it.”
Twenty years later, activists such as Swift and DeMaria are still here and continue to grow in confidence and numbers. History shows that protection of our Sanctuary is paramount, and when it and its habitat are properly protected we can live in harmony. FKNMS and the 13 other sanctuaries throughout the country are a bulwark for sustainable environments that will enhance economies throughout the world. And for the Fabulous Florida Keys, it represents what makes us so attractive and unique.
Please join us in our mission to support the FKNMS and our coral reef ecosystem.
George R. Neugent
Chair, Board of Directors

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.

Sunday Environmental Films Series
Every Sunday at 2 pm & 4 pm, Eco-Discovery Center, Key West
The 4 pm show is new each week and is repeated the following week at 2 pm. For a recorded message of upcoming films, call 305-809-4755.

REEF, Fish & Friends Seminar
March 8, 6:30-8 pm, REEF Headquarters, MM 98.3, Key Largo
Free lectures about fish on the second Tuesday of the month sponsored by Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) and Sanctuary Friends. Topic TBA.

Friends in Focus Film Series
March 10, 7 pm, the Brady Building, 12 Loggerhead Lane, Marathon
Monthly film and seminar series co-sponsored by Sanctuary Friends and the Marathon Sail & Power Squadron that revolves around marine life and diving. This month’s film is Sharkwater. Come early for a Social at 6:30 pm.

Florida Keys Ocean Festival
March 26, 12 noon – 6 pm, Eco-Discovery Center, Key West
Bring the family and friends to spend a few hours celebrating our treasured water environment. Free admission, food and drinks, kids activities, art, exhibits, drawings, silent auction, local music and more. Donations and proceeds benefit Mote Marine Laboratory’s Coral Reef Restoration and Research Programs.

Welcome New Members
January / February 2011
Thank you for your support!
Sanctuary Buddy $30
J. Caskey Olverson
Peter Freeza
Sanctuary Adventurer $50
Martin Moe
Sanctuary Donor $100
Dolly Garlo
Sanctuary Patron $200
Judy Halas

1% for the Planet Business Partner
Blue Smoke Coffee

Coming ...
Eco-Discovery Tours

Discover the Florida Keys through eco-friendly and historical excursions. For more information or to request a brochure, call 305-289-2288 or email.
Sanctuary Friends Foundation of the Florida Keys
11450 Overseas Hwy., Suite 102
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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