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

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Last Chance for A Free Book!
Our special membership offer ends on the last day of this month. Don't wait! Renew or become a member today at $50+ and receive the book "Tropical Connections: South Florida's Marine Environment." (Offer expires January 31, 2014.)
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State Rules Coral Nurseries Eligible for Tourist Funding

Sanctuary Friends is thrilled to announce the news that the state attorney general recently ruled that coral nurseries and restoration work can receive Monroe County Tourist Development Council (TDC) funding. George Neugent, County Commissioner and our own Sanctuary Friends President asked for the opinion after one coral nursery operator twice applied for TDC funding but was denied.
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Volunteers check on the status of staghorn coral they're growing off Key Largo. REEF ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER
Neugent wanted the county to classify coral nurseries, restoration sites and coral planting activities as underwater "zoological parks," which would make them available for TDC funding. State Attorney General Pam Bondi agreed with Neugent. "In sum, it's my opinion that local option tourist development taxes can be used to fund a coral outplanting project to repair and improve a naturally occurring reef under the language contained in section 125.014(5)(b) Florida statutes, if the county make the appropriate findings," Bondi wrote in a letter to the county.
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Neugent has argued that coral nurseries attract visitors and play a major role in the Keys ecotourism industry, which in turn should make them eligible for funding. "People want to come down and participate in this," Neugent said. "People recognize the value of coral and will come down and pay to be involved in restoring it."
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Amy Slate's Amoray Dive Resort in Key Largo regularly offers dive trips to Nedimyer's nurseries and restoration sites off the Upper Keys. Mote Marine Laboratory also regularly takes visiting divers and scientists to its coral nursery and transplant site off Big Pine Key.
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The Florida Keys have seen more than a 36 percent decline in coral cover since 1996, and the world has seen a 25 percent loss of all corals in the past 30 years, according to reports. This bleak outlook for coral motivated Nedimyer, Mote and other groups to grow coral in underwater nurseries across the Keys. Read the full article in the Key West Citizen.


New Airboat Regulations Proposed in Everglades

Everglades National Park's proposed General Management Plan (GMP) for the next 15 to 20 years calls for an end to all private airboating in the East Everglades once the "grandfathers" who operate there now have died, affecting 1,000 to 2,000 airboaters. As for longtime commercial airboat tour operators along the Trail – Coopertown, Everglades Safari Park, and Gator Park – the park proposes to buy their properties, turn them into concessionaires and confine their operations to a "front country zone" of about 10,000 to 11,000 acres just south of Tamiami Trail.
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Iconic Airboat in the Everglades
If the park's preferred plan is adopted sometime next year, the rest of the East Everglades – more than 80,000 acres – would be designated as wilderness with no mechanical propulsion (even bicycles) allowed. The aim is to strike a balance between the desires of airboaters and other visitors such as paddlers and hikers.
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All three commercial airboat tour operators along Tamiami Trail acknowledge the National Park Service has approached them over the past month with offers to buy their properties, but no deals have been closed yet, and the business owners are wary of becoming concessionaires, paying rent to the park service with little say in how their day-to-day operations will be conducted.
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Following the comment period, public input will be reviewed and analyzed, and adjustments will be made before issuing the Final GMP and Record of Decision sometime this year. Read the full article in the Miami Herald.


Become A Sanctuary Friend

With your help, Sanctuary Friends Foundation of the Florida Keys (SFFFK) can help save the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS). We excel in creating important change on the ground – and under the sea. Our team knows how to blend the best science with a commitment to working with local communities and industries to preserve crucial ecosystems and seascapes.
FKNMS Map
Your gift will have a real impact today. It is an investment in the future of our National Treasure, which holds the distinction of having the only living coral reef in the United States. SFFFK is a making a real difference using these techniques:
  • Cutting-Edge Science:
 We support scientists within the FKNMS who are analyzing the impacts of climate changes on our coral reef and figuring out where and how the ocean surrounding the FKNMS is changing. Working with policy-makers, we are charting a more effective path to conserving the Sanctuary.
  • Conservation Solutions:
 Education and outreach are major tools for managing the marine resources of the Sanctuary, as well as reaching people who impact those resources. The Florida Keys are home to 130,000 residents in the winter, as well as 3 million annual visitors, many of which enjoy our sanctuary by snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing or relaxing in our tropical environment. Some of our educational tools are: Coral Reef Classroom Project, Team OCEAN, Florida Keys Ecotourism Initiative (FKEI), supporting coral restoration and mitigation projects, and supporting mooring buoy maintenance and installation.
With your help, We will continue our mission to support the FKNMS in the preservation, restoration and sustainable use of our coral reef and marine ecosystems. We focus on development of community support and advancement of public scientific research. Please consider making a contribution to Sanctuary Friends and associating yourself with some of the coolest people on the planet. In return, we will welcome you into our organization as a member with all the benefits of that level of funding. We promise you that generations to come will be deeply grateful for the efforts we make now to protect what we perceive as one of the most precious environments on earth.


NewsMakers


One Ocean Student Film Festival Contest

Monitor National Marine Sanctuary's Youth Working Group is hosting the 2nd annual One Ocean Student Film Festival for videographers in 6th through 12th grade. Submission deadline is March 15, and the winners will be announced at an event during Earth Fair OBX on April 26 at UNC Coastal Studies Institute in Wanchese, N.C. Topics may include, but are not limited to indigenous maritime cultures, shipwrecks as reefs, war along our coasts, seafaring traditions and land-based maritime heritage. Categories are 1-5 minute microshorts or 5-12 minute short films.

Voyage to Discovery Essay Contest

The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, in collaboration with the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, is conducting a national essay contest open to all middle and high school students in the United States. Applicants must submit an essay on an African-American individual or group who made a significant contribution to U.S. maritime history. The essay has to be about a person or group of people who are NOT already profiled on the National Association of Black Scuba Divers (NABS) website, or the Voyage to Discovery website. A list of possible essay topics can be found here. Deadline is April 4. The High School student prize is $1,500 and the Middle School student prize is $500. Winners will be announced by the end of May. More information.


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:
Coral Nurseries Eligible for
TDC Funding
Proposed Airboat Regulations
Become A Sanctuary Friend
NewsMakers
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.
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REEF, Fish & Friends Seminar
TODAY! Jan. 14, 7 pm, REEF Headquarters, MM 98.3, Key Largo
Free lecture on the second Tuesday of every month. This month, Jack Grove will present “Anchors & Atolls” about the discovery of a shipwreck in the Pitcairn Island Group. Social begins at 6:30 pm.

FKCC Sanctuary Seminar Series
STARTS TODAY! Jan. 14 - Feb. 18, Tuesdays from 6:30-8 pm, Eco-Discovery Center, Key West
Want to learn more about the ecological and cultural resources of the Sanctuary? Here's your chance! Register now to hear presentations from accomplished scientists on subjects ranging from marine weather to mosquitoes. All for a mere $19. Call 305-809-3185 to register. More information.

Friends in Focus Movie Nights
First & third Tuesdays of the month, 7 pm, Sail & Power Squadron Education Building, 12 Loggerhead Lane, Marathon. 
Jan. 21: Do the Math; Feb. 4: Otter 501. Part of a monthly film series sponsored by Sanctuary Friends and the Marathon Sail & Power Squadron. Social begins at 6:30 pm.


Membership Update
December 2013
Welcome! Thank you for your support!

New & Returning Members ($30-$199)

Mark Scott

Marcel Damiecki

Dynasty Marine Associates

Harvey Pastan

Joyce Newman

John Jarnagin

Benefactors

($200+)

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


SPONSORS
Please support the companies that support the FKNMS and Sanctuary Friends.
Platinum:
Waste Management
Marathon Garbage Service
Keys Sanitary
Sunbelt Rentals
Little Palm Island Resort
Cressi International
Centennial Bank
Gold:
The Weekly Newspapers
Hawks Cay Resort
Marathon Jet Center
Keys Acoustics Insulation
Tranquility Bay Resort
Silver:
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


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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.


We want your input!
If you have stories of note or just want to comment on our newsletter, please email:

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If you are not already on our mailing list,
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
info@SanctuaryFriends.org
www.SanctuaryFriends.org



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

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