Click to view this email in a browser

Sanctuary Friends Foundation of the Florida Keys
May 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.

Shortened Federal Red Snapper Season Announced

Charter boat and recreational fishermen will have only 11 days beginning June 1 to reel in red snapper from federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico this year, down from 42 last year. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council approved the emergency change on April 10 in Baton Rouge.
Charter fishermen said the change would damage their business, but council members said it was needed to ensure the future of red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico. Charter captains contend they are going to have to target redfish, amberjack, shark and other species to make up the difference.
Red Snapper
The reduction in federal season length from the expected 40 days was reluctantly endorsed by council members as a way to comply with a judge's ruling that said the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) violated national fishery management policy when it allowed the recreational sector to exceed its quota consistently without implementing additional accountability measures to prevent it.
Just hours after the short season was approved, Louisiana officials announced that their state waters were opening to the year-round harvest of the popular gamefish. Previously the season had been open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only. The bag and possession limit remains two fish per person at a 16-inch-minimum length. Any additional Louisiana red snapper poundage landed above what federal fisheries managers used to estimate the 2014 season length would most likely reduce the federal season even further.
Texas has never complied with federal regulations, maintaining a year-round fishery for red snapper in its 9-mile state waters. The daily bag limit is four fish at a 15-inch minimum size limit.
With a very small percentage of red snapper caught off Texas and Louisiana, however, season-length impacts from state seasons there do not compare to that of Florida. On April 16, FWC set the Florida red snapper season for May 24 through July 14, or 52 days. Last year, Florida waters opened for 44 days beginning June 1. For 28 of those days, the state season ran concurrently with the federal season. The daily bag limit will remain two per person.
The increase in Florida's state season could have drastic impacts on the federal season. NMFS estimated that red snapper landings from Florida state water totaled 1.2 million pounds in 2013. That is the vast majority of the 1.8 million pounds total the service estimated was landed from all non-compliant state waters. Florida state waters in the Gulf are from shore to 9 nautical miles. Federal waters extend from where state waters end, out to about 200 nautical miles.
Mississippi and Alabama both fully comply with federal red snapper seasons in their territorial waters.
The limited federal season must next be approved by the Secretary of Commerce, but is subject to change depending on projections by NOAA Fisheries for when the recreational red snapper quota may be caught. Because of the increase in season lengths from some states, there is a distinct possibility no federal season this year or in future years. The economic impact of the short season could negatively impact fishing communities across the Gulf due to loss of charter trips, and less business at bait-and-tackle stores, condominiums and restaurants.

Carysfort Reef Next Coral Restoration Project

Most of us are aware that Keys branching corals have been in severe decline for the past 20 to 30 years. On Carysfort Reef near Key Largo, for example, living coral have declined 92 percent from 1975 to 2000. But thanks to the Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF) and Ocean Reef Conservation Association, Carysfort will be the next target for coral restoration.
Coral Restoration Foundation volunteers plant coral specimens on Pickles Reef. Photo credit: Ken Nedimyer
Coral-growing pioneer Ken Nedimyer has become internationally known for his methods of growing elkhorn and staghorn coral in offshore nurseries and planting them on the reef, where they can grow and reproduce in the wild. Members of the nonprofit foundation began installing PVC pipe trees near Carysfort in December. Coral fragments are attached to the trees that, over time, grow to the point where they can be planted on the reef.
Nedimyer said several factors have contributed to the reef's decline. They include cold snaps in 1977 and 2010, overfishing and sewage pollution. The latter happened because, until recently, most Keys properties used septic tanks and cesspits that leaked through porous limestone and into the ocean, bay and Gulf. Nedimyer is optimistic this will be resolved by the state mandate that all properties in the Keys connect to centralized wastewater systems by December 2015.
The CRF operates on donations, and the Ocean Reef Conservation Association and the people of Ocean Reef Club have donated more than $100,000 to the Carysfort operation through their "Adopt A Coral" program.

Sanctuary Friends Golf Tournament Seeks Sponsors

Sanctuary Friends is looking for sponsors for the Sanctuary Scramble Golf Tournament taking place at Key West Golf Club on Sunday, June 22. This is the second annual event and the major fundraiser for Sanctuary Friends and the other non-profit organizations it supports.
Sanctuary Scramble Golf Tournament
The tournament has already garnered a lot of support and will host a minimum of 80 golfers on the greens. Your donation will entitle your company to being acknowledged at our event and in our promotion of the event in The Weekly newspapers, chamber of commerce newsletters, Facebook, Twitter and others. Contact Kristen or Sanctuary Friends Board Chair George Neugent for more information about becoming a sponsor.
We hope you will come out and support this very important event! Thank you!


Join iGive and Support Sanctuary Friends

Help Sanctuary Friends by signing up for iGive and using it when you shop online. A percentage of your purchases will automatically be donated to our non-profit foundation! The site includes 350,000 shoppers helping 35,000 causes by shopping at 1,400 retailers such as The Home Depot, Best Buy, Toys “R”, Us, Walgreens, Expedia, PetCo, Staples and more. Join now and start helping your favorite non-profits without even trying!

REEF Receives 2013 Hollings Grant

The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation (NMSF) recently announced seven awardees of grants for this year under the Ernest F. Hollings Ocean Awareness Trust Fund. Forty organizations across the country submitted proposals for projects that will engage the public in ocean conservation and bring attention to the value of national marine sanctuaries. This year, NMSF was able to supplement the funding, in part with support from NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service. The seven recipients won a combined total of approximately $166,000.
REEF Environmental Education Foundation of Key Largo, won a $25,000 grant for its "Invasive Lionfish in the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary" 
program. REEF will address the invasive lionfish crisis by involving the volunteer dive community in a study of effective lionfish removals. A four-day removal event will focus the effort to control the population and provide data that could lead to more effective control mechanisms for invasive fish species. By engaging stakeholders, the project will increase public awareness and build connections in the local community, and serve as a model for similar activities in Florida Keys and Gray’s Reef national marine sanctuaries. Congratulations REEF!

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

If you enjoyed this newsletter, please forward to a friend
If you are not already on our mailing list, sign up for our monthly e-newsletter.

In This Issue:
Red Snapper Season Updates
Carysfort Reef Coral Restoration
Golf Tournament Sponsors Needed
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.

REEF, Fish & Friends Seminar
TODAY! May 13, 7 pm, REEF Headquarters, MM 98.3, Key Largo
Free lecture on the second Tuesday of every month. This month, Carlos and Allison Estape, noted underwater photographers and REEF 2013 Volunteers of the Year, will discuss the biodiversity of Alligator Reef & and the 100-Species Century Diver Challenge. Social begins at 6:30 pm.

World Oceans Day
June 8
Our planet’s biggest celebration of the ocean. People around the planet celebrate and honor the body of water which links us all, for what it provides humans and what it represents. Be a part of this growing global celebration! Explore the website for ideas, resources, and information about how you can get involved or to find a nearby event.

Capitol Hill Ocean Week (CHOW)
June 10-12
For more than a decade, CHOW, hosted by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, has provided marine professionals, government officials, and ocean enthusiasts with unique venues to network with colleagues, advance policy goals, and mingle with ocean champions – all in the heart of Washington, D.C. More information and agenda.

Sanctuary Scramble Golf Tournament
June 22, 8:30 am, Key West Golf Club, Key West
This is the second annual event and the major fundraiser for Sanctuary Friends and the other non-profit organizations it supports. Cost per 4-person team is $400. Download the team registration form here or call 305-481-0685 for more information.

Welcome! Thank you for your support!

New & Returning Members ($30-$199)

Nancy Gold

Don and Joanne Prince

Billy D. Causey



Joseph DiFilippo

Ocean Reef Community Foundation

The Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory

Shirley Shumway

Charles Causey

Mike Klayman

Bruce Ferrer

Mr. & Mrs. Russel W. Fisher

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 

Find Us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter!

Donate your car!

1% for the  Planet Recipient

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).
We take your privacy seriously. Your email address will never be sold, rented or given away. All our emails include an easy opt-out feature. If you have activated spam filters in your email application, please add the following email to your address book:
Sanctuary Friends Foundation of the Florida Keys
Located at the at the historic Crane House at Crane Point Museum and Hammock
Mailing Address:
PO Box 504301
Marathon, Florida 33050
Tel: (305)
289-2288 Fax: (305) 289-2289

If you no longer wish to receive these emails, please reply to this message with "Unsubscribe" in the subject line or simply click on the following link: Unsubscribe

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

Read the VerticalResponse marketing policy.

Non-Profits Email Free with VerticalResponse!