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Sanctuary Friends Foundation of the Florida Keys
September 2010
Sanctuary Friends Foundation of the Florida Keys
News & Notes


Half Price Membership Special
Until Sept. 30 only!

Become a Sanctuary Friend and receive FULL benefits for HALF price. Memberships good until Dec. 31, 2011! Memberships start as low as $30, so you pay only $15 until the end of the month. Please join us!
(Enter amount manually and type "Half Price" in the Comments section. Questions? Email Diana)


The Importance of Mangroves

Long known to be the backbone of the Florida Keys coastline, mangroves are also an important factor in regulating carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Mangroves in the Florida KeysAccording to a Florida State University study, mangroves provide more than 10 percent of essential dissolved organic carbon that is supplied to the global ocean from land. Dissolved organic matter is an important player in the global carbon cycle that regulates atmospheric carbon dioxide and climate.
The term "mangrove" refers to all plants growing in saline soils and there are more than 50 species distributed worldwide along tropical coastlines. Mangroves in South Florida provide several other benefits:
  • Shoreline Protection. Mangroves protect shorelines from damaging storm and hurricane winds, waves, and floods. Mangroves also help prevent erosion by stabilizing sediments with their tangled root systems.
  • Nursery for fish and invertebrates. Mangroves are a critical component of Florida's commercial and recreational fishing industries because they provide a habitat rich in food and safe from predation. Florida's fisheries would suffer a dramatic decline without access to healthy mangrove habitats.
  • Habitat for Threatened and Endangered Species. Mangroves support a number of threatened and endangered species such as the American alligator, green sea turtle, brown pelican, key deer and West Indian manatee. These species utilize mangrove systems during at least some portion of their life.
Mangrove foliage has declined by nearly half over the past several decades because of increasing coastal development and damage to its habitat. This rapid decline could threaten the delicate balance between the land and ocean, with potential consequences for atmospheric composition and climate.

Establishing Marine Reserves

Increasingly, ocean advocates are calling for the establishment of a worldwide system of very large, highly protected marine reserves, comparable to large national parks on land. These fully-protected marine reserves are areas of the sea completely protected from fishing and other extractive or harmful human uses. These areas may contain core zones where no human activities are allowed. For instance, areas that act as scientific reference areas or areas where there are particularly sensitive habitats or species.
Apo Island Marine Reserve in central Philippines
Although we already have established Marine Protected Areas (MPA), nearly all U.S. MPAs allow multiple uses, including fishing. MPAs areas are established for the conservation of natural or cultural resources and are the umbrella term under which stricter marine reserves fall. Many feel marine reserves to be the key to reversing global fisheries decline.
No-take marine reserves have been shown to blunt the effects of excessive commercial fishing by offering a refuge for sea life to breed and spawn, providing for healthier fisheries as the fish swim into surrounding areas, and thus ensuring more resilient coastal economies. Because the ecosystems in ocean reserves are healthier, they are also more resistant to the damage caused by pollution, climate change and a wide range of other development activities.
Marine reserves are not just about overfishing. They are increasingly seen as an essential global tool to protect the marine environment, including from pollution caused by the disposal of wastes. However they are not without opposition. What do you think? Should the government protect more of the world's oceans as marine reserves and to what extent?

Climate Action Day: 10-10-10

For the second year in a row, Sanctuary Friends will participate in’s Climate Action Day, this year to be held on Oct. 10. The first event will be a free screening (the first in the Florida Keys) of the movie "The Age of Stupid" at the Eco-Discovery Center. This climate blockbuster film is about the scientific projections of a 2055 world if we continue to do nothing to address climate change. The screening will be on 10-10-10 at 10 am (and also 2 pm and 4 pm). In Marathon, Josh Tickell's movie "Fuel" will be shown at the Brady Building in Marathon. This powerful documentary is a portrait of America's addiction to and reliance on oil. A social will begin at 4 pm and the film will run from 4:30-6:30 pm.
350 is an international campaign to unite the world around solutions to climate change. Its focus is on the number 350 -- as in parts per million CO2, what scientists say is the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. If we can't get below that level, the damage we're already seeing from global warming will continue and accelerate.
Last October, coordinated 5,200 simultaneous rallies and demonstrations in 181 countries, which CNN called the “most widespread day of political action in the planet's history.” This year they’re organizing a Global Work Party on 10-10-10 all over the world as a day to celebrate climate solutions. Find an event.


New Sanctuary Superintendent

We are pleased to report that Sean Morton was officially installed as FKNMS Superintendent in September. He has served notably in an acting capacity since the departure of Dave Score in March 2009. Superintendent Morton will now have the opportunity to build on the terrific foundation he’s put in place, and we are proud that he will be staying with us in this important leadership capacity.
Commander Score, who was promoted to the rank of Captain in the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps, will be coming off the NOAA Ship Gordon Gunter in November and will move to Norfolk in the position of Commanding Officer of NOAA's Marine Operations Center – Atlantic. Sanctuary Friends is honored that both men serve our organization as Ex Officio members of the board. We salute you!

Congratulations to Our Winners!

Thanks to all who participated in our feedback contest last month. All respondents were entered in a drawing and we gave away two Sanctuary Friends embroidered polo shirts to Diane Lundy and Lyn Penn.
Here is some of what we heard:
  • "The e-newsletter is eco-responsible, visually appealing, succinct and packed with timely information for a wide variety of Marine Sanctuary users. The Event Calendar is a great addition too. Keep up the good work!"
  • "I really enjoy reading all your e-mails and your newsletter makes my day. Keep us all the important and informative work."
  • "Love the newsletters!"
  • "I think your newsletter is awesome. I wouldn’t change a thing."
  • "I really enjoy the Sanctuary Friends newsletters. They are VERY well written and informative."
Do you agree? We don't have a contest this month, but we'd still love to hear your opinion (good or bad). Email us and tell us what you think!

International Coastal Cleanup

by Todd Hitchins, Team O.C.E.A.N. Coordinator
A dozen volunteers from the FKNMS Team OCEAN once again took to land and sea to support the Ocean Conservancy International Coastal Cleanup. This is the 25th anniversary of this international effort, estimated to involve over 300,000 volunteers from more than 90 countries. The site of this year's cleanup was Boca Chica Beach, which is also the northern end of the Western Sambo Ecological Reserve -- one of the largest protected "no-take" areas within the FKNMS. Due to prevailing winds and currents, this particular area collects an above average amount of marine debris.
Team OCEAN volunteersVolunteers were able to remove over 900 pounds of plastic, polypropylene trap line, Styrofoam, bottles, cans and other litter from this otherwise beautiful natural area. Marine debris can considerably harm local marine life through entanglement, ingestion and habitat destruction. With an estimated six million tons of marine debris added to the ocean each year, it is important not only to clean up our coastal areas, but also to reduce the amount of litter and trash that is produced. Recycling, re-usable containers and proper trash disposal are just a few of the ways to reduce our collective impact.
Team OCEAN volunteers contribute many hours to shoreline cleanups every year. Shoreline cleanups serve the community by beautifying our natural areas and help many species of wildlife by reducing entanglement and ingestion hazards posed by marine debris.

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Our Mission
Sanctuary Friends Foundation of the Florida Keys supports the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (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 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
Importance of Mangroves
Marine Reserves

Upcoming Events

From the Board

Dear Friends:
Why do we have protected areas in the waters of the Florida Keys? Many don’t fully comprehend their importance, partly due to a concept known as “Shifting Baselines” or, simply, the failure to notice change. It’s “old-timer” perspective: current generations don’t appreciate the way things “used to be” because they haven’t experienced the differences personally. In our oceans, marine resources have seriously declined. If left unchecked as these baselines shift from generation to generation, all life on earth could be negatively affected.
Nearly 40 percent of U.S. waters are protected in some way (known as Marine Protected Areas or MPA’s). That may sound like a lot, but many of these conservation areas do not include “no use” or “no take” protection. Less than 0.5 percent of the world's oceans are fully protected from extractive or destructive activities such as unchecked and exploitative overfishing, pollution and climate change, according to the PEW Environment Group. Some say that’s not enough and are calling for the creation of more "marine reserves," areas of the ocean where the exploitation of all living resources -- together with non-living resources such as sand, gravel and other minerals -- is prevented.
The purpose of Sanctuary Friends is to support the preservation, restoration and sustainable use of the coral reef and marine ecosystems in our precious FKNMS through development of community support and advancement of public awareness, education, outreach and scientific research. With your help, Sanctuary Friends can one day span the generations to advance understanding and the need for action in protecting these resources for the good of all. Become a member, join our activities, learn more and enjoy our resources in a responsible manner … and help us spread the word!
Dolly M. Garlo, Board Member

Upcoming Events

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

Dry Tortugas Lecture Series
Free lecture series titled “Celebrating 75 Years of Preserving the Dry Tortugas.”
Sept. 14 - Oct. 19, 6:30 pm, Eco-Discovery Center, Key West
September 28 – Research Area’s Role in Maintaining the Health of the Florida Keys Ecosystem
October 5 – The Archeology of the Dry Tortugas
October 12 – Birds of the Dry Tortugas: Migrants and Breeders
October 19 – Totten Shutter Removal and Fort Stabilization

Climate Awareness Day Movies
The Age of Stupid
Oct. 10, 10 am, 2 pm, 4 pm, Eco-Discovery Center, Key West
Join Sanctuary Friends in a global “10-10-10” event with the first screening in the Florida Keys of "The Age of Stupid." Please join us for any one of the three showings at the Eco-Discovery Center.
Oct. 10, 4:30 pm, the Brady Building, 12 Loggerhead Lane, Marathon
Sanctuary Friends and the Marathon Sail & Power Squadron present a special screening of Josh Tickell's “Fuel.”

Lionfish Derby
Oct. 16, Keys Fisheries Market and Marina, Marathon
Following detailed briefings on lionfish collecting and handling, derby participants will be allowed to collect fish on the day of the tournament using hand nets or spearfishing gear. $100 registration fee for a four-person team.
More than $10,000 in cash and prizes! More information or to register.

Stone Crab Season Opens
Oct. 15
About 40 percent of Florida’s annual stone crab harvest of more than 3.1 million pounds comes from Keys waters. Stone crab claws are a renewable resource because the crabs can re-grow harvested claws. It is illegal to take claws from female stone crabs carrying eggs. Recreational stone crabbing regulations. 

Full Moon Paddle Fundraiser
Oct. 23, 6-8 pm, Big Pine Kayak Adventures
Beginners and experienced paddlers are invited to join in this guided paddling event and eco-tour excursion to benefit FAVOR. Suggested donation: $25, includes kayak. Volunteers also needed. Call 305-872-7474 to reserve.

EcoWeek Florida Keys
Nov. 1-14

Inaugural Keys-wide event to educate and celebrate environmental preservation. Special activities in the Upper, Middle and Lower Keys to celebrate healthy living, a healthy planet and peaceable and sustainable communities.

Welcome New Members
August / September 2010
Thank you for your support!
Sanctuary Adventurer $50
Hans Hoegh-Guldberg
Ronald Childree
  Sanctuary Patron $500
Billy & Laura Causey

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.

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.
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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