Click to view this email in a browser

Sanctuary Friends Foundation of the Florida Keys
January 2017
Sanctuary Friends Foundation of the Florida Keys
News & Notes


Happy New Year from Friends!
We'd like to take this time to thank our readers and members for your support all year long. We wish you peace and success in the new year.
Donate Now!

Non-Native Onespot Rabbitfish Removed from Florida Waters

REEF's Rapid Response Team recently removed a non-native Onespot Rabbitfish from Florida waters within 24 hours of its reporting. The rabbitfish is the 36th non-native marine fish documented in Florida waters through REEF’s Exotic Species Sightings Program, and its removal is the 5th successful rapid response effort led by REEF. The Onespot Rabbitfish was seen and reported by a REEF member while diving offshore of Dania Beach.
Onespot Rabbitfish. Photo by Florent Charpin
Like lionfish, rabbitfish are venomous with voracious appetites. Rabbitfish eat marine vegetation such as seaweeds, algae and seagrasses and could impact native fish habitat. They are native to the Asian Pacific region. It is probable that, like the lionfish, the Onespot Rabbitfish was introduced to the South Florida reef via an aquarium release.
The fish was placed at the new Philip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science in Miami and will be displayed as part of an educational exhibit on the dangers of non-native species. Over the past several years, USGS and REEF have coordinated the removal of the rabbitfish and four other non-native marine fish species from Florida waters. All four species were captured alive, and three of the four are currently on display at educational institutions. If you are a diver in Florida, please keep your eyes open for this species. If you see one, fill out an exotic species reporting form.

Ten Simple Choices for a Healthier Planet
Start the new year with these resolutions!

On the lookout for some great New Year's resolutions? Here are ten simple ways to help conserve our oceans.
Protecting Our Planet Starts with YOU!
  • Reduce, reuse and recycle. Cut down on what you throw away. Follow the three "R's" to conserve natural resources and landfill space.
  • Volunteer. Volunteer for cleanups in your community. You can get involved in protecting your watershed, too.
  • Educate. When you further your own education, you can help others understand the importance and value of our natural resources.
  • Conserve water. The less water you use, the less runoff and wastewater that eventually end up in the ocean.
  • Choose sustainable. Learn how to make smart seafood choices at
  • Shop wisely. Buy less plastic and bring a reusable shopping bag.
  • Use long-lasting light bulbs. Energy efficient light bulbs reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Also flip the light switch off when you leave the room!
  • Plant a tree. Trees provide food and oxygen. They help save energy, clean the air, and help combat climate change.
  • Don't send chemicals into our waterways. Choose non-toxic chemicals in the home and office.
  • Bike more. Drive less.

Key Largo Lionfish Derby Scheduled for Feb. 11

REEF lionfish derbyREEF is continuing to lead the charge on combating invasive lionfish! The 2017 Winter Lionfish Derby is just around the corner and it’s going to be bigger than ever. For those who are not familiar with a lionfish derby, it is a competition where divers and snorkelers compete to bring in the most lionfish in a single day. There are cash prizes for teams who land the most lionfish, as well as the largest and smallest.
REEF hosted the first Lionfish Derby in 2009, making this the 9th year of derbies. Last year more 2,400 lionfish were brought in as part of the series, and more than 18,000 lionfish have been removed by participants since the first derby! The next derby will be held on Feb. 11 at Sharkey’s Pub & Galley in Key Largo. Find out more and register online.


Recreational & Charter Fishing Working Group Meetings Announced

The Sanctuary Advisory Council (SAC) of the FKNMS is working to develop a voluntary education and recognition program for charter fishing operators. The aim of the program is to recognize charter fishing operators who meet set criteria to educate their customers to conserve the special ecosystem of the Florida Keys, increase awareness and stewardship of the FKNMS within the resident and visiting angling community, increase communication and partnership between FKNMS and the recreational and charter fishing community and promote FKNMS as a multiple use recreational area. Scoping meetings and initial workshops begin this month in several Keys locations. For more information, contact Nicole Uibel at 305-809-4711. Meeting times and locations can be found here.

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.

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:

In This Issue:
Non-Native Rabbitfish Removed
New Year's Resolutions
Lionfish Derby Feb. 11
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.

Ocean Life Series: Progress in Revealing the Tree of Life
Jan. 20, 7 pm, Nelson Government Center, MM102, Key Largo
Tim Collins, Professor of Biological Sciences at FIU, will explore the diversity and relationships of life on earth. Meet & Greet begins at 6 p.m. More information.

REEF Winter Lionfish Derby
Feb. 11, Sharkey’s Pub & Galley, 522 Caribbean Dr., Key Largo
REEF's Fifth Annual Event. Late registration at 5:30 pm and mandatory captain’s meeting at 6:30 pm on Friday, Feb. 10 at REEF Headquarters, 98300 Overseas Highway, Key Largo. Teams may begin collecting lionfish at sunrise on Derby Day. All lionfish must be turned in to the scoring station by 5 pm. Awards ceremony at approximately 6 pm following lionfish tastings. Cash prizes for the most, biggest and smallest lionfish. Registration fee is $20/person, 4 person max per team. Register online.

December 2016 / January 2017
Welcome! Thank you for your support!
New & Returning Members
Nancy Gold

Please support the companies that support the FKNMS and Sanctuary Friends.
Waste Management
Marathon Garbage Service
Keys Sanitary
Sunbelt Rentals
Cressi International
Island Home Builders
Marathon Jet Center
Centennial Bank
First State Bank
Little Palm Island Resort
The Weekly Newspapers
Conch Color
Papa's Pilar Rum
Ocean Reef Club
Ocean Reef Community Foundation
Diver's Direct
Marathon Boat Yard
Grader Mike Construction
Marathon Chamber of Commerce
A Deep Blue Dive Center
Paver Dave
Keys Contracting Services
Florida Keys Contractor’s Association
Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory
Hard Rock Cafe
Hyatt Key West Resort & Spa
SHOR Restaurant
Westin's Bistro 245
Key West Express
FURY Water Adventures
Dunkin' Donuts
JSA Promotions

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
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!