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


Congratulations to our Winner!
More than 55 new members signed up during our Membership Drive that ended on March 31. One name was drawn from among the new members to receive a framed print by renowned underwater photographer
Stephen Frink.
Congratulations to Julie Brown from Key West!
Become a Sanctuary Friend or Renew Your Membership today.

BP Oil Spill: One Year Later

April 20 marked the one-year anniversary of the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon, which killed 11 crew members and dumped more than 4 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. But no trace of the BP oil has been found in Florida Keys waters.
Deepwater Horizon Explosion
Since the spill, the U.S. Coast Guard in Key West has sent from 80 to 100 samples of tar balls and oil found in Keys waters and shores to its testing laboratory in Connecticut. None of the samples thus far have matched the distinctive chemical signature of Deepwater Horizon oil. Most appeared to come from illegal dumping, like a ship's bilge being pumped overboard, or from a long-sunken ship. Still, the BP oil was not 100 percent recovered, we all know that.
Marine scientists continue to monitor and test gulf waters for lasting effects of the crude oil that leaked up from a mile below the surface over 87 days last spring and summer. In September, NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco said the agency "must ask the hard questions of how this spill impacts this and future generations of species within the ecosystem, and how those changes in turn affect the ecosystem service provided to the people of the Gulf."
Last May, President Barack Obama created the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling to provide the President, policymakers, industry, and the American people a clear, accessible, accurate and fair account of the largest oil spill in U.S history. As a result of the final report released in January, Rep. Edward Markey introduced the "Implementing the Recommendations of the BP Oil Spill Commission Act." The bill currently has seven co-sponsors, but to gain momentum toward passage, it will need a lot more. 
So, it's time to pick up the phone and urge your representative to support oil spill legislation. It's easy! And more importantly, it will have an important effect on your elected official. Let your representatives know you are in support of support oil spill legislation.

Sex, Drugs and Sea Slime Presentation

Join Sanctuary Friends and REEF Environmental Education Foundation for a very special REEF, Fish & Friends on May 10. We are pleased to welcome Dr. Ellen Prager to talk about her new book (just released in April), Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime: The Oceans' Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter.
Sex, Drugs and Sea Slime by Dr. Ellen PragerDr. Prager takes readers of her new book deep into the sea to introduce an astonishing cast of fascinating and, frankly, bizarre creatures that make the salty depths their home. But there's far more to Prager's account than her ever-entertaining anecdotes: again and again, she illustrates the crucial connections between life in the ocean and humankind, in everything from our food supply to our economy, in drug discovery, biomedical research, and in popular culture. Written with a diver's love of the ocean, a novelist's skill at storytelling, and a scientist's deep knowledge, Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime enchants as it educates, enthralling us with the wealth of life in the sea and reminding us of the need to protect it.
  • “The oceans could have no better story teller than Ellen Prager and the stories she tells should make ocean advocates of us all.” -U.S. Congressman Brian Baird - Chairman of the Energy and Environment subcommittee of the House Science and Technology Committee
  • "If you read only one book about the ocean - read this one.” -Sylvia Earle, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence
  • "In my years of diving and reporting below the surface of the sea, Ellen Prager has been the most effective and humorous storyteller about life in the ocean. You really should read this book, which not only teaches us about the ocean, but also makes it entertaining and gives us ideas about how to save the sea and the wonderful life in it." -Bob Woodruff ABC News
Dr. Prager is a well-respected marine scientist and author, widely recognized for her expertise and ability to bring science to the layperson. She is formerly the chief scientist for the Aquarius Reef Base program in Key Largo, FL, which includes the world’s only undersea research station, and a freelance writer and consultant for clients such as the world-renowned Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami. She has appeared on The Today Show and NBC News, Good Morning America, Fox News, CBS Early Show and News, CNN American Morning, Larry King, and The Weather Channel. Learn more about Dr. Prager.
The presentation will begin at 7 p.m. with a social starting at 6:30 at the REEF Headquarters, MM 98.3, Key Largo, on Tuesday, May 10.

Ocean Acidification Study Reveals Dangers to New Corals

A new study on coral reproduction conducted at Key Largo reefs indicates a rise in ocean acidification may hinder growth of new corals by as much as 73 percent over the next century. The findings reveal a new danger to the already threatened Caribbean and Florida reef Elkhorn corals.
Ocean Acidification Study Reveals Dangers to New CoralsPrior research on ocean acidification (the absorption of carbon dioxide by seawater resulting in a decline in pH level) generally looked at effects on adult organisms. Recent studies such as this one, conducted by the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, are beginning to reveal how ocean acidification could compromise the successful reproduction, fertilization and survivorship of Elkhorn corals, as well as severely impact the ability of coral reefs to recover from disturbances.
“Ocean acidification is widely viewed as an emerging threat to coral reefs,” said researcher Rebecca Albright. "We're just now realizing that it affects more organisms than originally thought."
Elkhorn coral is recognized as a critical reef-building species that once dominated tropical coral reef ecosystems. In 2006, Elkhorn was included on the U.S. Endangered Species List.
The doctoral study was published in November 2010 and has received worldwide attention. The paper’s co-authors include Benjamin Mason, who was a recipient of the Sanctuary Friends Matthew W. Beard Memorial Fund Grant.
Watch a video about the study featuring Rebecca Albright.


Donate Your Vehicle

Sanctuary Friends is excited to report that we received our first vehicle donation from Thomas Bird of Big Pine Key. His truck was immediately sold and the proceeds went directly to Sanctuary Friends to support our mission of preservation, restoration and sustainable use of our coral reef and marine ecosystems. Thank you, Thomas!

YOUR old and tired wheels can also become much-needed funds for Sanctuary Friends. All vehicle shape, sizes and condition are accepted. Proceeds from the sale of your unwanted car, truck or RV go directly toward our mission. Vehicle donation is a hassle-free and easy way to give, AND your contribution is tax-deductible! Learn more about how to donate your vehicle.

National Weather Service Open House Benefits Sanctuary Friends

FKNMS teamed up with the National Weather Service for a free-admission, family fun science day on March 19 to benefit Sanctuary Friends. The Open House featured exhibits, food, music and activities for all ages.
Tours of the Weather Service facilities were highly attended; participants enjoyed learning how forecasters and meteorologists interpret Florida Keys weather data and give accurate predictions using the latest technology.
This year’s sponsors were once again Publix and Midland Radio, with the addition of Coca-Cola. A huge thank you goes out to the following businesses that supported the raffle: Midland Radio, G.C. Amigos Tortilla, Fixed Gear Bicycle Repair, Thai Island and Sports Page. This event could not happen without the expertise of Bill Cottrill and his friends: Alicia Rizzo, Nick Busey, WSCG, Roger Bluestone, Barbara Bowers, Elaine Chinnis, Leigha Fox and Kim Foehringer.
Exhibitors included: FAVOR (Friends and Volunteers of Refuges), REEF, Pigeon Key Foundation, Seacamp, Save-A-Turtle, Marine Mammal Conservancy, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Reef Relief, Bahia Honda State Park, Florida Keys Mosquito Control District, Last Stand, Wild Bird Rescue of Big Pine, Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority, Key West Fire Department, CW Colt and Chris Flowers, Clinic of Alternative Medicine (Dr. Ashley Hoyt) and the National Weather Service. Looking forward to seeing everyone again next year!

Updated Seafood WATCH Guides

Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch guides provide at-a-glance info on which fish is relatively abundant (OK to eat) and which species are overfished (need to avoid). They also flag types of seafood that contain levels of mercury or PCBs that pose a health risk. Download a pocket guide for your region or get the iPhone or Android app.

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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
Oil Spill: One Year Later

Sex, Drugs & Sea Slime

Ocean Acidification Study
Upcoming Events

From the Board

Dear Friends:
If you had to choose one phrase that describes the basis of our current community economy, what would it be? Hmmm… “The only coral reef in the continental United States” easily comes to mind – the environmental treasure that is the FKNMS.
What is the total value of our coral reefs? Can we put a number on it? Well, yes, and no. Such broad economic estimates are not an exact science. Whether it is the business of fishing, diving, gift shop, museum, resort, bar, restaurant, kayak rental, gas station, marina, environmental park, serving the residents who serve the tourists or actually producing a product from the sea, the basis of our economy is inextricably tied to the health of our coral reefs and the health of the fish and invertebrates native to our waters.
And this is a problem because our coral reefs and our near shore marine environments need help. They are in danger of being “loved to death,” while at the same time being polluted by the effluent of an affluent society. In many areas, they are in serious environmental decline.
It is very important that we all care greatly about our unique environment; in fact, we should care just as much about the environmental base of our economy as we do about the economy itself. After all, as the environment declines, so does our economy, and so do your job and your business.
Please join us as a member of Sanctuary Friends, a local organization with concern for the Keys ecosystem from the uplands of our islands, to our coral reefs, and into the deeper waters that surround us. Preservation and restoration of these reefs and near shore waters is nothing less than the protection and preservation of the economic basis of our community. If we don’t care and don’t actively support the programs that conserve our environment, who will?
Martin “Skip” Moe
Board Member

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.

50%-off Admission to Florida’s State Parks
Mothers Day, May 8 and Fathers Day, June 19
To celebrate special occasions, entry into Florida's state parks will be discounted at the 160 parks and 74 unique saltwater fishing facilities throughout the state. More information.

Sex, Drugs & Sea Slime Presentation by Dr. Ellen Prager
May 10, 7 pm, REEF Headquarters, MM 98.3, Key Largo
Hidden beneath the sea’s waves are a staggering abundance and variety of active creatures engaged in the never-ending struggles of life – to reproduce, eat and avoid being eaten. Marine scientist Ellen Prager takes readers deep into the sea in her new book, “Sex, Drug and Sea Slime: The Ocean’s Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter.” She will introduce you to an astonishing cast of fascinating and, frankly, bizarre creatures that make the salty depths their home. Join us for a reception at 6:30.

Friends in Focus Film Series: Jean-Michel Cousteau, America's Underwater Treasures, Part I
May 12, 7:30 pm, Sail & Power Squadron Education 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. Come early for a Social at 7:00 pm.

Lionfish Derbies
Kick off the 2011 Lionfish Derby Series starting in May!
May 14: Middle Keys-Fiesta Key Resort, Long Key
August 20: Upper Keys-Coconuts Restaurant and Bar, Key Largo
November 5: Lower Keys-Hurricane Hole Marina, Key West
More information.

Welcome New Members
March / April 2011
Thank you for your support!
Sanctuary Buddy $30
Harvey Paston
David R. Cangemi
Christopher Getts
Susan Cooper
Sidney Goldman
Marcel Damiecki
Joanie Huff
Reg Yearsley
Don & Patti Biga
Randy Hall
Sanctuary Adventurer $50
Bill Cotrill
Tom Genovese
Ropbert Eichholtz, Jr.
Leigh Williams

Sanctuary Donor $100
Bruce & Sherry Popham
Katharine B. Simonds
J.E. Fisher

Sanctuary Advocate $200
Billy D. and Laura G. Causey

Bronze Ocean Life Associate $500
Publix Supermarkets
Midland Radio (John Chass)

Sanctuary Benefactor $1,000
Michael Fimiani

Coming ...
Eco-Discovery Tours

Discover the Florida Keys through eco-friendly and historical excursions. Call 305-289-2288 or email to request a brochure.

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. We 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.

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
Suite 102
Marathon, FL 33050

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