Click to view this email in a browser

Sanctuary Friends Foundation of the Florida Keys
April 2015
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.

NOAA Announces Expansion of National Marine Sanctuaries
Two Northern California Sanctuaries Nearly Double in Size

FKNMS is one of 14 marine protected areas encompassing more than 170,000 square miles of marine and Great Lakes waters from Washington state to the Florida Keys, and from Lake Huron to American Samoa. FKNMS, designated in 1990 as part of the National Marine Sanctuary System, protects 2,900 square nautical miles of waters surrounding the Florida Keys.
Cordell Bank teems with life above and below the surface. Credit: Joe Hoyt, NOAA
In the summer of 2014, for the first time in two decades, NOAA invited communities across the nation to nominate their most treasured places in our marine and Great Lakes waters for consideration as national marine sanctuaries. The new, locally driven sanctuary nomination process was developed with input from more than 18,000 public comments. As nominations are submitted, NOAA will review each one in several steps. Nominations that pass this review will be added to an inventory of areas NOAA may consider for potential designation as national marine sanctuaries.
The new nomination process also sparked the expansion of several existing national marine sanctuaries. Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary was able to expand to 10 times its original size in September, extending federal protection to approximately 100 additional shipwrecks in Lake Huron.
More recently, Cordell Bank and Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuaries off the northern California coast will both more than double in size following a final rule released in mid-March. The expansion will help protect the region’s marine and coastal habitats, biological resources and special ecological features. Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary, located 42 miles north of San Francisco, will expand from 529 to 1,286 square miles. Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary will expand from 1,282 to 3,295 square miles of ocean and coastal waters.
The California sanctuaries’ expansions include areas of major upwelling where nutrients come to the surface and support a vast array of sea life, including 25 endangered or threatened species, 36 marine mammal species, including blue, gray and humpback whales, harbor seals, elephant seals, Pacific white-sided dolphins, one of the southernmost U.S. populations of Steller sea lions, over a quarter-million breeding seabirds, and one of the most significant great white shark populations on the planet.
These expansions are based on years of public comment and research by NOAA and its scientific partners. NOAA received comments from the public in 2001 expressing interest in expanding the boundaries north and west. In response, the revised management plans published in 2008 included a public process to ensure that sanctuary boundaries were inclusive of the surrounding area’s natural resources and ecological qualities. From December 2012 through June 2014, NOAA conducted a public engagement process to allow citizens to weigh in on the proposed expansion. The agency received more than 1,300 comments, most in support of the proposed expansion.
Out of the 14 sites in the National Marine Sanctuary System, four have now seen growth since their original designation.

BP Spill Money Allocated for Keys Coral Farms and Canals

Coral-restoration efforts will get half of Monroe County's $1.1 million in the first water-pollution fines from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Islamorada was awarded a $100,000 slice for canal restoration work. Monroe County commissioners approved the spending plan for the first installment of RESTORE Act funding for the Keys in February.
The Deepwater Horizon rig burns the day it exploded in 2010.
Islamorada's $100,000 share comes out of $550,000 proposed for the county's own canal-restoration pilot projects. The Nature Conservancy will administer the $550,000 coral-restoration grant for new reef plantings by the Coral Restoration Foundation in the Upper Keys, Mote Marine Laboratory in the Lower Keys and the state Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in the Middle Keys. In addition to staghorn coral, Mote will expand a project to revive boulder corals with replantings. Money for coral restoration primarily will go to costs for staff and boat transportation to transplant nursery-grown staghorn at damaged reef sites.
The money comes from a settlement reached between the federal government and Transocean Deepwater Inc., owner of the rig that exploded and burned in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Additional RESTORE Act funds are expected when a final decision on BP's pollution liability is confirmed. The RESTORE Act was passed by Congress to ensure that pollution fines from the Deepwater Horizon spill go toward environmental or economic restoration.
No oil reached the Keys, but the threat of it was enough to keep tourists away, spelling economic problems for local businesses.

Board Member Focus: Stephen Frink

While underwater photos have become prolific, great underwater photographers who capture iconic images that seer into your memory for a lifetime are rare. Key Largo is fortunate to be the home base of Stephen Frink, one of the most frequently published underwater photographers in the world. He also happens to be a member of Sanctuary Friends Foundation’s Board of Directors.
Photo Courtesy: Stephen Frink
With a career spanning more than three decades, Frink’s photos have appeared in a wide variety of dive journals and magazines worldwide -- including the cover of Newsweek -- and he has provided stunning imagery for hundreds of promotional campaigns. He is also the publisher of Alert Diver, the quarterly magazine for Divers Alert Network. Frink has authored a coffee table book titled "Wonders of the REEF" and teaches master's level courses in underwater photography. Clients for assignment photography over the past three decades have included Canon, Nikon, Victoria’s Secret, Mercury Marine, American Express, Club Med and many others. Rolex Watch Company has engaged Frink for both endorsement and product photography.
Frink’s work has taken him around the globe giving him an intimate knowledge of marine wildlife and the adverse effects that climate change, overfishing and pollution have on the world’s oceans.


Spotlight on: Dolphin SMART

Dolphin SMART is a program designed to reduce the disruption of wild dolphins by encouraging responsible viewing of these marine mammals. The program recognizes commercial wild dolphin tour operators who have made a commitment to educate their customers about the importance of minimizing wild dolphin harassment. Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary encourages you to book with Dolphin SMART operators, to help protect dolphins in the Keys.
The acronym “SMART” is a reminder of the basic principles of dolphin-viewing etiquette:
  • Stay at least 50 yards from dolphins
  • Move away slowly if the dolphins show signs of disturbance
  • Always put your vessel engine in neutral when dolphins are near
  • Refrain from feeding, touching or swimming with wild dolphins
  • Teach others to be Dolphin SMART
Upon acceptance into the voluntary program, Dolphin SMART charters receive flags and stickers and permission to use the Dolphin SMART logo in their advertising. By looking for the current year on flags and logos, visiting the Dolphin SMART website, and checking the updated participant list, you can experience the thrill of seeing dolphins in the wild in a responsible, environmentally friendly way.

In This Issue:
Expansion of Marine Sanctuaries
BP Oil Spill Money Allocated
Board Focus: Stephen Frink
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.

FKNMS Sanctuary Advisory Council (SAC) Meeting
TODAY! April 21, 9:30 am-3:45 pm, The Westin Key West Resort & Marina, 245 Front St., Key West
The SAC provides advice regarding management of the FKNMS. All meetings are open to the public and include morning and afternoon public comment periods. This month’s topics include permitting and adaptive management, artificial habitats, water quality and coordination with fishery managers. Download the draft agenda here.

20th Annual Earth Day Celebration at Bahia Honda State Park
April 25, 9 am-2 pm, Bahia Honda State Park, MM 36.8
Attendees of all ages can enjoy live music, food and family fun at this year's event, which includes exhibits by local environmental groups and attractions such as marine life touch tanks, crafts, face painting and a sand sculpture contest. More info: call 305-872-9807

Dolphins Plus 35th Anniversary Celebration
May 2, 12 pm-4 pm, MM  101.9, Key Largo
Dolphins Plus will open its doors to the local community for a fun day of education, conservation and -- of course -- dolphins! Activities will include booths, fun rides, games and a BBQ!

Welcome! Thank you for your support!

New & Returning Members ($30-$199)

Nancy Gold



William Johnson

Richard Worthington

Bruce Frerer

Russell & Christina Fisher

Shirley Shumway

Lisa Carstarphen

Please support the companies that support the FKNMS and Sanctuary Friends.
Waste Management
Marathon Garbage Service
Keys Sanitary
Sunbelt Rentals
Cressi International
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
Bee Brothers
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.

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,
If you are not already on our mailing list,

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!