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


We're Getting More Social!
Did you notice those little icons at the top of the newsletter for the first time last month? The "Like," "Tweet" and "Share" symbols allow you to more easily share our content with your friends and colleagues. In fact, it only takes a click! So if you believe in our purpose and use Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, why not tell the world about it? And don't forget to add a personal note or comment about why you're sharing.

Spiny Lobster Sport Season Begins Wednesday
Tips for safe diving

Lobster Mini-Season is a great time to be in the Florida Keys. Each July, divers from all over the U.S. travel to the region to take part in the two-day lobster hunt that precedes the regular August season.

Unfortunately, one of the traditions of the lobster hunt has become diver injuries and fatalities. Between 2005-2008, fourteen fatalities were recorded during the lobster mini-season. While the exact causes of death are being determined for some, diver error is clearly responsible for others.


Many divers don’t realize how much more strenuous a hunt dive is compared to a regular recreational dive. There’s a lot more swimming involved, divers are doing frequent ascents and repetitive dives, and even the sheer adrenaline can be a significant physiological factor. The excitement of the hunt can be a distraction, but it’s important to remember that the hunt dives require as much preparation and attention as any other dive.


Florida Spiny Lobster Sport SeasonSafety tips from Divers Alert Network (DAN):

  1. If you do not exercise vigorously and frequently on land, do not dive if you are not fit for it. Remember that an underwater hunt strains your body much more than a typical recreational dive.
  2. Do not lobster hunt on your first dive. If you did not have a chance to make some dives before the mini-season, remember that full lobster season starts in August and lasts through March. Use the preseason time to refresh your skills and improve your fitness. By doing this, you will be ready for many safe lobster hunts during the regular season.
  3. Lobster hunting is a serious dive operation, even at a depth of 10 ft (3m). Ensure that the diver in you maintains control over the hunter in you.
Watch the 2009 Florida Lobster Mini-Season Public Service Announcement from DAN.

Announcing the 2011 Ocean Heroes:
You Can Be One, Too!

More than 500 ocean activists were nominated, 12 were selected as finalists, and more than 12,000 of you voted. The results? This year’s adult Ocean Hero is Peter Wallerstein and the Junior Ocean Hero is Sophi Bromenshenkel!
Peter Wallerstein is the program director at Marine Animal Rescue, a project of Friends of Animals, where he has spent the last 25 years rescuing marine mammal in Los Angeles County. He has personally rescued 3,000 marine mammals throughout his career, and also established a team of professional responders that humanely rescues hundreds of animals a year, including whales, dolphins, sea lions and seabirds.
Junior Ocean Hero Sophi BromenshenkelThis year’s junior hero is 8-year-old Sophi Bromenshenkel of Richfield, Minnesota, who has raised more than $3,500 for shark conservation by selling lemonade and hot chocolate, shark cookies and wristbands, and through email campaigns and local fliers. She has partnered with the University of Miami’s R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program, where her funds pay for satellite tags on sharks.
Inspired by Sophi and Peter? Get involved in ocean conservation this summer by pledging to be an ocean hero. You can choose between three options: recycle, participate in a beach clean-up or eat sustainable seafood.

What is the Sanctuary Advisory Council?

Are you interested in the future of the Sanctuary? One of the best ways you can become involved in the decision-making is to become a member of the Sanctuary Advisory Council (SAC). Applications are now being accepted through August 5.
Sanctuary Advisory Council Meeting, June 15, 2010
Background, Overview & Purpose of the SAC

The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council was established to advise and make recommendations to the Sanctuary Superintendent regarding development, designation and management of the Sanctuary. The Council has four responsibilities that provide a framework for their activities:
  1. Identify and evaluate critical issues involving Sanctuary use or resources and serve as liaisons to local communities and Sanctuary Managers;
  2. Assist in increasing awareness and understanding of the purpose and value of National Marine Sanctuaries;
  3. Advise Sanctuary Managers on the development of the Sanctuary's annual action plan;
  4. Evaluate and advise on the success of action plans and activities.
SAC consists of members appointed by NOAA who represent commercial and recreational user groups (i.e. fishermen, dive industry and boating industry); conservation and other public interest organizations; scientific and educational organizations; and members of the public. For more information on the seats available, click here for the application package.


August Coral Spawning Presentation & Dives

Each summer, coral reefs explode in an orgy of reproduction. Most invertebrates spawn together on a single night in mass-spawning events. Exact cues triggering the annual phenomenon remain unclear, but are believed to be linked to water temperatures and lunar, tidal and 24-hour light cycles. A night dive or snorkel is the best way to view this rare exchange of reproductive cells.
Lauri MacLaughlin, Resource manager for the FKNMS, will present coral spawning ID training and instruction on Wednesday, August 17 and Friday, August 19. The presentations will precede a night dive from 6 pm - midnight at Amoray Dive Resort in Key Largo. For more information about the presentation and dives, please call (305)451-3595 or email.

Ocean Views Photo Awards: Call for Entries

The editors of Nature's Best Photography and Divers Alert Network (DAN) invite all photographers to enter. Through sharing your passion for the ocean, we hope to inspire a global audience to learn about and protect this fragile realm. The winning images will be published in an upcoming edition of Nature's Best Photography magazine and also in Alert Diver magazine. Check the guidelines for suggested photo subjects above and below the ocean. UPLOAD YOUR PHOTOS.

Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation

Are you an adventurer, diver, hiker, paddler, cyclist or explorer? Does your hobby take you through areas of great need? Do you want to do more for the areas you travel in but simply have not acquired the skills to do so? Then you should consider joining Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation (ACS). The organization is dedicated to improving the accessibility of scientific knowledge through partnerships between adventure athletes and scientists.
While countless other organizations have worked to gather scientific data, none have specifically utilized the unique skills of climbers, mountaineers, divers, paddlers and others to get this data. There are thousands of people in remote areas everyday ready, willing and able to help protect our planet's most vital resources, they simply need the tools to do so. Check out current projects, find a mentor or submit a proposal at

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.

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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
Lobster Mini-Season
Ocean Heroes
SAC Overview
Upcoming Events

From the Board

Dear Friends,
It was the year 1511. The old Calusa sat on the white sand beach of Lower Matecumbe Key, watched his grandchildren play in the clear sparkling waters at the edge of the island and, knowing that his remaining years were not many, contemplated his world. His life had been one with the tropical sea and the subtle seasons of these islands; he had never wanted for sustenance or beauty. As the world had been for his ancestors, it was for him, and for those who would follow him. He knew that the spirits of the earth and sea would always provide for the needs of his people.
He thought of what he knew about his world. The innumerable queen conch of the nearby grass beds, they were Forever. The huge turtles that crawled the beaches and lay their eggs. Forever would they do so. The giant groupers hiding in the rocks and reefs. Forever. The spiny lobsters found everywhere from bay to reef. Forever. The sea urchins that lived in the rocks and reefs and buried themselves in the grass beds. Forever. The Caribbean monk seal, found on sandy beaches and rocky shores ranged to every corner of his world. Forever. The great living rocks, the foundation of his world, the corals that protected the islands during storms and made homes for fish and other creatures of amazing form and color. They were Forever.
He thought that this was how it was, this is how it is, and this is how it would be, Forever. He knew that when his days were done he would still be a part of his world and his world was, Forever. And he was content.
Five hundred years later I sit where perhaps he sat so long ago. My grandchildren play in the waters that sparkle just as brightly, but are filled with the effluent of a civilization unimaginable not so very long ago. My thoughts also wander as my days wind down, as did his. I also love these islands, but I am not content. I know that Forever, is not forever.
Martin Moe, Board of Directors
Click here to read the full text of "Forever" by Martin Moe.

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.

Lobster Mini Season
July 27-28
The two-day Spiny Lobster Sport Season is one of the most popular summer boating and diving events in the Florida Keys.

Miami Spiny Lobster Tournament
July 27-28, Deli Lane Cafe, Miami
More than $2,000 in cash and prizes for the largest lobster. Details and registration form. Benefits the Stiltsville Optimists, which takes youth to the Miami Springs Power Boat Club stilt house in Biscayne Bay to teach the importance of marine environmental conservation and identifying marine life.

Sanctuary Advisory Council (SAC) Applications Due
Aug. 5
Get involved in the management of our Sanctuary as an SAC member! Council members are selected by NOAA and represent the public’s interests and provide advice to the sanctuary superintendent. Selected applicants serve three-year terms and meet six times a year. View the application package.

Regular Spiny Lobster Season
Aug. 6 - March 31
Bag limit: 6 per person per day. Must be larger than 3" carapace, measured in the water. A reminder that possession and use of a measuring device is required at all times and a recreational saltwater license and a crawfish permit are needed. Download the updated regulations brochure before you go!

Friends in Focus Film: "Alligator"
Aug. 11, 7:30 pm, Sail & Power Squadron Education Building, 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.

FKNMS Sanctuary Advisory Council (SAC) Meeting
Aug. 16, 9 am, Marathon Garden Club, 5270 Overseas Highway, Marathon

The Council provides advice regarding management of the FKNMS. All meetings are open to the public and include morning and afternoon public comment periods. More information and agenda.

Upper Keys Lionfish Derby
August 20, Coconuts, Key Largo.
Prizes awarded to the top three teams in each category: Most Lionfish, Biggest Lionfish and Smallest Lionfish. Last year's Upper Keys event netted 534 lionfish!
Registration fee: $120. More information.

Coming ...
Eco-Discovery Tours

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

Welcome New Members
June / July 2011
Thank you for your support!
Sanctuary Adventurer $50
Mike Klayman
(tribute to Albert Desconteaux)
Sanctuary Advocate $200

Linda & Joseph Watson
Billy D. and Laura G. Causey
Sanctuary Benefactor $1,000
Michael Fimiani

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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