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Sanctuary Friends Foundation of the Florida Keys
October 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.

International Coastal Cleanup A Success
Volunteers Needed for Future Cleanups

As hoped, the International Coastal Cleanup was a big success here in the Keys. Marine debris is a persistent problem that requires constant vigilance to keep on top of, so we are always grateful for the many volunteers that help us tackle the problem. Reports so far indicate that the cleanup included 22 shoreline sites throughout the Keys, where 341 volunteers removed 370 bags containing 6,000 pounds of debris! The hard work left just over 17 miles of public shorelines cleaner and safer for all sorts of marine and coastal species – including, of course, humans. In addition, trash was removed from 71 miles of the scenic Overseas Highway by volunteers from 51 different groups. You can download the entire 2015 International Coastal Cleanup Report here.
Volunteers during the 2015 International Coastal Cleanup
The autumnal equinox shortly thereafter marked the official transition from summer to fall, and the transition for Team OCEAN volunteers to shift their focus from on-the-water outreach to shoreline cleanups. A big thank you for all the hard work the team put into this summer's outreach season. They reached 738 boaters and handed out nearly 300 brochures. As a bonus, they prevented 15 groundings, assisted 32 snorkelers, replaced 15 buoy pickup lines and gave 80 demonstrations on how to correctly use a mooring buoy. Just imagine how many impacts to coral they prevented!

Damaged Reef Rebuilt Using Rubble & Rescued Living Coral

A damaged popular patch reef near Cheeca Rocks that was injured when a rogue buoy dragged across it has now been repaired. An FKNMS crew successfully re-stabilized every living coral colony and piece of loose rubble salvaged from the path of destruction.
A sanctuary biologist takes baseline measurements of the restored reef at Cheeca Rocks.
Boat groundings, anchors, chains and other items that drag along the seafloor can damage and destroy a reef in seconds — complex formations that have taken decades to grow into rich habitats for fish. The buoy that damaged Cheeca Rocks reef was swiftly removed when first reported, but it had already left 150 square feet of broken and dislodged living coral colonies in its wake, and it had reduced 260 square feet of non-living coral reef framework to rubble. An inspection of the damage found broken heads of stony coral colonies including brain corals, star corals, finger corals and mustard hill coral. The team couldn’t re-attach the living corals at the original damage site because the porous substrate wouldn’t retain the cement needed to hold them in place. As a temporary fix, they stashed the coral colonies in a natural crevice to keep them from being smothered in sand or rolling around from the surge.
In July, sanctuary scientists teamed with the buoy maintenance crew to build a sturdy base using fiberglass rods drilled into the substrate before pouring a mixture of Portland cement and sand into plastic molds that could serve as a new home for the living coral heads. The goal was to create the height and three-dimensional structure of healthy natural reefs that would make for good fish habitat. The team painstakingly relocated dead rubble from the injury into the mix, shaping it into a form that looked and functioned like a naturally occurring reef. Using coral rubble helps new coral settle and thrive because larvae cue in on substrates that are already covered with the red encrusting, coralline algae. The rescued living coral colonies were then affixed to the newly created base. Once the cement was cured, divers removed the mold and checked the structure’s stability. They mapped, measured, photographed and noted current conditions for each reattached coral colony as a baseline for future monitoring, and they took similar data for nearby uninjured corals to serve as a scientific control group. Follow-up monitoring is scheduled one, three, six and ten years from now to track the long-term success of the restoration.
If you ever see a buoy adrift or grounded boat in the sanctuary, please report it to the FWC at 1-888-404-3922 so officials can respond to and assess the damage.

Still Time to Register for Sunday's Sanctuary Scramble

Golf Tournament to Benefit Sanctuary Friends

Brian Botsford takes a swing at the 2014 TournamentThe 3rd Annual Sanctuary Scramble Golf Tournament & BBQ is right around the corner, and there is still time to sign up a team for this fantastic fundraising event taking place on Sunday, Oct. 18 at Key West Golf Club! Four-player teams cost $400, and we have availability for singles, as well.
Tee off is at 8 a.m. with Dunkin' Donuts providing coffee and donuts to the players. Papa's Pilar Rum will have a tasting on the golf course and Centennial Bank's Weenie Wagon will be on hand to offer up hot dogs and burgers until the awards and BBQ luncheon after the tournament.
Whether you golf or not, you can still purchase raffle tickets to win a 7-course Chef’s Dinner for two at Little Palm Island. Tickets are $10 each or 3 for $25. Other prizes include golf and lunch for four at Ocean Reef Club, brunch for four at Bistro 245, gift cards to Hard Rock Cafe and fun snorkel and sunset trips with Fury Water Adventures.
For more information, please call or email Kristen at (305) 481-0685. We look forward to a great day on the greens raising money 'fore' our fragile FKNMS!


Join the Zinc-Free Resistance!

Zinc is in most suntan lotions and sunscreens and is bad for our friends in the oceans. For the good of our planet, use reef-save sunscreens that contain no zinc. 
Introducing Reef Safe Suncare by Tropical Seas. Reef Safe does not contain zinc, is non-toxic to sea life and biodegrades in our oceans, lakes and rivers. It provides broad-spectrum protection for 80 minutes and is water and sweat resistant. It’s also bait safe. Won’t kill or contaminate your bait! Helping to preserve and protect our Oceans for future generations. More information and to order.

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In This Issue:
Successful Shoreline Cleanups
Damaged Reef Rebuilt
Golf Tournament Sunday
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.

3rd Annual Sanctuary Scramble Golf Tournament & BBQ

Oct. 18, 8 am, Key West Golf Club

All proceeds benefit Sanctuary Friends Foundation. Four person teams are $400. Contact Kristen at 305-481-0685 to sign up or purchase raffle tickets.

Sanctuary Advisory Council Meeting
Oct. 20, 9 am-2:45 pm, Hyatt Place, 1996 Overseas Hwy., Marathon
This month's meeting will focus on scientific talks and management updates. Sanctuary staff will present on a recent restoration project near Cheeca Rocks and share plans for the sanctuary’s upcoming 25th Anniversary Celebration. Everglades National Park Superintendent Pedro Ramos will present the park's newly finalized management plan, which was released on August 31. In the afternoon, a marine conservation planner with NOAA's Biogeography Branch will present a marine zoning decision support tool. The meeting will wrap up with general reports from state and federal agencies on recent activities. There will be two public comment periods for items not on the agenda at 11:15 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Public comment is also taken before any advisory council decisions or actions. Download the draft agenda here.

FKNMS 25th Anniversary Family Fun Festival
Nov. 8, 1-5 pm,
 Islander Resort, MM82.1, Islamorada
Celebrate 25 years of protecting paradise at this family friendly event! Visit the Conservation Village for fun and games or kick back and listen to live music while enjoying a pig roast. Kids can learn to fish at a free fishing clinic on the pier from 2-4 pm. Guest speakers will share tales of the sanctuary's history of protecting coral reefs, seagrass beds and other natural wonders for future generations to enjoy!

September/October 2015
Welcome! Thank you for your support!



Susan Horvat

Webster Walker

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

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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
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

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Sanctuary Friends Foundation of the Florida Keys
PO Box 504301
Marathon, FL 33050

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