Click to view this email in a browser

Sanctuary Friends Foundation of the Florida Keys

News & Notes
March 2009


Last Chance to Purchase Tickets
for April 4 Clyde Butcher Event!

Four easy ways to purchase:

An Evening with Clyde Butcher
Renowned photographer Clyde Butcher and documentary film producer Elam S. Stoltzfus discuss blending of art and nature and how it has influenced their work. Discussion to be followed by eco-friendly tapas and wine tasting and a musical and video presentation.

Saturday, April 4
Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center, 35 Quay Road, Key West (at the end of Southard Street on the Truman Waterfront)
6 to 9 p.m.
$45 to benefit Sanctuary Friends Foundation of the Florida Keys

  Hot Issues

Ocean Acidification Threatens Corals

Imagine a world without fish. A new documentary on climate change and the oceans proposes just that. The film, A Sea Change, is the first documentary about ocean acidification, a little-known but potentially devastating threat to ocean life.

Ocean acidification is the increase in ocean acidity that results from the diffusion of fossil fuel carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into the ocean. And it’s affecting Florida’s coral reefs, according to Chris Langdon of the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami. Langdon is conducting a study of the effects of reduced pH on the early life stages of two Florida Bay species of coral.

Acidification does not kill corals outright, but it does limit their ability to repair damage to adult colonies and to replace dead colonies with new recruits. At low pH, corals lose the ability to build their skeletons.

Langdon’s findings show the rate of coral reproduction could fall below the rate of mortality later this century and corals would face extinction. In addition, The Monaco Declaration on Ocean Acidification warns that most regions of the ocean may be inhospitable to coral reefs by 2050 if greenhouse gas emissions are not reduced.

Watch the ABC News clip about Ocean Acidification on YouTube.

Our Amazing Ocean

Oceans Finally Included in Google Earth

“Google Earth” has allowed people to view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings and more direct from their computers for the past several years, but what about the earth’s oceans?

Google OceanPioneering ocean explorer and recent TED Award winner Sylvia Earle asked that question of Google executives and finally got her reply. In February, Google released the new “Ocean” to allow users to explore the seas. The enhanced 3D mapping service offers everything from photographs and videos of sea life to models of shipwrecks to water temperature data collected from buoys. The National Geographic Society, NOAA, the Cousteau foundation and the Scripps Oceanographic Institution all contributed information to the project, which is aimed at fostering learning and promoting conservation.

Earle, an Honorary Conch, narrates the Product Tour of Ocean, which can be downloaded at Looking at the Florida Keys, details in the program include marine-protected areas, dive sites and shipwrecks. Google Ocean users can also virtually explore the Keys sanctuary and upload photos of their favorite Keys dive sites. At present, there is no detailed mapping of Keys reefs linked to the program.

  Programs & Projects

Six Keys Teachers Receive SEE Awards
Every year, Sanctuary Friends invites Florida Keys teachers to apply for grants of up to $1,000 each for the enhancement of educational projects with special emphasis on the local marine environment.

Six teachers were awarded the Sanctuary Education Enhancement (SEE) Awards for the 2008-2009 school year. The winners are:
  • Lisa Giles, Key Largo School, for “Increasing Awareness and Understanding of Oceanography and Marine Ecology in the Florida Keys for 7th Grade Students”
  • Kelli Berger and Merlou Robinson, Big Pine Academy, for “The Story of the Sea Turtle in the Florida Keys”
  • Alesa Rehmann, Coral Shores High School, for “Earth Day Fair 2009”
  • Catherine Foote, Plantation Key, for “Keys Wildlife and Ecosystems Study”
  • Vicki Sawyer, Poinciana Elementary, for “SEACAMP 2009”
  • Annette Martinson, Key Largo School, for “Foundations of Science and Human Geography: Impact on People and the Planet”
Seacamp 2008

Any K-12 instructor currently teaching classes in a school in Monroe County (public or private) may apply. Priority is given to projects that emphasize field experiences and are integrated into the regular curriculum. The purpose of the awards is to increase student awareness and understanding of local ecosystems and their role in the history, culture and economy of the Florida Keys and to enhance regular curriculum with opportunities for study above and beyond that provided by regular school funding.

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. Our staff 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!

Call 847-612-4712 or email

We want your input! If you have stories of note or just want to comment on our newsletter, please email:
We're developing a Central Environmental Calendar for the Keys. If you have an upcoming event with an environmental focus or that relates to our fabulous Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, please email:

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.

In this Issue:

National Week of the Ocean
April 5-11

A national observance encouraging activities to create awareness of the beauty and fragile nature of the oceans

How will you celebrate?

Join Sanctuary Friends

and become a Friend of the Reef!

 From the Board


I came to the Florida Keys for a week visit, but I fell in love with the lifestyle, sunshine and beautiful, abundant ocean. I never left.

Efforts to protect our marine life had begun in 1960 with Pennekamp Park. Now all the waters around the Keys are protected with the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (1990).

In 1996, we watched the fish come back to the major dive sites on the reefs when they received SPA (Sanctuary Preservation Area) status and became "No Take" zones. Now we have the fishiest reefs in the Western Atlantic and Caribbean.

At this time, we are approaching another major shift in our ocean environment. Ocean acidification threatens not just our Sanctuary coral reefs, but those around the world with chemical changes that harm fish and corals.

We must heed this critical warning. In order to meet a goal of "sustainable seas," all must work to reduce our carbon footprint, manage overfishing, control pollution and learn to protect our marine environment through education, outreach and research.

join us as a member of Sanctuary Friends to help accomplish this vital mission.

Judy Halas, Board Secretary

Upcoming Events

4th Annual Green Living & Energy Education Expo: "Greening the Economy"

When: Saturday, March 28
Where: Marathon High School
Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Looking for ways to green your life and save money? The GLEE Expo will once again provide visitors free workshops and a chance to speak to exhibitors offering services and products that can save money and natural resources.

Bring the family and spend the day enjoying Green Kid's Activities and healthy organic foods.

Click here for the complete Expo schedule.

A Conversation with Clyde Butcher

When: Saturday, April 4
Where: Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center, Key West

Time: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.


Catch some of the best environmental films for at the Eco-Discovery Center (EDC) in Key West. Wednesdays are movie nights with short films starting at 6:30 p.m. and features at 7 p.m.

March 25: Mission to Inner Space, featuring the Florida Keys very own "inner space station" the Aquarius Undersea Laboratory.
Everglades National Park. Watch a preview.
April 1: Waterways Episode 226 The Sooty Terns of the Dry Tortugas and Save-A-Turtle.
The Cousteau Adventure Series -- SEA GHOSTS.
April 15: Waterways Episode 254 Tortugas Research Natural Area and Sanctuary Buoy Team.
The Cousteau Adventure Series -- CALL OF KILLER WHALES.
April 22: The Key West Picture Show, a nostalgic look at Key West in the summer of 1977.
Cousteau Adventure Series continues with SHARKS AT RISK.

Florida Keys
Python Patrol
Call: 1 – 888 – I’ve Got 1
For reporting an old sighting or reaching a live person for on-the-ground response

Our Mission

Sanctuary Friends Foundation of the Florida Keys supports the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary in the preservation, restoration, and sustainable use of our coral reef and marine ecosystems. We focus on development of community support and advancement of public awareness, education, outreach and scientific research.

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

Click here to forward this email to a friend

Sanctuary Friends Foundation of the Florida Keys
11450 Overseas Highway
Suite 102
Marathon, Florida 33050

Read the VerticalResponse marketing policy.

Non-Profits Email Free with VerticalResponse!