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


Last Chance!
2011 Membership Drive
Ends March 31!

Become a Sanctuary Friend or renew your membership now and become eligible for a drawing for a framed print by renowned underwater photographer Stephen Frink! Memberships start at $30 and are good until Dec. 31, 2011. Please join us!

The National Marine Sanctuaries Act: A Love Affair
by Billy Causey (excerpt from Solutions)

Some people may question how a love affair with a piece of federal legislation is possible, but that’s what it has been for me. Our courtship has not been easy, but I’m hooked.
Looe Key ReefIn 1975, the first national marine sanctuaries were designated under the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972. One of those was 103-square nautical miles of coral reef habitat, the Key Largo National Marine Sanctuary. However, exploitation of and damage to the reef was increasing at an alarming rate because of nearby overfishing and pollution. In order to change the situation, an active management program—with education, research and enforcement capacity—was needed.
After I scrutinized the marine-sanctuary legislation, I realized that, if implemented properly, the law mandated protection and conservation while allowing for continued use. And the more I got to know it, the more I loved it. The act called for conserving and using marine resources wisely, increasing public appreciation of the marine environment, and maintaining habitats and their ecological services. The legislation described a marine-protected-area program that, when fully implemented, could protect the resources of a sanctuary for future generations. I was smitten.
Now, 27 years later, my affair continues, but it has not been without challenges. In 20 years we’ve implemented management programs that address direct impacts to the sanctuary resources. We instituted a no-go zone for ships larger than 50 meters in length, resulting in eliminating large-ship groundings since February 1997 (compared to a major grounding almost every year before that). The installation of over 50 mooring buoys has eliminated anchor damage on shallow reefs. The prohibition of spearfishing and wire fish traps in the Looe Key Reef resulted in an immediate increase in the number of reef fish. An extensive education and outreach program explains the significance of Looe Key Reef as a classical spur and grove reef, teeming with marine life. And comprehensive research into the sanctuary’s resources is ongoing.
Read the full article here.

Sustainable Seas Require an All-In Approach
by Martin A. Moe, Jr.

Martin A. Moe, Jr. Martin Moe, Sanctuary Friends Board Member, resident scientist and creative writer extraordinaire, recently published the first in a series of stories of public interest concerning our marine environment. His guest column, "Sustainable Seas Require an All-In Approach" published in The Keynoter on Feb. 19, begins:
“Fishing and diving, commercial and recreational, are the lifeblood of the Florida Keys. Our offshore waters, the coral reefs, the nearshore waters and the vast expanses of Florida Bay are home to one of the most diverse, beautiful, and productive marine ecosystems on earth. This ecosystem is the basis of our economy, our culture and our future. Few would dispute this. And to whom do these incredible riches belong? Why to all of us of course."
Click here to read more.

"Bag It" Screenings in Key West & Marathon

Americans use 60,000 plastic bags every five minutes, disposable bags that they throw away without much thought. But where is “away?” Where do the bags and other plastics end up, and at what cost to the environment, marine life and human health?
Sanctuary Friends will sponsor two screenings of the award-winning documentary “Bag It,” a film that examines our society’s use and abuse of plastic. Bag It follows “everyman” Jeb Berrier (who has the presence of Michael Moore, but with a Harpo Marx fringe of wild hair), as he sets out to trace plastic’s origins and how so much of it ends up in the ocean (and landfills) and ultimately in the bodies of birds, fish … and man.Bag It
Jeb is not a radical environmentalist, but an average American who decides to take a closer look at our cultural love affair with plastics. Jeb’s journey in this documentary film starts with simple questions: Are plastic bags really necessary? What are plastic bags made from? What happens to plastic bags after they are discarded? What he learns quickly grows far beyond plastic bags.
Building on facts such as: “The average American uses about 500 PLASTIC BAGS EACH YEAR, for an average of 12 MINUTES before they are discarded,” the film is a fun, provocative reminder of why we should all remove plastic from our lives — and the sooner the better.
March 26, 3 pm & 5:30 pm: Florida Keys Ocean Festival, Eco-Discovery Center, Key West
April 14, 7 pm: Sail & Power Squadron Education Building, Marathon


Turtle Nesting Season - Volunteer Trainings Scheduled

Turtle nesting season runs from April 15 to October 31, but actually begins 15 days earlier here in the southernmost island chain. Save-A-Turtle is looking for volunteers to monitor beaches for turtle nesting activity. Staff from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) will be conducting this year’s training for new volunteers. See the training schedule here.
It is paramount that the community gets involved by following some simple guidelines during this critical time of the year. • Make sure lighting and reflective surfaces are not directly visible from the beach. • Replace any bulbs that cannot be removed with yellow bug lights. • Cover windows so that interior lighting is not visible from the beach. • Keep pets away from the beach. Dogs, cats and even ferrets can disrupt turtle nests. • If you walk, jog or bike along the beach, bring along a flashlight for your own safety.

Biodegradable Sunscreen Endorsed by Cousteau

Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society has joined forces with Reef Safe SunCare to protect both humans and the ocean world. Reef Safe will donate a portion of every bottle sold to support Ocean Futures’ worldwide efforts of preserving the ocean for future generations.
Reef Safe SunCare has been proven through a series of independent laboratory tests to biodegrade in oceans, lakes and rivers. While protecting fragile ecosystems, it also shields skin from harmful rays. Reef Safe’s non-toxic to sea-life formula and biodegradable claim is scientifically substantiated, a testimonial that no other sun care products on the market can make. Official press release.

Lloyd Bridges Scholarship for Educators

Attention teachers: you may be eligible for the Lloyd Bridges Scholarship! This year's recipient will join REEF’s Field Survey of the Roatan Marine Park and have the opportunity to collect data, participate in daily talks and interact with REEF members, staff and local partner organizations. To be eligible, applicants must be a certified scuba diver, a teacher (elementary or secondary level), or actively engaged in an education program at an institution or environmental organization, such as aquarium, science center or relevant non-profit organization. Applications are due May 1.

Stop A Dolphinarium on St. Maarten

Dolphin Defenders St. Maarten is asking for signatures on their petition to stop a dolphinarium on St. Maarten. Their goal is to protect the Dolphins by keeping them free. 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
A Love Affair

Sustainable Seas

Bag It


Upcoming Events

From the Board

Dear Friends:
I have been reflecting this past month on all the accomplishments Sanctuary Friends has achieved in the past decade. Along the way I couldn’t help coming across some of the earlier trials and tribulations the Florida Keys went through more than twenty years ago when we got national attention and preservation protection, starting with the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972.
NOAA was the topic of discussion on everyone’s lips and it was a very trying time here in the Keys for all concerned. Neighbors against neighbors and dialogue that was hot and heavy, which I heard was just how they liked it. Protecting the fabulous Florida Keys did not come easy and many lessons were learned, which is necessary for any type of change to occur.
It takes a certain person to be able to bring it all together and that is what we have in our Regional Director Billy Causey. Recently Billy reflected on his experience over the past 27 years through an article he wrote for Solutions titled The National Marine Sanctuaries Act: A Love Affair. We are blessed to have such a persistent visionary as a Friend of the Sanctuary.
Diana Ruelens,
Administrative Assistant

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.

“Delicate Balance of Nature” Lecture Series
March 23 & 30, 7:30 pm, Pennekamp Park, MM 102.5
20th annual lecture series focused on Florida Keys history, archaeology, culture and environment. Free one-hour lectures inside the park’s Visitor Center. This month’s topics are "The Miami Blue Butterfly" and "Reefs of Southeast Florida."

Florida Keys Ocean Festival
March 26, 12 noon – 6 pm, Eco-Discovery Center, Key West
Bring the family and friends to spend a few hours celebrating our treasured water environment. Free admission, food and drinks, kids activities, art, exhibits, drawings, silent auction, local music and more. Donations and proceeds benefit Mote Marine Laboratory’s Coral Reef Restoration and Research Programs.

Sunday Environmental Film Series
Every Sunday at 2 pm & 4 pm, Eco-Discovery Center, Key West
The 4 pm show is new each week and is repeated the following week at 2 pm. For a recorded message of upcoming films, call 305-809-4755.

Friends in Focus Film Series
April 14, 7 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. This month’s film is the award-winning Bag It. Come early for a Social at 6:30 pm.

Earth Day Celebration
April 16, 9 am-2 pm, Bahia Honda State Park, MM 36.8
16th Annual Celebration. Live music, food, children’s activities, exhibits and free admission to the park! More information, call (305)872-9807.

Full Moon Paddle Fundraiser
April 17, 6-8 pm, Big Pine Key
Beginners and experienced paddlers are invited to join in this guided paddling event and eco-tour excursion to benefit FAVOR. Suggested donation: $25, includes kayak. Volunteers also needed. Call 305-872-7474 to reserve.

Welcome New Members
February / March 2011
Thank you for your support!
Sanctuary Buddy $30
Donald Price
Charles Fishburn
David Brooks
Sanctuary Adventurer $50
Mr. and Mrs. Peter Veeder
John Dick
Julie Cheon

Sanctuary Donor $100
Thomas Davidson
Alan Goldstein
Walter Drabinski
Russell Fisher

Sanctuary Benefactor $1,000
Michael Fimiani

1% for the Planet Business Partner
Blue Smoke Coffee

Coming ...
Eco-Discovery Tours

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

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! 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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