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Sanctuary Friends Foundation of the Florida Keys

In this Issue:

News & Notes
June 2010

Sanctuary Friends Foundation

Oil Spill Update:

The Florida Keys have not yet been affected by this environmental disaster; however, the economic and environmental impacts may not be fully realized for years.

PREPARATIONS: Now is the time to organize, become informed and active in preparing for the clean up. For an overview of Monroe County's preparations, please see the video of the Sanctuary Advisory Council's June meeting or visit For information about volunteering, please read on.

  Hot Issues

How YOU Can Help:
Oil Spill Volunteer Opportunities Abound

There has been tremendous support from volunteers who have prepared Florida’s coast for the oil spill: over 2676 volunteers have served 11,564 hours, and 136 miles of beaches have been cleaned! Because of their efforts, Florida’s coastline will be well prepared if and when the oil hits.
Volunteers are still needed for other meaningful activities throughout Florida’s communities. For up-to-date volunteer opportunities throughout Florida regarding the oil spill, please visit or call the Florida Emergency Information Line at 1-800-342-3557. For oil spill volunteering information in the Florida Keys, visit

Deepwater Horizon ResponseVOLUNTEER FAQs:
How can volunteers help now in advance of any oil impacts on Florida's coastline?
Get connected with a local organization. Volunteers can support the oil cleanup effort through appropriate activities such as Coast Watch, pre-oil landfall beach cleanups, fundraising and meeting other needs of responding organizations.

Can volunteers help clean up oil contaminated areas?
The complex nature of oil cleanup, coupled with health and safety concerns, limits the role of volunteers. Volunteers will not engage in any activity directly contacting oil-contaminated materials. All oil-contaminated materials will only be handled by trained, paid workers and not by volunteers. These trained, paid workers include Qualified Community Responders who are typically hired from the local community and Paraprofessionals who are BP preapproved contractors with previous permits, training and skills. Although volunteers will not be utilized in activities that involve direct contact with oil, there is still a need for volunteerism in your community.

What can volunteers do to help?
The impact of the oil on Florida's coastline continues to change. As local communities identify specific volunteer needs, those volunteers who have registered and meet the requirements of the opportunities will be notified. The oil spill affects more than Florida’s coastline. The event also impacts local organizations and communities. Citizens are always welcome and encouraged to volunteer locally in Florida. Volunteer opportunities are offered on a local basis, community by community, or through local, state, and national organizations.

What training can I take now to be prepared to volunteer?
Any training required specific to the volunteer assignment would be conducted onsite. BP provides training for paid Qualified Community Responders for those interested in employment and not volunteers.

What kind of volunteer activities might I be involved with?
Here are some examples of how volunteers may help local community agencies for the oil spill:
• Provide administrative and office support such as staffing call centers or answering phones
• Manage volunteer databases or website support
• Get affiliated with a local agency and be trained in disaster relief work specific to that agency
• Become a fundraiser for a local wildlife or conservation organization
• Where needed, support the work of the paid oil spill workers (as directed locally)
• Attend Volunteer Management Training Series to be a volunteer manager
• Utilize special skills and services (web maintenance, technical services, communication skills)
• Maintain contact with local volunteers through phone calls, emails, mailers, and meetings 

I have heard only paid workers will be allowed to clean up oil-impacted areas, but I want to help clean up my beach. Why can't I do that?
Contact with crude oil or crude oil contaminated materials without proper training could be hazardous to your health. Crude oil, as a hazardous substance, requires proper training in order to handle, clean or transport contaminated materials. DO NOT attempt to conduct any cleanup or recovery activities without the proper training and supervision from the authorities.


Our Amazing Ocean

FKNMS Celebrates 20 years:
The more things change ...

A Chinese transport ship that ran aground on the Great Barrier Reef in April gives us cause to remember a similar incident right here in the Florida Keys more than 20 years ago. Three large ships ran aground on the coral reef tract within 18 days in the fall of 1989. Although not the main reason, the groundings were the final physical insult to the reef that prompted Congress to take action to protect the coral reef ecosystem of the Florida Keys the following year.

Although most remember the ship groundings as having triggered Congressional action, it was, in fact, the cumulative events of environmental degradation and the threat of oil drilling off the Florida Keys that prompted Congress to designate the 2,800 square nautical mile Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS) in 1990 and call for the development of a comprehensive management plan. There was an instant prohibition on any oil drilling, including mineral and hydrocarbon leasing, exploration, development or production within the Sanctuary. In addition, the legislation prohibited the operation of ships greater than 164 feet in length in an internationally recognized Area to Be Avoided within the Sanctuary boundary.

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary map

Warning signs that the Keys' environment and natural resources were fragile, and not infinite, came much earlier. In 1957, a group of conservationists and scientists met to discuss the demise of the coral reef resources in the Keys at the hands of tourists attracted to their beauty and uniqueness. This conference resulted in the creation of the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in 1960. However, a decade following the park’s establishment, public outcry cited pollution, overharvest, physical impacts, overuse and use conflicts as continuing to occur in the Keys.

Since then, progress has been made, but the Sanctuary still struggles with many of the same issues. This year we celebrate 20 years as a part of the National Marine Sanctuary Program. Residents and tourists alike continue to enjoy the special ecological, historical, recreational and esthetic resources of North America's only living coral barrier reef and the third longest barrier reef in the world. Our waters are a unique and national treasure of international notoriety. Let’s help keep them that way for more than the next 20 years -- for generations to come.

 Programs & Projects

Florida's Clean Marina Program

Florida's Clean Marina ProgramThe Florida Clean Marina Program is a voluntary designation program from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection with a proactive approach to environmental stewardship. To become designated as a Clean Marina, facilities must implement a set of environmental measures designed to protect Florida’s waterways. These measures address critical environmental issues such as sensitive habitat, waste management, stormwater control, spill prevention and emergency preparedness.

Currently, 20 marinas in the Florida Keys are designated as “Clean Marinas.” Click here to find a Clean Marina near you.

Individuals can become “Clean Boaters” by pledging to:

  • Keep Florida’s waterways free of trash.
  • Recycle.
  • Practice proper fueling techniques.
  • Use pumpout facilities.
  • Support Florida Clean Marinas, Clean Boatyards and Clean Marine Retailers whenever possible.
  • Promote clean boating habits and the Clean Boater program to fellow boaters.
  • Remember that a clean environment ALWAYS starts with ME.

By adopting pollution prevention measures, Florida Clean Boaters can take satisfaction in knowing they are doing their part in keeping Florida waterways clean and preserving our waterways for the future.

Don’t throw it away – Give it away!

www.KeysReuse.comNow you can donate your used items to people who really need them. Whether you have old sheets and towels or a discarded computer monitor, a musical instrument your child no longer plays or a bulletin board stored in a box somewhere, there’s probably a non-profit group in the Keys that can put it to good use. Your possessions will now be ReUsed.

How it works:
. The website lists everything from appliances to school supplies and many things in between. Perhaps you’ll see something that you have that has been sitting in storage. If you click on the item you’ll find out which non-profit group needs that very thing. Then send the non-profit group an email or call to see how you can best deliver it. In this way everyone wins. You dispose of something that has been cluttering up your house. The non-profit gets something it really needs. And we all keep these things from sitting in the dump for hundreds of years.

Sanctuary Friends Foundation’s wishlist includes a DVD player, 40-foot electrical extension power cord, portable tripod projector screen and a projector.

"Like" Sanctuary Friends Foundation on Facebook and you'll automatically be entered to win a copy of "The Reef Set: Reef Fish, Reef Creature and Reef Coral" (3 Volumes - box set), $75 value!

Find Us on Facebook

Hurry! Drawing takes place July 23.

We want your input! If you have stories of note or just want to comment on our newsletter, please email:
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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Summer is Here!
Time for fishing, swimming, diving and snorkeling ...

Become a Sanctuary Friend
and support our coral reef
and marine ecosystems.

 From the Board


Hope comes in the form of people, places and things to which we want to give a beautiful future. Sometimes it's hard to hang onto that feeling when faced with disasters like the Gulf oil spill and their related, potentially long-term, impacts. But we must remain hopeful for the sake of the future. Despair and hope are two sides of the same coin.

How do we make sure the coin lands 'hope-side' up? By taking action. Focus on what you value and what works. These ideas can help drown out the constant barrage of negative media messages. Then see where you can be involved to make a positive difference.

Sanctuary Friends Foundation is dedicated to protecting, preserving and promoting the sustainable use of the precious natural marine resources that surround the fabulous Florida Keys. So far, we have avoided any damage from the spill. Let's hope that special application of "avoidance" will continue through pro-active efforts to prepare.

The FKNMS Advisory Council met recently and provided an afternoon of presentations about those preparations. We have an amazing community and local resources devoted to organize the response effort. Some excellent information was presented and many people walked away from the meeting reassured that strong preparations are under way here. View the meeting online.

There is a lot you can do, including visiting our website and facebook pages to stay on top of the latest news and opportunities to be involved. We'd also love to include you as a Sanctuary Friend - consider becoming a member. It's another small way you can help us help protect the resources we all treasure.

Dolly M. Garlo, 
Board Chair

Upcoming Events

Please add your upcoming events to our online Florida Keys Environmental Event Calendar. This community-wide resource allows any environmentally-related organization or group to set up an account and post events.

Coral Camp
Through Aug. 13, Reef Relief Environmental Center, 631 Green St., Key West
Week-long sessions for students ages 6-12. Enjoy your summer exploring coral reefs and our amazing marine ecology. Learn about reef creatures such as sharks, sea turtles, dolphins and fish. Download the brochure.

26th Annual Underwater Music Festival
July 10, 10 am - 2pm, Looe Key Reef
A quirky concert broadcast underwater for divers, snorkelers and the occasional mermaid emphasizes reef preservation.

REEF, Fish & Friends
July 13, 6 - 7:30 pm, REEF Headquarters, MM 98.3, Key Largo
Lad Akins will speak about the Great Annual Fish Count, an event each July to introduce divers and snorkelers to the hobby of fishwatching and to educate the public about our marine resources. Part of the free seminar series about fish on the second Tuesday of the month sponsored by Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) and Sanctuary Friends.

Mel Fisher Days
July 15-18, Key West
Celebrate the legendary shipwreck salvor’s legacy with a variety of events.

EcoWeek Florida Keys
Nov. 1-14
A Keys-wide event to educate and celebrate environmental preservation. Special activities in the Upper, Middle and Lower Keys. Inaugural event in 2010 to celebrate healthy living, a healthy planet and peaceable and sustainable communities.
Coming ...
Eco-Discovery Tours
Discover the Florida Keys
through eco-friendly and historical excursions
For more information or to request a brochure,
call 305-289-2288 or e-mail.
Welcome New Members
/ June 2010
Thank you for your support!
Sanctuary Advocate $200
Sean Morton
Sanctuary Advocate $300
Thomas N. Davidson
Sanctuary Patron $500
Harold and Mona Brewer
Billy and Laura Causey

What to Watch

Bored with summer TV reruns? Check out these online video suggestions from some members of our Board of Directors.

Ted Talks:
Sylvia Earle's TED Prize wish to protect our oceans, 18:16
Legendary ocean researcher shares astonishing images of the ocean – and shocking stats about its rapid decline – as she makes her TED Prize wish: that we will join her in protecting the vital blue heart of the planet.
Brian Skerry reveals ocean's glory -- and horror, 16:13
This photographer shoots life above and below the waves -- both the horror and the magic of the ocean. Sharing amazing, intimate shots of undersea creatures, he shows how powerful images can help make change.
Enric Sala: Glimpses of a pristine ocean, 19:55
Glorious images -- and surprising insights and data -- from some of the most pristine areas of the ocean. He shows how we can restore more of our oceans to this healthy, balanced state, and the powerful ecological and economic benefits of doing so.
Jeremy Jackson: How we wrecked the ocean, 18:19
In this bracing talk, a coral reef ecologist lays out the shocking state of the ocean today: overfished, overheated, polluted, with indicators that things will get much worse. Astonishing photos and stats make the case.

Sea Change, 26:28
A first hand look at how climate change is also affecting ocean currents and the chemistry of the seas.
Ocean Tipping Point?, 13:40
An update on Sea Change (above).

Changing Seas A twelve-part public television series that takes viewers on an exciting adventure to the heart of our liquid planet. Produced by WPBT2 in Miami. View the episode guide online and check local listings for viewing dates and times. Tonight, 7:30 p.m. "Sinking the Vandenberg" (FKNMS’s very own artificial reef)

blue & green occasions

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.

Our Mission
Sanctuary Friends Foundation of the Florida Keys supports the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS) 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.

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

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