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


Lionfish: "Eat 'Em to Beat 'Em"
Researchers are struggling to control booming lionfish populations. Their answer? Cook them. While lionfish are venomous, their toxins break down once the fish is killed and chilled. This month’s featured recipe comes from the Discovery Channel. Check out their website for more delicious lionfish fare.
Broiled Lionfish with Garlic-Basil Butter
6 small lionfish fillets
2 T. margarine or butter, melted
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Place fillets on broiler pan. Brush with melted butter. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Broil about 4 inches from heat until fish flakes with a fork (about 4-5 minutes). Serve with Garlic Basil Butter: (1/2 c. margarine or butter, softened; 1 t. pressed garlic; 1 t. finely chopped fresh basil; 1 t. fresh lemon juice; 1/8 t. salt. Combine all ingredients and allow to stand for at least 1 hour before spreading over warm fillets.)

Socioeconomics of the Sanctuary

The FKNMS is a center for strong local economies and has economic value reaching far beyond the water. Our natural resources have tangible “value,” even if we can’t put a price on them. The following are some examples:Fishing in the Florida Keys
  • More than 33,000 jobs in the Florida Keys are supported by ocean recreation and tourism, accounting for 58 percent of the local economy and $2.3 billion in annual sales.
  • From 2007 to 2008, more than 400,000 visitors and residents of the Florida Keys engaged in more than 2 million person-days of recreational sports fishing. These recreational fishers spent $274 million in Monroe County, of which approximately $107.6 million was spent directly on fishing items.
  • Approximately 739,000 visitors and residents participated in 2.8 million days of diving in the Florida Keys between 2007 and 2008, and $54 million was spent at dive/snorkel operators. Divers spent a total of $470 million in the Florida Keys, supporting more than 7,500 jobs.
  • Wildlife viewing and nature study is a popular activity with more than 620,000 visitors and residents participating, resulting in almost 2.7 million days of the activity.
  • In 1995, fishermen received an estimated $56.5 million in harvest revenue that generated $92.2 million in sales in Monroe County, or about 4.5% of the total economy. This output generated more than $58 million in income and 4,130 jobs (8.8% of the county's employment).
National marine sanctuaries continue to build stronger communities, support local economies and maintain coastal cultures – true American treasures. More information about the socioeconomics of marine sanctuaries worldwide.

White Pox and Coral Decline in the Keys

We’ve all heard about bird flu, swine flu, HIV, Ebola — diseases that jump species with alarming agility and wreak havoc on humanity’s unprepared immune system. But have you ever stopped to consider the capacity of the human species to infect other life forms? If humans can contract bird flu, can birds get people flu?
While only a handful of cases of reverse zoonosis have been documented, researchers at Rollins College in Florida and the University of Georgia have identified a human pathogen that, when set loose in the Caribbean through inadequately treated human sewage, infects and kills coral with devastating efficiency.
White pox samples collected in an effort to identify causes for coral decline in the Keys. Photo credit: James W. Porter, University of GeorgiaAccording to new research published online in the Journal PLoS ONE, the bacteria, Serratia marcescens, which can cause meningitis and pneumonia in humans, is responsible for a recent epidemic of a coral disease known as white pox. It is the first known case in which a human disease infected a marine invertebrate.
White pox was first documented off the Florida Keys in 1996, with virulent outbreaks observed in 2003 and 2009. The bacterium infects and kills Elkhorn coral at a rate of up to 10 centimeters, or nearly four inches, a day — far outpacing the coral’s regrowth rate of just 10 centimeters a year. Elkhorn coral, aptly named for its broad branching antler-like structure, used to be the most common coral species in the Caribbean. Growing up to six feet tall, it provided essential habitat for fish and marine invertebrates and acted as a crucial buffer, preventing the full force of storm surges from reaching the shoreline. It was listed under the Endangered Species Act in 2006.
The only hope for Elkhorn coral is a radical change in wastewater management throughout the Caribbean. This movement is being led in the Florida Keys through a switch from a system of individual household septic systems, which leak sewage through the porous limestone bedrock into the ocean, to advanced waste water treatment systems. The upgrades in the Keys are projected to cost about $900 million. Water-related tourism there brings in $3 billion annually.
So far, 25 diseases have been known to attack coral in places around the globe. The infecting agent for only five of these diseases is understood.
Source: New York Times Green blog

Birthday Buoy Donated by SeaKeepers

The Sanctuary is celebrating a significant birthday this year. Mooring buoys are turning thirty and, to help celebrate, the International SeaKeepers Society has made a generous donation to Sanctuary Friends to help support the FKNMS mooring buoy program and fund the installation of a new buoy.
Mooring BuoyThe concept of a permanent anchor embedded in the ocean bottom to secure a mooring so boaters wouldn't damage coral colonies with anchors began 30 years ago right here in the Florida Keys. In the fall of 1981, John Halas, now Sanctuary Upper Region Manager, tested his idea with six experimental mooring systems installed at French Reef in the Key Largo National Marine Sanctuary. Since then, the Sanctuary has installed more than 400 buoys, and the idea of environmental moorings has spread around the world.
The SeaKeepers’ donation launches its exciting new campaign to promote the installation and use of mooring buoys for the protection of coral reefs and fragile marine ecosystems. SeaKeepers was founded in 1998 by a small group of yacht owners concerned by the deteriorating health of the seas. Today the Society continues to “Protect and Restore” (their motto) by supporting science and educational opportunities on ocean issues. SeaKeepers’ close ties to the yachting community uniquely positions the organization to support the use of moorings as a best management practice in boating, and more donations are planned for popular boating areas worldwide.
Mark your calendars: Sanctuary Friends plans a big Buoy Birthday Bash on Dec. 3 in Key Largo to celebrate the 30th birthday of the mooring buoy program.


Ocean Stewards Applaud NOAA Aquaculture Policy

The Ocean Stewards Institute recently announced their robust support of NOAA's Aquaculture Policy, which establishes priorities for NOAA’s aquaculture initiatives and provides guidance and standards for the development of sustainable aquaculture in federal waters. Under the policy, NOAA will “encourage and foster sustainable aquaculture development that provides domestic jobs, products, and services that is in harmony with healthy, productive, and resilient marine ecosystems, compatible with other uses of the marine environment, and is consistent with the National Ocean Policy."
Ocean Stewards was pleased to see NOAA’s emphasis on a timely, science-based process for issuing aquaculture permits; however, the institute was disappointed that the policy did not include specific production goals for fostering responsible industry growth. The Ocean Stewards assert that clean, safe open ocean aquaculture (or mariculture) can reduce pressure on wild fish stocks and provide more healthful, locally-grown seafood for American consumers. A domestic mariculture industry also can help maintain working waterfronts and fits perfectly with President Obama’s vision of green collar jobs for America’s future.

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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In This Issue:
From the Board
Sanctuary Socioeconomics
Human Bacteria Killing Corals
Mooring Buoys Turn 30
Upcoming Events

From the Board

Dear Friends:
Why do YOU care about the FKNMS? There are a lot of reasons you could. It’s home to the most extensive living coral reef in the USA and habitat for many significant species important to life on earth. On a more practical level, the resource also provides a significant economic benefit to many people – a real tangible reason to protect it.
Consider what livelihoods in the Keys would be like without the natural resources that support them: Recreation-tourism and commercial fisheries account for 65 to 67% of the total local economy! Our residents, along with about 3 million visitors a year, engage in fishing, snorkeling, SCUBA diving, wildlife viewing and boating; visit museums and historic areas; and partake in food, lodging, travel and equipment rental. Annual spending on recreation-tourism is calculated to generate $2.3 billion. Those sales further generate more than $1 billion in income to residents and support over 33,000 full and part-time jobs (58%) in Monroe County! Commercial fishing accounts for an additional 3 to 4% of jobs.
Our very way of life here is dependent upon strong natural resource protection. That’s a reason to care. It behooves each and every one of us to support that! Please join in to help any way you can.
Dolly M. Garlo, Vice-Chair
Board of Directors

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.

Sept. 30-Oct. 2, Hawks Cay Resort, Marathon
Celebrate chowder power and fritter flavor at this weekend event that includes food, specialty drinks, family activities and games, conch shell blowing contests and live local music entertainment. Weekend admission is $5 per person per day and includes parking.

Discovery Saturday: Mangrove Nurseries
October 15, 9:30 am, Eco-Discovery Center, Key West
For children in kindergarten through fifth grade, "Mangrove Nurseries" activities will examine the importance of mangroves as nurseries and the role they play in the life procession of marine animals. Participants will learn the different types of mangroves, how they are specially suited to live along the water and why they are so important to our community. Admission is free, but preregistration is recommended (305-809-4750).

Stone Crab Open Season
Oct. 15 - May 15
More information regarding recreational stone crabbing, including size and bag limits, is available from FWC.

Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest
Oct. 16, 8:30 am, Amoray Dive Resort, MM 104.5, Key Largo
Contestants submerge below the surface to a depth of less than 30 feet with only their creative imaginations and dive knives as tools. Prizes, including a dive trip for two, await the top three pumpkin sculptors. Entry fee is the regular dive boat cost of $80 per certified diver for the two-tank, two-location dive, including tanks, weights and snorkel equipment. Space is limited. Call 800-426-6729 to register.

Lower Keys Lionfish Derby
Nov. 5, Hurricane Hole Marina, Key West
A lionfish derby is a team competition to collect as many lionfish as possible between dawn and dusk. Teams can use a variety of capture methods while SCUBA diving, free diving or snorkeling. Prizes (up to $1,000 cash) awarded to the top three teams in each category: Most Lionfish, Biggest Lionfish and Smallest Lionfish. So far this year, 3,230 lionfish have been collected in REEF-sponsored derbies.
Registration fee: $120.

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
August / September 2011
Thank you for your support!
Sanctuary Advocate $200
Linda & Joseph Watson
Billy D. and Laura G. Causey
Sanctuary Benefactor $1,000
Michael Fimiani

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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
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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