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Tag: Environment

MIAMI MAN HIDING IN BUSHES CAUGHT WITH 27 ILLEGAL LOBSTERS

A Miami man is facing a number of charges after officers found him hiding in a bush with what they say was a container full of out-of-season spiny lobsters. Florida Fish & Wildlife Officer Josh Stallings was out surveilling Whale Harbor Bridge in Islamorada on July 10. At about 11 p.m., he spotted a man carrying a dip net south across the bridge. Stallings and FWC Officer Jessica Diaz found a man trying to stay out of sight in bushes. They found Thanh Doan, 47, with a clear plastic container holding 27 out-of-season spiny lobster,  16 smaller than the legal minimum size of a 3-inch...

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$4 MILLION SECURED FOR CARYSFORT REEF RESTORATION

Coral Restoration Foundation was recently awarded a grant of just under $2 million by United Way of Collier and the Keys (UWCK) to expand work at Carysfort Reef off northern Key Largo over the next five years.  This competitive grant is part of UWCK’s Revitalizing the Florida Keys through Reef Restoration and Beyond Initiative, with support from the United Arab Emirates. This funding was the first significant investment in restoration work on sites covered by “Mission: Iconic Reefs” — one of the largest reef restoration efforts in the world. The Coral Restoration Foundation will secure...

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OCEAN ‘RODEO’ REMOVES DEBRIS, NOT FISH, FROM KEYS WATERS

They’re baa-ack… The Ghost Trap Rodeo, sponsored by the nonprofit OceanAid360, returns to Key West May 24-26, when six or so local charter captains will get paid to spend three days on the water hauling not fish, but marine debris, from the ocean. Ocean Aid 360’s Ghost Trap Rodeo took place in Key West Feb. 22-24 and returns May 24-26. The February event removed more than 6,000 pounds of ghost traps, trap line and other marine debris from the ocean and local shorelines. Ghost traps are abandoned stone crab or lobster traps that are lost when their floating buoy marker is dislodged from the...

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WINNER, WINNER, LIONFISH DINNER

For a third year in a row (okay, not counting pandemic 2020), team Florida Man crushed it. They took top prize in The Emerald Coast Open, the world’s largest lionfish tournament, held off Destin May 14 to May 16.  Marathon local Rachel Bowman is a member of Florida Man or, in her case, Florida Ma’am. The team collected 1,371 fish — or about 40% more than their closest competitor, the Stamps team. The other Florida Man team members are John McCain, Josh Livingston and Carl Antonik. Bowman has high praise for her teammates.  “Those guys are all technical divers and I learn a lot just...

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FWC WILL EXTERMINATE IGUANAS CAUGHT IN THE WILD WITHOUT MICROCHIPS AFTER OCTOBER

Florida wildlife officials are planning to take a bold step to control the state’s iguana population — extermination. They are also banning all pet ownership of iguanas in the future. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) announced in February that residents who currently keep iguanas as pets have to microchip the animals, apply for permits and cage them during a scheduled grace period.  As of April 29, pet owners have 90 days to apply for a no-cost permit and identify their pets with a microchip, and they must meet new outdoor caging requirements by Oct. 26,...

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History of Diving Museum celebrates military

This May, the History of Diving Museum celebrates past and active military service members through special programming and visiting opportunities. Since opening in 2005, the History of Diving Museum’s founders, Joe and Sally Bauer, instituted a program to extend free admission to active duty military service members. The museum’s military outreach expanded when they joined the Blue Star Museums program at its inception in 2010. Thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Blue Star Families and the Defense Department, over 2,000 museums participate annually with a goal to help service...

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WHAT BRINGS FABIEN COUSTEAU TO THE FLORIDA KEYS? THE OCEAN, OF COURSE

Here in the Florida Keys, we’re no strangers to underwater cleanup dives ? both why they’re needed as well as how much good they can do, especially for local reefs. This month, we were lucky to host Fabien Cousteau, grandson of famed underwater explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, on a few such dives in our waters. Learning to dive on his fourth birthday and joining Jacques on his legendary ships, the Calypso and Alcyone, it seems as if Cousteau was born to continue his grandfather’s legacy. The latter was PADI certificate 001, Cousteau recalls, describing a very different time for the oceans...

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ROADWORK TO FIX FLOODING IN KEY WEST

A major road project is underway to fix flooding issues on Key West’s Bertha Street, which runs from Smathers Beach to Flagler Avenue. The project will also include improvements on 1st Street, which is the continuation of Bertha Street, from Flagler Avenue to North Roosevelt Boulevard.  Monroe County started the 1st Street and Bertha Street project last month. The two roads will be rebuilt and resurfaced. A new stormwater collection system will be installed on Bertha Street and the stormwater system on 1st Street will be improved.  In addition, the county partnered with the City of...

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COUNTY UPDATING PLAN FOR FIXING CANALS

Monroe County is seeking public comment on its plan for managing the quality of canals in the Keys. But time is running out. At the April 21 Board of County Commissioners meeting, Monroe County’s Chief Resilience Officer Rhonda Haag presented a canal management master plan, which will have to be approved and brought to the state’s Department of Economic Opportunity. The BOCC will accept public comment on this project through May 12. The county is formalizing the selection and ranking criteria as required in its canal work plan. This will be provided in the county’s annual progress report to...

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UPPER KEYS COMMUNITY TAKES CARE OF ENVIRONMENT, ONE PIECE AT A TIME

This community takes such pride in its environment ? working tirelessly to keep it clean, safe and sustainable for many generations to come. It’s no wonder then that Earth Week in the Upper Keys was a jam-packed community affair, with coastal cleanups, underwater lionfish hunting, turning trash into art, and so much more. Each one of us plays a part as a piece of the puzzle keeping our Keys beautiful and clean. SHERIFF’S OFFICE CLEANUPOn April 24, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputies in Key Largo teamed up with Publix Key Largo to pick up debris around the Tradewinds Plaza. KEY DIVES MARINE...

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