Calendar of 2016 Events

Archive: 2015 Events | 2014 Events | 2013 Events

  • January

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    U.S. Power Squadron America's Boating Course®
    January 9 and 16, 9:00 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    Key West Sail and Power Squadron Building
    5205 College Road
    Key West, FL 33040

    Key West Sail and Power Squadron will be offering the America’s Boating Course to promote public awareness of the dangers on the water and to teach safe and proper boat handling skills including boat handling and elementary seamanship, boat registration, equipment, regulations and safe operation, aids to navigation, charting, and weather, navigation rules, marine radios, and trailer boating, and Florida boating rules and regulations. A $60 fee is charged to cover course expenses. For two students sharing materials the fee is $75. Instruction is given by certified volunteers from the Key West Sail & Power Squadron. It runs for six two hour sessions with a proctored exam during the last session. After passing the exam, students have completed State of Florida requirements as well as requirements of most other states. The course is open to everyone, from teenagers upwards.

    For more information call Vince Melendy at 305-296-1126 or vmelendy@bellsouth.net

    Pre-register at Key West Sail & Power Squadron.

     

    US Coast Guard Auxiliary Boating Skills & Seamanship Course
    January 12 - January 28, (3 week course on Tuesdays & Thursdays)
    6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
    Marathon Senior Center
    33rd Street Gulf
    Marathon, FL 33050

    Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 13-02 is offering a Boating Skills and Seamanship class. Topics include nautical highway signs, rules of the road, navigation, course charting, boat handling, equipment, radio procedures and other safe boating skills. This is an approved boating safety program which qualifies students, successfully completing the course, to receive the Florida Boating Safety Education ID card. The cost of the program is $55 per person and participants must be registered by January 11 to attend.

    For more information, contact Dottie Mattern at dmatt103@bellsouth.net or 305-731-7148.

     

    Caught Between a Rock and a Soft Place: Sea Level Rise and Peat Collapse
    January 13, 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
    John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
    Visitor Ctr & Aquarium Bldg
    Mile Marker 102.5
    Key Largo, FL 33037

    The process of peat soil collapse has shaped south Florida’s coastline, and with continued sea level rise will shape the future of this area. Stephen Davis, Wetland Ecologist with the Everglades Foundation, will discuss potential remedies, including Everglades restoration.

    Park gate opens at 7 p.m. Admission is free, but seating is limited. Bring a cushion for your added seating comfort. For more information call the Pennekamp Visitor Center & Aquarium at 305-451-9570.

     

    Exploration as Discipline: An Overview of the University of Miami's Exploration Science Program
    January 15
    6:00 p.m. Meet and Greet
    7:00 p.m. Lecture
    Murray E. Nelson Government and Cultural Center
    102050 Overseas Highway (MM 102)
    Key Largo, Florida 33037

    This ​presentation by Dr. Keene Haywood is part of the Florida International University (FIU) Ocean Life Series. Free and open to the public, the series is hosted by FIU's School of Environment, Arts and Society and the Friends of the Key Largo Cultural Center.

    For more information, contact Linda Kaplan at linda@fklcc.org or (305) 396-7000.

     

    Discovery Saturday: Corals -- The Amazing Reef-Builders
    January 16, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
    Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center
    35 East Quay Road
    Key West, FL 33040

    Kids in kindergarten through fifth grade are invited to join the free, fun-filled Discovery Saturday at the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center.

    Discovery Saturday is held the third Saturday of every month. For more information, call 305-809-4750.

     

    Florida Keys Seafood Festival
    January 16, 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
    January 17, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    Bayview Park
    Truman Avenue and Jose Marti Drive
    Key West, FL

    Come ready for good eats at the 11th Annual Florida Keys Seafood Festival, sponsored by the Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen’s Association. The event, which has plenty of excellent local seafood to go around, celebrates the fishing community and provides scholarships to college bound children of commercial fishermen. Stop by for the sanctuary booth and other activities, including live music, local arts and crafts, and kid's games. Cost is $5 per person, and includes a seafood raffle ticket.

    For more information, visit Florida Keys Seafood Festival.

     

    Sanctuary Seminar: A Lobster's Life in the Florida Keys
    January 19
    6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.
    Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center
    33 East Quay Road
    Key West, FL 33040

    Registration is required to attend this six-week Florida Keys Community College (FKCC) course, which explores the sanctuary through a series of seminars by experts. Course takes place Tuesdays from January 19 to February 23. Tom Matthews, a lobster biologist with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, will talk about lobster's life cycle and discuss how they are affected by mosquito spraying.

    To register for the course, contact the FKCC Community Education Department at 305-809-3185 and cite course number 20945. Tuition fee is $20.

     

    US Coast Guard Auxiliary Boating Skills & Seamanship Course
    January 19 through February 4 (3 week course, 2 nights a week)
    7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
    U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 13-03
    Venture Out (2nd Floor Lounge above the Ship's Store)
    701 Spanish Main Drive
    Cudjoe Key, FL

    Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 13-03, Big Pine Key, is offering a Boating Skills and Seamanship class. Topics include nautical highway signs, rules of the road, navigation, course charting, boat handling, equipment, radio procedures and other safe boating skills. This is an approved boating safety program which qualifies students, successfully completing the course, to receive the Florida Boating Safety Education ID card. The cost of the program is $55 per person, materials included, and $80 per couple with shared materials. For more information, please visit U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 13-03 and select “Boating Safety Classes” from the list on the left hand side of the screen.

    For registration, please contact:
    Diane Adam at 305-872-4071 or auxclassreg@yahoo.com
    Bob Eichholtz at 305-872-7505 or auxbob@bellsouth.net

     

    Shipwrecks in the 21st Century: A Changing Perspective
    January 20, 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
    John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
    Visitor Ctr & Aquarium Bldg
    Mile Marker 102.5
    Key Largo, FL 33037

    Dr. Charles Beeker, Director of Indiana University’s Center for Underwater Science, has worked with many local agencies -- including the sanctuary -- researching underwater archaeological treasures, and was instrumental in the establishment of several underwater historical preservation sites in the Florida Keys. He will reveal the importance of protecting our cultural heritage underwater sites, with lasting environmental and socio-economic benefits to the Keys.

    Park gate opens at 7 p.m. Admission is free, but seating is limited. Bring a cushion for your added seating comfort. For more information call the Pennekamp Visitor Center & Aquarium at 305-451-9570.

     

    United States Coast Guard Secretary Class: 80 Years of History and Service
    January 21, 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
    Murray E. Nelson Government and Cultural Center
    102050 Overseas Highway (MM 102)
    Key Largo, Florida 33037

    Celebrate the 80th anniversary of the launching of the “Secretary” class U.S. Coast Guard cutters and learn about their role in history and in the Florida Keys. Of the seven cutters, three now call the Florida Keys home. The Duane and Bibb were sunk as artificial reefs off Key Largo in 1987 and the Ingham’s home port is at the Key West Maritime Museum. Dr. Charles Beeker's accomplishments include assisting the sanctuary in the development of the Shipwreck Trail, the San Pedro Underwater Archaeological Preserve and the National Register Nomination of the artificial reef Duane.

    For more information, call: 305-852-7717 x22.

     

    US Coast Guard Auxiliary Boating Skills & Seamanship Course
    January 23 - January 24
    10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 13-08
    ​​​History of Diving Museum
    Mile Marker 83, Bayside
    Islamorada, FL 33036​

    Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 13-08 is offering a Boating Skills and Seamanship class. Topics include nautical highway signs, rules of the road, navigation, course charting, boat handling, equipment, radio procedures and other safe boating skills. This is an approved boating safety program which qualifies students, successfully completing the course, to receive the Florida Boating Safety Education ID card. The cost of the program is $45 per person and participants must be registered to attend.

    To register, please contact Tanya Hanson at hansoncgaux@gmail.com or at (305) 283-6229.

     

    Sanctuary Seminar: Aquarius -- The World's Inner Space Station
    January 26
    6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.
    Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center
    33 East Quay Road
    Key West, FL 33040

    Registration is required to attend this six-week Florida Keys Community College (FKCC) course hosted by the sanctuary. Tom Potts, the Director of Florida International University's (FIU) Aquarius ReefBase, will discuss the incredible twenty-three year journey of living and working underwater aboard Aquarius and FIU’s vision of the future of this remarkable national asset.

    To register for the course, contact the FKCC Community Education Department at 305-809-3185 and cite course number 20945. Tuition fee is $20.

     

    The Key Largo Woodrat: Near Extinction and Recovery of a Species
    January 27, 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
    John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
    Visitor Ctr & Aquarium Bldg
    Mile Marker 102.5
    Key Largo, FL 33037

    The Key Largo woodrat is an indigenous species that once lived throughout Key Largo, but now only resides on conservation lands in North Key Largo. Jeremy Dixon, Refuge Manager of Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge, will tell us the tale of this charming animal’s journey from near extinction to recovery, through volunteer support and applied management.

    Park gate opens at 7 p.m. Admission is free, but seating is limited. Bring a cushion for your added seating comfort. For more information call the Pennekamp Visitor Center & Aquarium at 305-451-9570.

     

    ​Key Largo Stone Crab and Seafood Festival
    January 30​, 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
    January 31​, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    Rowell’s Marina Property
    ​104550 Overseas Highway (MM 104.5, Bayside)
    Key Largo, FL

    Stop by the sanctuary booth at the 7th Annual Key Largo Stone Crab and Seafood Festival. This family-friendly ​event created by the Key Largo Merchant's Association event boasts over 100 vendors and will feature fresh seafood, unique arts and crafts, live music, and fireworks on Saturday at 7:30 pm. Its little mermaid contest, key lime pie eating contest, shrimp eating contest, magic shows, car show, pirate demonstrations, jukanoo band and kids play area are all sure to entertain!​ Admission: $5 per person (over 12 years of age). ​

    For more information, visit http://www.keylargoseafoodfestival.com/.​

  • February

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    Sanctuary Seminar: Florida Bay -- Life and Death of a Turtle Grass in Changing Seas
    February 2
    6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.
    Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center
    33 East Quay Road
    Key West, FL 33040

    Registration is required to attend this six-week Florida Keys Community College (FKCC) course hosted by the sanctuary. Chris Kavanagh, a marine biologist with the National Park Service's Florida Bay Interagency Science Center, will explain seagrass die-offs in Florida Bay and give an update on the Bay's status.

    To register for the course, contact the FKCC Community Education Department at 305-809-3185 and cite course number 20945. Tuition fee is $20.

     

    Those That Creep & Slither: Snakes and Lizards of the Florida Keys
    February 3, 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
    John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
    Visitor Ctr & Aquarium Bldg
    Mile Marker 102.5
    Key Largo, FL 33037

    Adam Emerick, Wildlife Biologist for the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuge Complex of the Lower Keys, will talk about different species of reptiles found in the Florida Keys.

    Park gate opens at 7 p.m. Admission is free, but seating is limited. Bring a cushion for your added seating comfort. For more information call the Pennekamp Visitor Center & Aquarium at 305-451-9570.

     

    National Weather Service NOAA Science Saturday
    February 6
    10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
    Florida Keys Weather Forecast Office
    1315 White Street
    Key West, FL 33040

    This event marks the return of NOAA Science Saturday, a free, public open house to showcase the National Weather Service's work to provide weather, water, and climate data, forecasts, watches, and warnings to the Florida Keys. Learn more about spotting hazardous weather, discover how meteorologists prepare weather forecasts, and coordinate with the Florida Keys communities in advance of severe weather. A wide variety of community and governmental organizations will also offer information and interactive games. There will be live entertainment, raffles, burgers, hot dogs, and soft drinks.

    All proceeds to benefit the Mooring Buoy Fund assisting FKNMS with maintenance of over 500 mooring buoys across the Keys' coastal waters from Key Largo to the Dry Tortugas.

     

    Flora and Fauna of the Florida Keys
    Saturdays, February 6 to April 23 (except February 13 and March 26)
    8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

    This course, offered by Florida International University's Marine Education & Research Center features guided field trips through natural communities of the Florida Keys archipelago and covers the factors that support the Florida Keys' unique plant and animal communities, consequences of anthropogenic alterations, and introductions of new species. For more information, visit https://seas.fiu.edu/students/opportunities/2016/ff-flkeys-course/. Course cost is $269. To register, click here.

     

    Sanctuary Seminar: Re-Lighting Loggerhead Key Lighthouse
    February 9
    6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.
    Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center
    33 East Quay Road
    Key West, FL 33040

    Registration is required to attend this six-week Florida Keys Community College (FKCC) course hosted by the sanctuary. Glenn Simpson, Park Manager of Dry Tortugas National Park, will talk about plans to light the Loggerhead Key Lighthouse in honor of the National Park Service's 100th year anniversary in 2016.

    To register for the course, contact the FKCC Community Education Department at 305-809-3185 and cite course number 20945. Tuition fee is $20.

     

    US Coast Guard Auxiliary Boating Skills & Seamanship Course
    February 9 - February 25, (3 week course on Tuesdays & Thursdays)
    6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
    Marathon Senior Center
    33rd Street Gulf
    Marathon, FL 33050

    Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 13-02 is offering a Boating Skills and Seamanship class. Topics include nautical highway signs, rules of the road, navigation, course charting, boat handling, equipment, radio procedures and other safe boating skills. This is an approved boating safety program which qualifies students, successfully completing the course, to receive the Florida Boating Safety Education ID card. The cost of the program is $55 per person and participants must be registered by February 8 to attend.

    For more information, contact Dottie Mattern at dmatt103@bellsouth.net or 305-731-7148.

     

    Vultures: Nature's Clean-Up Crew
    February 10, 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
    John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
    Visitor Ctr & Aquarium Bldg
    Mile Marker 102.5
    Key Largo, FL 33037

    Florida has two vulture species, the turkey vulture and the black vulture. Betsy Evans, a Ph.D. candidate at Florida Atlantic University, will address common misconceptions, human-vulture conflicts, and threats to vultures, both in the U.S. and worldwide.

    Park gate opens at 7 p.m. Admission is free, but seating is limited. Bring a cushion for your added seating comfort. For more information call the Pennekamp Visitor Center & Aquarium at 305-451-9570.

     

    Sanctuary Advisory Council Meeting
    February 16
    Hyatt Place
    1996 Overseas Highway
    Marathon, FL 33050

    Draft meeting agenda (including start time) will be posted on the Sanctuary Advisory Council Meetings and Announcements webpage.

     

    Sanctuary Seminar: Bringing the Keys' Canals Back to Life -- Restoring Water Quality
    February 16
    6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.
    Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center
    33 East Quay Road
    Key West, FL 33040

    Registration is required to attend this six-week Florida Keys Community College (FKCC) course hosted by the sanctuary. Rhonda Haag, Sustainability Program Coordinator for Monroe County, will explain how recent efforts to restore water quality in Key's canals have already brought fish and manatees back into areas where they had not been seen in years.

    To register for the course, contact the FKCC Community Education Department at 305-809-3185 and cite course number 20945. Tuition fee is $20.

     

    How Intelligent Indoor Lighting Can Protect the Environment
    February 17, 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
    John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
    Visitor Ctr & Aquarium Bldg
    Mile Marker 102.5
    Key Largo, FL 33037

    Charles Fulco, Science Consultant and Curriculum Writer in New York State, and former Port Chester Middle School Planetarium Director, will speak about the importance of dark-sky and the use of proper artificial exterior lighting. He will explain how “bad lighting” can adversely affect human as well as wildlife health and safety, and what constitutes “good lighting” practices.

    Park gate opens at 7 p.m. Admission is free, but seating is limited. Bring a cushion for your added seating comfort. For more information call the Pennekamp Visitor Center & Aquarium at 305-451-9570.

     

    Discovery Saturday: Sharks on the Prowl
    February 20, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
    Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center
    35 East Quay Road
    Key West, FL 33040

    Kids in kindergarten through fifth grade are invited to join the free, fun-filled Discovery Saturday at the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center.

    Discovery Saturday is held the third Saturday of every month. For more information, call 305-809-4750.

     

    Upper Keys Rotary Gigantic Nautical Market
    February 2​0​, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    February 2​1​, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    Founders Park
    Mile Marker 87
    Islamorada, FL 33036

    Visit the sanctuary​ ​booth at the family friendly ​Upper Keys Rotary Gigantic Nautical Market. The event is a super place to get great bargains on boating fishing, diving, and nautical themed gear, and proceeds support college scholarships for Upper Keys youth.

    For more information, visit Upper Keys Rotary Gigantic Nautical Market.

     

    Sanctuary Seminar: Stabilizing Historic Fort Jefferson
    February 23
    6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.
    Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center
    33 East Quay Road
    Key West, FL 33040

    Registration is required to attend this six-week Florida Keys Community College (FKCC) course hosted by the sanctuary. Kelly Clark, a Cultural Resources Specialist for Dry Tortugas National Park, will talk about a project to stabilize historic Fort Jefferson, a Civil War era for in Dry Tortugas National Park.

    To register for the course, contact the FKCC Community Education Department at 305-809-3185 and cite course number 20945. Tuition fee is $20.

     

    The Survival of Quality Fishing: Are Marine Reserves a Good Idea?
    February 24, 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
    John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
    Visitor Ctr & Aquarium Bldg
    Mile Marker 102.5
    Key Largo, FL 33037

    Three avid sportsman will discuss how marine reserves can increase the numbers and sizes of fish, as well as the number of species, benefitting both the environment and fishing. Presenters include Martin Arostegui, Trustee and holder of 440 International Game Fish Association (IGFA) fishing world records, Capt. Randolph “Bouncer” Smith, “Legendary Captain” in the IGFA Hall of Fame, and Capt. Gil Muratori, IGFA Representative for South Florida.

    Park gate opens at 7 p.m. Admission is free, but seating is limited. Bring a cushion for your added seating comfort. For more information call the Pennekamp Visitor Center & Aquarium at 305-451-9570.

  • March

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    Lionfish Collecting and Handling Workshop
    March 1, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
    REEF Headquarters
    98300 Overseas Hwy (median at MM 98.3)
    Key Largo, FL 33037

    Join us for our lionfish collecting and handling workshop! Workshop topics include the background of the invasion, lionfish biology, ecological impacts, current research findings, and collecting and handling tools and techniques. Following the workshop, each participant will also have the opportunity to get a Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary lionfish collecting permit, allowing you to collect lionfish in the Sanctuary Preservation Areas using hand nets.

    Registration is required. Don't miss out on the fun, sign up today on the REEF website!

     

    FKNMS Water Quality Protection Program Steering Committee Meeting
    Wednesday, March 2
    Marathon Government Center
    2798 Overseas Hwy, 2nd Floor
    Marathon, Florida

    The steering committee of the Water Quality Protection Program (WQPP) meets twice a year, and meetings are open to the public. The WQPP makes recommendations on how to maintain and restore the ideal water quality needed for healthy native plant and animal populations to thrive in sanctuary waters. For the draft agenda, click here.

     

    Lionfish: Management Options to Limit Their Impact on Reef Ecosystems
    March 2, 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
    John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
    Visitor Ctr & Aquarium Bldg
    Mile Marker 102.5
    Key Largo, FL 33037

    Mike Allen, Director of the University of Florida/IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station, held a lionfish ecosystem-modeling workshop in 2015 with students and faculty from several U.S. institutions and various disciplines. His talk will summarize their evaluation of how strategies for reef fish management could mitigate the impacts of lionfish on reef ecosystems.

    Park gate opens at 7 p.m. Admission is free, but seating is limited. Bring a cushion for your added seating comfort. For more information call the Pennekamp Visitor Center & Aquarium at 305-451-9570.

     

    Key West's Buffalo Soldiers and Other Stuff You Don't Know About the Spanish-American War
    March 3, 6:00 p.m.
    ​​​Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center
    35 East Quay Road
    Key West, FL 33040​

    Monroe County Historican Tom Hambright will give this talk as part of a series on "Fascinating Facts about Our Cool History" presented by Historic Markers, Inc. and the Florida Humanities Council. For more information, call 305-393-9777

     

    Lionfish: Management Options to Limit Their Impact on Reef Ecosystems
    March 2, 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
    Visitor Ctr & Aquarium Bldg
    Mile Marker 102.5
    Key Largo, FL 33037

    Mike Allen, Director of the University of Florida/IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station, held a lionfish ecosystem-modeling workshop in 2015 with students and faculty from several U.S. institutions and various disciplines. His talk will summarize their evaluation of how strategies for reef fish management could mitigate the impacts of lionfish on reef ecosystems.

    Park gate opens at 7 p.m. Admission is free, but seating is limited. Bring a cushion for your added seating comfort. For more information call the Pennekamp Visitor Center & Aquarium at 305-451-9570.

     

    US Coast Guard Auxiliary Boating Skills & Seamanship Course
    Saturday, ​March 5 and Saturday, ​March 12
    9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 13-07
    ​​​Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center
    35 East Quay Road
    Key West, FL 33040​

    Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 13-07, is offering a Boating Skills and Seamanship class. Topics include nautical highway signs, rules of the road, navigation, course charting, boat handling, equipment, radio procedures and other safe boating skills. This is an approved boating safety program which qualifies students, successfully completing the course, to receive the Florida Boating Safety Education ID card. The cost of the program is $35 per person.

    To register, please contact Kathy Braud at captkbro@yahoo.com or at 305-304-7170.

     

    Invasive Plants: What To Do Next With Native Gardening
    March 9, 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
    John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
    Visitor Ctr & Aquarium Bldg
    Mile Marker 102.5
    Key Largo, FL 33037

    Cara Abbott, the Institute of Recreational Conservation’s Outreach Coordinator, will give tips for native habitats that will attract native birds, butterflies, and other wildlife, and can lower maintenance costs for homeowners.

    Park gate opens at 7 p.m. Admission is free, but seating is limited. Bring a cushion for your added seating comfort. For more information call the Pennekamp Visitor Center & Aquarium at 305-451-9570.

     

    Fourth Annual REEF Winter Lionfish Derby
    March ​11, 6:30 pm - Mandatory Captain's Meeting
    March ​12, Sunrise until 5 p.m. - Lionfish Derby
    Postcard Inn
    84001 Overseas Hwy
    Islamorada, FL 33036

    Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) will host its winter derby on March 12. Prior to the derby, captains must attend a mandatory meeting held at the Postcard Inn on Friday, March 11 at 6:30 pm. The derby begins at sunrise on the 12th and all boats are due back by 5 p.m. to the Postcard Inn dock, where scoring, awards and festivities take place. Cash prizes will be given for the most, biggest, and smallest fish. Entry fee is $20 per person with a 4 person maximum per team.

    Register online at http://www.reef.org/lionfish/2016winterderby.

     

    40th Annual Marathon Seafood Festival
    March ​12, 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
    March ​13, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    Marathon Community Park
    200 36th Street
    Marathon, FL 33050

    Be sure to stop by the sanctuary education booth while you’re enjoying the fresh seafood, cold beverages and live music of one of the largest annual events in the Florida Keys. Over 200 vendors offer up plenty of fresh local seafood, jewelry, arts and crafts, and more souvenirs. There will be children's games, raffle giveaways, and other great prizes offer entertainment. Admission is $5. Kids under 10 are free.

    For more information, visit marathonseafoodfestival.com or call 800-262-7284.

     

    Florida Tree Snails: Jewels of the Hammocks
    March 16, 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
    John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
    Visitor Ctr & Aquarium Bldg
    Mile Marker 102.5
    Key Largo, FL 33037

    Sara Hamilton, Florida Keys Electrical Cooperative Environmental and Regulatory Affairs Coordinator, will introduce a variety of tree snails native to south Florida hardwood hammocks. She will describe the habitat, life cycle, range, and threats to their existence.

    Park gate opens at 7 p.m. Admission is free, but seating is limited. Bring a cushion for your added seating comfort. For more information call the Pennekamp Visitor Center & Aquarium at 305-451-9570.

     

    Florida's Moving History: Planes, Trains & Automobiles (& Steamboats too!)
    March 17, 6:00 p.m.
    ​​​Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center
    35 East Quay Road
    Key West, FL 33040​

    Keynote Speaker Steven Nolls from the University of Florida will give this talk as part of a series on "Fascinating Facts about Our Cool History" presented by Historic Markers, Inc. and the Florida Humanities Council. For more information, call 305-393-9777

     

    Sea Turtles and Man: A review of the Endangered Status of Sea Turtles Globally, in Florida, and in the Keys
    March 18
    6:00 p.m. Meet and Greet
    7:00 p.m. Lecture
    Murray E. Nelson Government and Cultural Center
    102050 Overseas Highway (MM 102)
    Key Largo, Florida 33037

    This ​presentation by Sandi Williams and Allison Estape is part of the Florida International University (FIU) Ocean Life Series. Free and open to the public, the series is hosted by FIU's School of Environment, Arts and Society and the Friends of the Key Largo Cultural Center.

    For more information, contact Linda Kaplan at linda@fklcc.org or (305) 396-7000.

     

    Discovery Saturday: Seagrass Beds -- They're Not For Naps
    March 19, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
    Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center
    35 East Quay Road
    Key West, FL 33040

    Kids in kindergarten through fifth grade are invited to join the free, fun-filled Discovery Saturday at our Eco-Discovery Center.

    For more information, call 305-809-4750.

     

    Florida Keys Wildlife Refuges Outdoor Fest and 5K "Run with Deer"
    March 19
    8:00 a.m. - 5K "Run with Deer" starts
    10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. - Wildlife and Outdoor Festival
    Big Pine Community Park
    Big Pine Key, FL

    The Florida Keys Refuges Complex protects over 400,000 acres for wildlife, including National Key Deer Refuge as well as Great White Heron, Key West, and Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuges. Come celebrate the unique wildlife and natural resources they protect with the second annual "Run with Deer" 5K run/walk and first Wildlife and Outdoor Fair. The festival, hosted by the Refuges Complex and FAVOR Florida Keys, will include interactive environmental games and educational activities for children, informational booths, food vendors, and music.

     

    US Coast Guard Auxiliary Boating Skills & Seamanship Course
    March 19 - March 20
    9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    Marathon Senior Center
    33rd Street Gulf
    Marathon, FL 33050

    Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 13-02 is offering a Boating Skills and Seamanship class. Topics include nautical highway signs, rules of the road, navigation, course charting, boat handling, equipment, radio procedures and other safe boating skills. This is an approved boating safety program which qualifies students, successfully completing the course, to receive the Florida Boating Safety Education ID card. The cost of the program is $55 per person and participants must be registered by March 17 to attend.

    For more information, contact Dottie Mattern at dmatt103@bellsouth.net or 305-731-7148.

     

    A History of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
    March 23, 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
    John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
    Visitor Ctr & Aquarium Bldg
    Mile Marker 102.5
    Key Largo, FL 33037

    The idea to preserve south Florida's offshore coral reefs dates back to the time when Everglades National Park was conceived, but it did not become a reality until President Eisenhower’s era. Park Services Specialist Elena Muratori will present a brief history of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, along with some present day changes.

    Park gate opens at 7 p.m. Admission is free, but seating is limited. Bring a cushion for your added seating comfort. For more information call the Pennekamp Visitor Center & Aquarium at 305-451-9570.

     

    Florida Keys Reef Lights
    March 30, 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
    John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
    Visitor Ctr & Aquarium Bldg
    Mile Marker 102.5
    Key Largo, FL 33037

    Brenda Altmeier, Maritime Heritage Coordinator for NOAA Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, and lighthouse historian Larry Hearlth will illuminate us on the history of the Florida Keys reef lights.

    Park gate opens at 7 p.m. Admission is free, but seating is limited. Bring a cushion for your added seating comfort. For more information call the Pennekamp Visitor Center & Aquarium at 305-451-9570.

     

    Preserving Key West's Unique Architecture
    March 31, 6:00 p.m.
    ​​​Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center
    35 East Quay Road
    Key West, FL 33040​

    Architect Bert Bender will give a talk and screen the video "Preserving Paradise" about the restoration of the Custom House, as part of a series on "Fascinating Facts about Our Cool History" presented by Historic Markers, Inc. and the Florida Humanities Council. For more information, call 305-393-9777

  • April

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    7th Annual Florida Keys Ocean Fest​ival​ and Waterfront Craft Show
    April 2
    8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Tuna Trot 5K Run
    10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
    Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center
    35 East Quay Road
    Key West, FL 33040

    Come celebrate the spectacular ocean ecosystem of the Florida Keys at the 7th Annual Florida Keys Ocean Fest​ival​​ and Waterfront Craft Show! ​Learn about marine conservation and restoration efforts in a fun family environment including a free kid’s fishing seminar, marine touch tanks, arts & crafts, food, and live music. Admission is free. Sponsored by Mote Marine Laboratory.

    For more information or to register for the 5K run, visit ​http://keysoceanfest.org/.

     

    Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park Native Plant Day
    April 9, 9:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
    John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
    Overseas Highway, Mile Marker 102.5 Oceanside
    Key Largo, Florida 33037

    Environmental agencies and organizations will have exhibits and booths. Activities will include” native plant giveaway to Florida Keys residents, plant identification, talk on "Alternatives to Non-native Plants in Our Gardens," nature walks, children's activities, and more! For more information call 305-451-1202.

     

    The Epigenetics Revolution Reaches the Ocean
    April 15
    6:00 p.m. Meet and Greet
    7:00 p.m. Lecture
    Murray E. Nelson Government and Cultural Center
    102050 Overseas Highway (MM 102)
    Key Largo, Florida 33037

    This ​talk by Dr. Jose M. Elrin-Lopez is part of the Florida International University (FIU) Ocean Life Series. Free and open to the public, the series is hosted by FIU's School of Environment, Arts and Society and the Friends of the Key Largo Cultural Center.

    For more information, contact Linda Kaplan at linda@fklcc.org or (305) 396-7000.

     

    Discovery Saturday: The 3 R's of Earth Day -- Reuse, Recycle, Reduce
    April 16, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
    Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center
    35 East Quay Road
    Key West, FL 33040

    Kids in kindergarten through fifth grade are invited to join the free, fun-filled Discovery Saturday at the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center.

    Discovery Saturday is held the third Saturday of every month. For more information, call 305-809-4750.

     

    US Coast Guard Auxiliary Boating Skills & Seamanship Course
    April 16 and 17
    9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 13-08
    Silver Shores Clubhouse
    MM 96- Oceanside
    751 Tropical Drive
    Key Largo, FL 33037

    Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 13-08 is offering a Boating Skills and Seamanship class. Topics include nautical highway signs, rules of the road, navigation, course charting, boat handling, equipment, radio procedures and other safe boating skills. This is an approved boating safety program which qualifies students, successfully completing the course, to receive the Florida Boating Safety Education ID card. The cost of the program is $45 per person and participants must be registered to attend.

    To register, please contact Tanya Hanson at hansoncgaux@gmail.com or at (305) 283-6229.​

     

    Sanctuary Advisory Council Meeting
    April 19
    Hyatt Place
    1996 Overseas Highway
    Marathon, FL 33050

    Draft meeting agenda (including start time) will be posted on the Sanctuary Advisory Council Meetings and Announcements webpage.

     

    Changing Seas “Sunken Stories” Screening
    April 21, 2016, 7:00 p.m.
    Divers Direct
    99621 Overseas Highway
    Key Largo, FL 33037

    Divers Direct is hosting a screening of Changing Seas “Sunken Stories” (http://www.changingseas.tv/episode502.html) featuring the pirate slave vessel Guerrero that was lost on Turtle Reef off North Key Largo. Brenda Altmeier, FKNMS Maritime Heritage Coordinator, was featured in the episode and will be present to answer questions about the Guerrero project.

     

    Annual Earth Day Celebration
    April 23, 2016
    10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
    Bahia Honda State Park
    36850 Overseas Highway
    Big Pine Key, FL 33043

    The global theme for Earth Day this year is Trees for Earth. This theme is based on a long term goal to plant 7.8 billion trees worldwide by the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, one for every person on earth. To honor this theme Bahia Honda State Park will have a native plant and tree give away, encouraging more native species planting in the community. Bahia Honda's Earth Day celebration will be a fun filled learning experience with hands on crafts, music, food, informational vendors, a sandcastle contest and much more. Please come celebrate, relax and learn how you can help our wonderful planet!

  • May

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    Lionfish Collecting and Handling Workshop
    May 9, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
    REEF Headquarters
    98300 Overseas Hwy (median at MM 98.3)
    Key Largo, FL 33037

    The workshop will cover the history of the invasion, lionfish biology, ecological impacts, venomology, how to avoid getting stung, first aid for stings and recommended techniques for collection, handling and filleting. Participants will also have the opportunity to obtain permits that allow removal of lionfish in Sanctuary Preservation Areas (SPAs) within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS) using nets only. Registration is required, sign up today on the REEF website! For more information call REEF at 305-852-0030.

     

    HAZWOPER (Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response) Training First Responder Operations Level Training
    May 16, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center
    35 East Quay Road
    Key West, FL 33040

    The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary offers this course to train individuals on how to safely and appropriately help with the initial response to releases or potential releases of hazardous substances for the purpose of protecting nearby persons, property, or the environment from the effects of the release. Therefore, training focuses on defensive responses such as containing the release from a safe distance, preventing its spread, and preventing exposures rather than trying to stop the release itself. For those seeking annual recertification, requirements will be completed by 1:00. Certificates will be given at the end of each respective training session, and Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits will be given.

    To register or for more details, call 305-600-8441 or email keys.volunteers@gmail.com.

     

    Discovery Saturday: Sea Turtles Hit the Beach!
    May 21, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
    Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center
    35 East Quay Road
    Key West, FL 33040

    Kids in kindergarten through fifth grade are invited to join the free, fun-filled Discovery Saturday at the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center.

    Discovery Saturday is held the third Saturday of every month. For more information, call 305-809-4750.

     

    Rising Above: The Science of Sea Level Rise and What it Means for Us
    May 20
    6:00 p.m. Meet and Greet
    7:00 p.m. Lecture
    Murray E. Nelson Government and Cultural Center
    102050 Overseas Highway (MM 102)
    Key Largo, Florida 33037

    This ​talk by Dr. Tiffany Troxler is part of the Florida International University (FIU) Ocean Life Series. Free and open to the public, the series is hosted by FIU's School of Environment, Arts and Society and the Friends of the Key Largo Cultural Center.

    For more information, contact Linda Kaplan at linda@fklcc.org or (305) 396-7000.

  • June

    +

     

    HAZWOPER (Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response) Training First Responder Operations Level Training
    June 7, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    Marathon Fire Station
    8900 Overseas Hwy
    Marathon, FL 33050

    The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary offers this course to train individuals on how to safely and appropriately help with the initial response to releases or potential releases of hazardous substances for the purpose of protecting nearby persons, property, or the environment from the effects of the release. Therefore, training focuses on defensive responses such as containing the release from a safe distance, preventing its spread, and preventing exposures rather than trying to stop the release itself. For those seeking annual recertification, requirements will be completed by 1:00. Certificates will be given at the end of each respective training session, and Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits will be given.

    To register or for more details, call 305-600-8441 or email keys.volunteers@gmail.com.

     

    Florida Keys BleachWatch training
    June 7, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
    Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center
    33 East Quay Road
    Key West, FL 33040

    Florida Keys BleachWatch (Mote Marine Laboratory) Program is a team of trained recreational, commercial and scientific divers who help monitor and report on conditions at the reefs. After each visit to the reef, the divers complete a data form, either printed or online, and send it to the BleachWatch coordinator. Divers and snorkelers will learn about types of coral found along the Keys reef, and how to identify the stages of bleaching. RSVP to Cory Walter at cwalter@mote.org or by calling 305-395-8730.

    For more info, see bleachwatch at mote.org.

     

    Florida Keys BleachWatch training
    June 18, 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
    Mote Marine Laboratory
    Mile Marker 24, Summerland Key, FL

    Florida Keys BleachWatch (Mote Marine Laboratory) Program is a team of trained recreational, commercial and scientific divers who help monitor and report on conditions at the reefs. After each visit to the reef, the divers complete a data form, either printed or online, and send it to the BleachWatch coordinator. Divers and snorkelers will learn about types of coral found along the Keys reef, and how to identify the stages of bleaching. RSVP to Cory Walter at cwalter@mote.org or by calling 305-395-8730.

    For more info, see bleachwatch at mote.org.

     

    Discovery Saturday: What Are Those Clouds?
    June 18, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
    Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center
    35 East Quay Road
    Key West, FL 33040

    Kids in kindergarten through fifth grade are invited to join the free, fun-filled Discovery Saturday at the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center.

    Discovery Saturday is held the third Saturday of every month. For more information, call 305-809-4750.

     

    Sanctuary Advisory Council Meeting
    June 21* (cancelled)

     

    Florida Keys BleachWatch training
    June 21, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
    Islamorada Library
    Mile Marker 81.8, Islamorada, FL 33036

    Florida Keys BleachWatch (Mote Marine Laboratory) Program is a team of trained recreational, commercial and scientific divers who help monitor and report on conditions at the reefs. After each visit to the reef, the divers complete a data form, either printed or online, and send it to the BleachWatch coordinator. Divers and snorkelers will learn about types of coral found along the Keys reef, and how to identify the stages of bleaching. RSVP to Cory Walter at cwalter@mote.org or by calling 305-395-8730.

    For more info, see bleachwatch at mote.org.

     

    Heritage Awareness Diving Seminar
    June 23 - 25, 2016
    Key Largo, FL 33037

    HADS focuses on providing scuba training agency Course Directors, Instructor Trainers, and Instructors with a greater knowledge of how to proactively protect shipwrecks, artificial reefs, and other underwater cultural sites as part of the marine environment. HADS consists of two evenings of classroom instruction and one day of open water diving; participants receive the HADS workbook and a CD with all PowerPoint presentations to use in their own classes. Upon completion of HADS, participants can teach the new Heritage Awareness Diving Specialty Course, approved by PADI, NAUI, and SDI, as well as incorporate underwater historic preservation into other courses. HADS is taught in partnership with the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and Florida Public Archeology Network. Pre-registration is required.

    For more information visit http://flpublicarchaeology.org/workshops/HADS.php or email Dr. Della Scott-Ireton or Nicole Grinnan.

     

    Keys-wide Underwater Clean-Up during Get into Your Sanctuary Celebration
    June 25 - 26, 2016

    Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and Blue Star certified charter operators are calling all divers to participate in underwater clean-ups throughout the Florida Keys on June 25th and 26th during the 2016 National Get into Your Sanctuary celebration. Take this opportunity to give back to the most extensive coral reef ecosystem in the continental United States. Divers receive discounted diving rates and the opportunity to apply their skills to cleaning up the marine environment while giving back to the resource. It also gives divers the opportunity to dive with operators dedicated to education and coral reef conservation.

    For more information visit our announcement.

  • July

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    Discovery Saturday: Be a Wildlife Hero!
    July 16, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
    Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center
    35 East Quay Road
    Key West, FL 33040

    Kids in kindergarten through fifth grade are invited to join the free, fun-filled Discovery Saturday at the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center.

    Discovery Saturday is held the third Saturday of every month. For more information, call 305-809-4750.

     

    Risks and Hazards of Lobster Diving
    July 20, 7:00 p.m.
    History of Diving Museum
    Mile Marker 83, Bayside
    Islamorada, FL 33036

    Presented by Dr. Peter Buzzacott, Director of Injury Monitoring and Prevention at DAN (Divers Alert Network) The Florida lobster mini-season is the largest two-day recreational diving event in the world, and sees an average of two fatalities each year. Many more divers end up in the ER or suffer non-life-threatening injuries. So what hazards should divers prepare for during this event? Divers Alert Network (DAN) has collected hundreds of non-fatal incident reports from real divers and compared hundreds of diving fatalities between hunters and non-hunters to determine root causes. Please join us to learn more about the hazards and how to prepare for the mini-season.

     

    Risks and Hazards of Lobster Diving
    July 22, 6:30 p.m.
    Coral Restoration Foundation
    5 Seagate Blvd
    Key Largo, FL 33037

    Presented by Dr. Peter Buzzacott, Director of Injury Monitoring and Prevention at DAN (Divers Alert Network) The Florida lobster mini-season is the largest two-day recreational diving event in the world, and sees an average of two fatalities each year. Many more divers end up in the ER or suffer non-life-threatening injuries. So what hazards should divers prepare for during this event? Divers Alert Network (DAN) has collected hundreds of non-fatal incident reports from real divers and compared hundreds of diving fatalities between hunters and non-hunters to determine root causes. Please join us to learn more about the hazards and how to prepare for the mini-season.

     

    Risks and Hazards of Lobster Diving
    July 25, 3:00 p.m.
    Murray E. Nelson Government and Cultural Center
    102050 Overseas Highway (MM 102)
    Key Largo, FL 33037

    Presented by Dr. Peter Buzzacott, Director of Injury Monitoring and Prevention at DAN (Divers Alert Network) The Florida lobster mini-season is the largest two-day recreational diving event in the world, and sees an average of two fatalities each year. Many more divers end up in the ER or suffer non-life-threatening injuries. So what hazards should divers prepare for during this event? Divers Alert Network (DAN) has collected hundreds of non-fatal incident reports from real divers and compared hundreds of diving fatalities between hunters and non-hunters to determine root causes. Please join us to learn more about the hazards and how to prepare for the mini-season.

     

    HAZWOPER (Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response) Training First Responder Operations Level Training
    July 25, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    Key Largo Library
    Tradewinds Shopping Center (MM 105.5)
    101485 Overseas Hwy
    Key Largo, FL 33037

    The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary offers this course to train individuals on how to safely and appropriately help with the initial response to releases or potential releases of hazardous substances for the purpose of protecting nearby persons, property, or the environment from the effects of the release. Therefore, training focuses on defensive responses such as containing the release from a safe distance, preventing its spread, and preventing exposures rather than trying to stop the release itself. For those seeking annual recertification, requirements will be completed by 1:00. Certificates will be given at the end of each respective training session, and Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits will be given.

    To register or for more details, call 305-600-8441 or email keys.volunteers@gmail.com.

     

    Risks and Hazards of Lobster Diving
    July 26, 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
    Bahia Honda State Park
    Mile Marker 36.85

    Presented by Dr. Peter Buzzacott, Director of Injury Monitoring and Prevention at DAN (Divers Alert Network) The Florida lobster mini-season is the largest two-day recreational diving event in the world, and sees an average of two fatalities each year. Many more divers end up in the ER or suffer non-life-threatening injuries. So what hazards should divers prepare for during this event? Divers Alert Network (DAN) has collected hundreds of non-fatal incident reports from real divers and compared hundreds of diving fatalities between hunters and non-hunters to determine root causes. Please join us to learn more about the hazards and how to prepare for the mini-season.

     

    Risks and Hazards of Lobster Diving
    July 26, 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    NOAA’s Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center
    35 East Quay Road
    Key West, FL 33040

    Presented by Dr. Peter Buzzacott, Director of Injury Monitoring and Prevention at DAN (Divers Alert Network) The Florida lobster mini-season is the largest two-day recreational diving event in the world, and sees an average of two fatalities each year. Many more divers end up in the ER or suffer non-life-threatening injuries. So what hazards should divers prepare for during this event? Divers Alert Network (DAN) has collected hundreds of non-fatal incident reports from real divers and compared hundreds of diving fatalities between hunters and non-hunters to determine root causes. Please join us to learn more about the hazards and how to prepare for the mini-season.

     

    Spiny Lobster Sport Season ("Mini-Season")
    Wednesday, July 27, 12:01 a.m. to Thursday, July 28, 12:00 a.m. (midnight)

    The two-day Sport Season for the Florida Spiny Lobster is governed by slightly different rules than the regular season. A valid Florida recreational saltwater fishing license and a lobster permit are required to harvest spiny lobster. See the 2016 Regulations for Recreational Harvest for more information.

     

    Lobster Palooza - Bahia Honda State Park
    July 26, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
    Bahia Honda State Park
    Mile Marker 36.85

    Stop by and pick up copies of the rules and get information about lobstering, fishing, diving and boating. There will be games for the kids and local environmental booths too. A spiny lobster touch tank will be provided by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. Find out how to properly measure a lobster and have your spiny lobster questions answered by research biologists.

    See the 2016 Regulations for Recreational Harvest and Lobster Information for Monroe County, Florida for additiional information on regulations.

  • August

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    Regular Season for Florida Spiny Lobster Begins
    August 6

    The 2015 Regular Spiny Lobster Season, which includes the commercial and recreational harvest, begins on August 6 and runs until March 31, 2016. Recreational harvesters should read the Monroe County Recreational Lobster Harvesting Regulations (pdf, 485 kb) for details, while commercial fisherman should visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commerical Lobster Regulations website to learn the regulations. Learn how to reduce your impact when lobstering.

     

    Sanctuary Advisory Council Meeting
    August 16
    Hyatt Place
    1996 Overseas Highway
    Marathon, FL 33050

    Draft meeting agenda (including start time) will be posted on the Sanctuary Advisory Council Meetings and Announcements webpage.

     

    Discovery Saturday: Forts, Cannons, and Navies
    August 20, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
    Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center
    35 East Quay Road
    Key West, FL 33040

    Kids in kindergarten through fifth grade are invited to join the free, fun-filled Discovery Saturday at the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center.

    Discovery Saturday is held the third Saturday of every month. For more information, call 305-809-4750.

  • September

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    FKNMS Water Quality Protection Program Steering Committee Meeting
    Wednesday, September 7
    Marathon Government Center
    2798 Overseas Hwy, 2nd Floor
    Marathon, Florida

    The steering committee of the Water Quality Protection Program (WQPP) meets twice a year, and meetings are open to the public. The WQPP makes recommendations on how to maintain and restore the ideal water quality needed for healthy native plant and animal populations to thrive in sanctuary waters.

     

    REEF Key Largo Lionfish Derby
    September 10
    John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
    102601 Overseas Highway
    Key Largo, FL 33037

    Reef Environmental Education Foundation hosts their Key Largo lionfish derby with more than $3,500 in cash and prizes to be awarded. 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes ​for largest, smallest and most lionfish caught. Mandatory captains' meeting will be held the evening before the derby. Rules, registration and more information is available on REEF website or by calling 305-852-0030.

     

    Discovery Saturday: Mission Manatees -- Saving the Gentle Giants
    September 17, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
    Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center
    35 East Quay Road
    Key West, FL 33040

    Kids in kindergarten through fifth grade are invited to join the free, fun-filled Discovery Saturday at the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center.

    Discovery Saturday is held the third Saturday of every month. For more information, call 305-809-4750.

     

    International Coastal Cleanup
    September 17

    Marine debris is a threat to marine life and the habitats in which they live not only in the Florida Keys, but around the world. Ocean Conservancy's annual International Coastal Cleanup Day is a great opportunity to make a difference, by organizing a cleanup event or participating in an existing group. To take part the world’s largest single-day volunteer marine debris cleanup effort, search for a cleanup site near you at signuptocleanup.org.

  • October

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    Discovery Saturday: Birds in Your Backyard
    October 15, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
    Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center
    35 East Quay Road
    Key West, FL 33040

    Kids in kindergarten through fifth grade are invited to join the free, fun-filled Discovery Saturday at the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center.

    Discovery Saturday is held the third Saturday of every month. For more information, call 305-809-4750.

     

    Sanctuary Advisory Council Meeting
    October 18
    Ocean Reef Cultural Center
    200 Anchor Drive
    Ocean Reef Club, Key Largo, FL 33037

    Draft meeting agenda (including start time) will be posted on the Sanctuary Advisory Council Meetings and Announcements webpage.

  • November

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    Discovery Saturday: Dolphins -- Ambassadors of the Seas
    November 19, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
    Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center
    35 East Quay Road
    Key West, FL 33040

    Kids in kindergarten through fifth grade are invited to join the free, fun-filled Discovery Saturday at the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center. Discovery Saturday is held the third Saturday of every month. For more information, call 305-809-4750.

  • December

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    Sanctuary Advisory Council Meeting (Cancelled)
    Please check later for updated information.

     

    Discovery Saturday: Lobsters -- Are They Really Bugs?
    December 17, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
    Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center
    35 East Quay Road
    Key West, FL 33040

    Kids in kindergarten through fifth grade are invited to join the free, fun-filled Discovery Saturday at the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center.

    Discovery Saturday is held the third Saturday of every month. For more information, call 305-809-4750.