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Keys Water Quality: The Buck Stops Here
Everyone acknowledges that the interaction between water quality and coral reefs, seagrasses, and marine creatures in the Florida Keys is a complicated issue. Climate-change, land-based sources of pollution, habitat loss and destruction, and overfishing all contribute to the health of local waters. Recognizing the importance of water quality, Last Stand and Everglades Law Center are scheduling free forums in April, bringing together a panel of water quality, hydrology, and coral reef experts to examine the science behind what is occurring and what is being planned to improve water quality in the Keys.
Speakers include the director of South Florida Natural Resources Center for Everglades National Park, Bob Johnson, and the director of science and policy for the Everglades Foundation, Tom Van Lent, Ph.D. Also on the program are Andrew Baker, Ph.D., associate professor at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami, Jerry Lorenz, director of research for Audubon Florida, and Billy Causey, Ph.D., Southeast Regional Director for NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.
The first forum will be in Key Largo on Wednesday, April 16, from 6:30-8:30pm at the Key Largo Public Library, 101485 Overseas Hwy.
The Key West forum will on Tuesday, April 22 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Eco-Discovery Center at 33 E. Quay Road, at the foot of Southard Street in Truman Annex.
This informational sessions are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.
For Immediate Release Last Stand Contact: Mark Songer (305) 394-3807
Last Stand and Keys Keeper Sponsor Town Hall Meeting August 22nd
Everyone is invited to learn more about the condition of the coral reef, the Lower Keys fishery and economic impacts of water based tourism from the experts on Thursday August 22nd at the Tropic Cinema, 416 Eaton Street beginning at 7:00pm. Admission is free and tickets will be distributed first come, first served beginning at 6:00pm.
Sean Morton, Superintendent of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, will speak on the status of new coral species to be protected under the Endangered Species Act and current sanctuary regulations.
Dr. David Vaughan, Executive Director of Mote Tropical Research Laboratory, will provide information on the current status of corals in and near the Key West Harbor and the connection between tourism and healthy coral reefs.
Dr. Aaron Adams, Director of Operations of the Bonefish Tarpon Trust, will describe the overall status of the Lower Keys fishery and present information from a recent study on the economic impact of flats fishing in the Florida Keys.
Jenna Stauffer, Host of Channel 19 Good Morning Florida Keys, will moderate the panel and questions from the audience following the presentations.
“We are excited to have assembled this outstanding panel to provide Key West voters with the facts about the coral reef, tourism impacts on our near shore waters and economy in advance of the October 1st referendum on the channel widening feasibility study,” said Keys Keeper director Steve Trippe. “None of the speakers will offer an opinion on the referendum, but these experts will discuss important facts Key West voters should consider before the election.”
“Tourism in Key West has always been associated with the natural environment surrounding the Florida Keys. Last Stand is pleased to partner with Keys Keeper and the Tropic Cinema to allow interaction with experts on the coral reef and the protections the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary provides to sustain it,” said Last Stand President Naja Girard. “We’re encouraging everyone who needs more information to join us in the Tropic Cinema Carper Theater at 7:00pm on August 22nd for this free public forum.”
For more information, contact Mark Songer, Last Stand Secretary, at (305) 394-3807.