Earlier this year I was invited to participate in one of three working groups formed by the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council. The working group I am a member of is called Ecosystem Protection: Ecological Reserves, Preservation Areas and Wildlife Protection Working Group.
We have been asked to:
- Review and evaluate existing reserves designated for protection of coral reef ecosystems
- Review current exceptions to regulations in Sanctuary Preservation Areas and Ecological Reserves
- Review and evaluate Sanctuary Preservation Areas reduction of conflicting uses
- Recommend new or modified ecological reserves to ensure protection of a diversity of resources including spawning aggregations, seabirds, marine mammals, turtles, seagrass, soft corals and hard corals
- Consider temporal zoning to address seasonal impacts associated with intense uses or seasonal ecological activities (i.e., nesting, breeding, spawning)
- Ensure the FKNMS zoning scheme promotes sustainable use of the sanctuary resources and protects areas that represent diverse habitats as well as areas important for maintaining natural resources and ecosystem functions
I consider it an honor to be selected to participate in what I believe may be one of the most important phases of development for our marine sanctuary governing body. Our Working Group does not get the final word – our job is to make recommendations to the Advisory Council – who in turn presents their findings and recommendations to FKNMS staff. Once that happens, another period of public comment kicks into gear, with the new set of rules to begin implementation in 2015.
As you can see, this is no small task. In order to get a better comprehension of what lies before us, we are being exposed to a massive amount of science about the sanctuary. I am dedicating the next few months, in my DIVE TIME column, to what I am calling the “Sanctuary Science Series”.
I set up a new category on the right side of the page, so you can grab any of these that peak your interest. This series will most likely run through at least August, and maybe beyond.
I am learning a lot. It’s like being in school again. I hope I can adequately present, in these short pieces, the essence of the intent and results of these sanctuary science topics.
I have been invited to be the speaker on March 12th for the monthly seminar series, called REEF Fish and Friends, sponsored by Reef Environmental Education Foundation and the Sanctuary Friends Foundation of the Florida Keys. Last year we had a blast! This time around I will talk about my recent trip to the Philippines and my participation on the Ecosystem Protection Working Group for the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. If you are in the Key Largo area on March 12th, please join us at REEF’s headquarters. For more information about the important work REEF does, please visit their web site at www.reef.org.
In May, 2010 we were aboard the Paradise Dancer. View the entire collection by clicking on any of the thumbnails below.
Selected images from The Elbow to Davey Crocker and many places in between.
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Aquarius provides invaluable oceanic research
The Aquarius Reef Base on Conch Reef near Key Largo, Florida is the world’s only working undersea research station. Learn more about ARB and giant barrel sponges.
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Aquarius Habitat is unique in the world
The Aquarius Reef Base on Conch Reef near Key Largo, Florida is the world’s only working undersea research station. Learn more about ARB and the Ocean Acidification mission. See the article on ScubaBoard.
- Aquarius Reef Base
Snapper Ledge would benefit from no-take status
Snapper Ledge is a unique site in the Florida Keys
Snapper Ledge is a unique site in the Florida Keys. Read about how a local group of enthusiasts is pushing to get the site designated as a protected area.
Free E-book from TimgImages
The DIVE TIME columns are being posted as E-Books.
Get a free E-Books that contain all the images from the DIVE TIME columns.
Each time I submit a column, I include a bunch of images for the editor to choose from for the print edition. There is also a web version, for which only one image is selected. The web versions are listed on the right side of this page in the ”DIVE TIME columns” section. The editor does not have the space available in the print edition to run all the images. But I do in the E-book format.
When I write a column, there are images in my mind I want to see with the text. To me it paints a more complete picture of the topic I’m writing about. Since that won’t happen in the newsprint edition, I take all those images and make E-books.
All the E-books are FREE to download.
I hope you enjoy the E-book version of my columns as much as I enjoy writing them!
This contest was held in December, 2010 during the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the opening of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. The assignment was to capture the essence of diving in Key Largo in only six images. These are the winning images.
Read the article: Anatomy of a Photo Contest
This gallery is donated to Reef Ministries of Ft. Lauderdale. A portion of the proceeds are given to Reef Ministries to support their efforts. This was used for the 2010 DEMA show in Las Vegas.
Posted in Reef Ministries
Tagged artificial reef, barrier reef, coral reef, florida keys, marine sanctuary, ministry, scuba diving, shipwreck, Spiegel Grove, underwater photography, wreck