Tag Archives: Florida Keys

Hurricane Irma

Get accurate information on Hurricane Irma and downloadable videos here at NOAA:  view the damage https://storms.ngs.noaa.gov

You can select a location and the download is usually very quick.

NOTE: I find the best data from sources other than CNN and other news outlets that specialize in hype and hysteria to boost ratings. I found their coverage to be ill-informed, out of date and repeated without substance.  I have family in Houston and the Keys and I don’t need to be overwhelmed by fake news and neither do you.

Florida Keys- Great Fun

KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Discovered 500 years ago by explorer Ponce de Leon, seven tiny coral-and-sand islands lying 68 miles west of Key West beckon modern-day adventurers, birders, eco-travelers and history fans. Now known as Dry Tortugas National Park, the islands are well worth exploring as the United States National Park Service approaches its August 2016 centennial anniversary.

The unspoiled Dry Tortugas area, covering 100 square miles in the Gulf of Mexico, comprises one of America’s most remote national parks. Accessible to the public only by boat or seaplane, it is home to rare migratory birds and a wealth of marine life.

Florida Keys Spawnings!

FLORIDA KEYS — Each year, divers and snorkelers hover over Keys reefs hoping to witness a fascinating yet fragile reproductive phenomenon that occurs in the middle of the night when corals release millions of gametes in synchronized mass spawnings.
Sparked by the August and September full moons, the rare and wondrous underwater exchange of gametes (eggs and sperm) means the continued survival of coral reefs, including boulder corals such as brain and star corals as well as the protected elkhorn and staghorn species, which are branching corals.

The spectacular white excretion enables the eggs and sperm to enter the water in massive quantities over a broad geographic area, maximizing the chances of fertilization and overwhelming predators with more food than they can consume.
When egg and sperm do unite the newly formed larva, or “planula,” ascends to the surface to float free in the current. Within a matter of days or even weeks, the planula settles to the bottom to grow into a polyp and eventually form colonies.

What triggers this event remains unclear, though scientific observations indicate a strong connection between the coral spawn and seasonal lunar cycles as well as multiple environmental cues such as water temperature and tidal and 24-hour light cycles. Cultured corals, the result of ongoing wild transplant efforts by Key Largo’s Coral Restoration Foundation, also have been documented as spawning in synch with wild corals.

Though the polyp release cannot be guaranteed to happen on any exact date, the 2014 late summer full moons fall on Sunday, Aug. 10, and Monday, Sept. 8.

A number of Keys dive operators offer scheduled coral spawning night dives around those dates to view the spectacle that has been described as an “upside-down underwater snowstorm.”

TLC for Florida Keys with Glunz Ocean Beach Hotel

MARATHON, Florida Keys — An innovative “pay it forward” program allows guests of Glunz Ocean Beach Hotel and Resort in Marathon the option to donate $1 per night during their stay to the Coral Restoration Foundation in Key Largo, whose replanting efforts are helping grow new corals along the Middle Keys’ reef system.

When we LOVE something we need to take care of it! Right? Encourage guests of the Keys Hotels to “get involved” and protect a beautiful area. — the editor

A recent addition to Marathon’s accommodations offerings, the family-owned hotel has pledged to match guest donations and 100 percent of monthly contributions are donated directly to CRF. The Glunz family launched the partnership with CRF in the form of a $10,000 donation.

Efforts began when 400 staghorn corals were planted approximately two miles off the shoreline of the resort, a site that has been dubbed “Glunz Reef” locally, although the name is not included on any nautical charts of the area.

Part of the resort’s overall philosophy is to reduce its carbon footprint as much as possible.

“We believe in saving our waters for future fishing and these habitats are vital to the health of the ocean and its marine life,” said Chrysse Langley, the resort’s general manager. “We are very low key, but offer the opportunity to every guest to participate.”

More replanting projects are planned this spring and summer at the Middle Keys reef site. Local and visiting volunteers who are certified divers are welcome to assist in the program. Interested divers can contact the Coral Restoration Foundation Education Center at 305-453-7030.

Led by CRF’s founder and director Ken Nedimyer, marine scientists at the Key Largo nonprofit have been successful at re-establishing sexually mature coral colonies that can reproduce and repopulate Keys reefs. To learn more about the Coral Restoration Foundation’s efforts, visitwww.coralrestoration.org.

Located at 351 East Ocean Drive in Marathon’s Key Colony Beach, Glunz Ocean Beach Hotel and Resort celebrated its grand opening in early 2014. The reopening following two years of extensive renovations to rooms and suites as well as a heated pool, private beach, fitness room and more. For more details about the hotel, visit glunzoceanbeachhotel.com.