Florida Keys

Environment
4:28 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Endangered Turtles To Swim Free After Stay In Keys Hospital

Turtle Hospital Manager Bette Zirkelbach checks the heart rate of a Kemp's ridley sea turtle. The hospital has treated and released nine of the critically endangered turtles, which were stunned by cold in New England and shipped to Florida for recovery.
Credit Andy Newman / Florida Keys News Service

Nine Kemp's ridley sea turtles have been released from the Turtle Hospital in Marathon and will be returned to the sea off northern Florida's Atlantic coast.

They are part of a group of 193 Kemp's ridley turtles sent to Florida from New England last month, after an early cold snap caught them before their annual migration south.

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lobster casitas
5:43 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Lobster Casitas Get Thumbs Down From State

Spiny lobster are Florida's most valuable fishery, with $50 million in landings annually. Commercial divers would like to use casitas to help catch them, but trap fishermen and state regulators oppose the move.
Credit Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

For years, divers looking for lobster in the Florida Keys knew that the best place to find them was under some sort of shelter, whether a rock or something more artificial like a car hood.

John Coffin, who owns a marine salvaging business in the Lower Keys, said he got into using "casitas," or little houses, to find lobster in the late 1970s.

"It was a huge secret. I would never dive with another person," Coffin said. Still, even before GPS, other divers started following him around.

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Keys lighthouses
4:17 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

New Mission for Keys' Reef Lights: Historical Guideposts

Alligator Reef Light was built in 1873 and survived the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, one of the strongest storms ever to hit the U.S.
Credit Andy Newman / Florida Keys News Service

The reef lights along the Florida Keys are still owned by the U.S. Coast Guard -- but a nonprofit group hopes to take over their care and make them a 100-mile long museum of maritime history.

The Florida Keys Reef Lights Foundation is raising money to apply to the Coast Guard for ownership of five lights stretching from Carysfort Reef off Key Largo to Sand Key off Key West. The others are Alligator Reef off Islamorada, Sombrero Reef off Marathon and American Shoal off the Lower Keys.

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South Florida Arts Beat
1:00 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Broward Center Educational Events, Miami Short Film Festival, Florida Keys Calendar

Rose Miniaci Education Center Classes
www.browardcenter.org

11/21/14 - Next time on South Florida Arts Beat, Broward Center for the Performing Arts President and CEO, Kelley Shanley, brings us the details about their exciting arts and educational events. Film critic, Dan Hudak, previews the 13th Annual Miami Short Film Festival with founder and director, William Vela.

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Election 2014
9:20 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Winning In Keys: School Tax, Building Height Raise

Since the half-cent sales tax was first approved 20 years ago Monroe County has rebuilt most of its schools including Horace O'Bryant Middle School in Key West.
Credit Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Voters in the Florida Keys Tuesday approved extending a half-cent sales tax for schools for another 10 years. The tax, expected to raise $157 million over the decade, will be used to build and refurbish schools and for technology upgrades.

Voter turnout was 56 percent, according to the Monroe County Supervisor of Elections Office.

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Keys elections
9:00 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

In Florida Keys, Local Elections Carry a Sting

The Florida Keys Mosquito Control District combats mosquitoes by spraying larvicide by helicopters and planes.
Credit Florida Keys Mosquito Control District

In this election, voters in the Keys will cast some ballots that are unusual even for South Florida. They'll decide who leads the county's war on mosquitoes.

The Florida Keys Mosquito Control Board meets once a month with one primary mission: "To make sure that there is no disease spread in the Florida Keys by mosquitoes," said Stephen Smith, the board's chairman.

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Pest Control
6:16 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Keys Prepare For Genetically Modified Mosquito Release

The aedes aegypti mosquito can carry diseases including dengue fever, malaria and chikungunya.
Credit Javier Devilman / Flickr Creative Commons

Two storage rooms at the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District's Marathon building are being converted into a temporary laboratory to raise genetically modified mosquitoes.

If the FDA approves, the Keys could become the first in the U.S. to release the mosquitos, which are intended to reduce the population of aedes aegypti mosquitoes that carry diseases including dengue fever, malaria and chikungunya.

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South Florida Arts Beat
1:00 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

Culture Shock Miami, Festival Miami, and Florida Keys Calendar

www.facebook.com/CultureShockMiami

10/03/14 - Next time on South Florida Arts Beat, Culture Shock Miami celebrates its 10th season providing inexpensive tickets to students 13 to 22 years old to events all over Miami-Dade County. Gerry Landreth with the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs brings us the details.

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Key West Quail-Dove
6:06 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

A Rare But Iconic Florida Keys Bird Flies In For A Visit

The Key West Quail-Dove, painted by John James Audubon. He named the bird on his 1832 visit to the Keys.

If there is an iconic bird for the Florida Keys, the Key West quail-dove is it. The bird was named, and painted, by John James Audubon during his 1832 visit to the island chain.

"I have taken upon myself to name this species the Key West pigeon, and offer it as a tribute to the generous inhabitants of that island, who favoured me with their friendship," Audubon wrote in his journal.

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Threatened Species
1:05 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Sea Turtle Travels Cross Country By FedEx

Devin Merriman, Richie Moretti and Bette Zirkelbach get Sapphire, an injured loggerhead sea turtle, ready for its journey across the country via FedEx to its new home near San Diego.
Credit Andy Newman / Florida Keys News Service

  How long does it take a sea turtle to travel from the Florida Keys to southern California?

Only a few hours when it travels by FedEx. That's what Sapphire, a loggerhead sea turtle, is doing today on a journey from the Turtle Hospital in Marathon to The Living Coast Discovery Center near San Diego.

The turtle has been at the Middle Keys rehab center for 16 months and cannot be released back to the wild.

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Environment
11:33 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Scientists Worry Warmer Keys Waters Might Harm Corals

The water off the Florida Keys is two degrees hotter than 100 years ago according to a new USGS study.
Credit USGS

  Late-summer waters off the Florida Keys are two degrees hotter than a century ago, according to a new report from the U.S. Geological Survey.

The report compares two periods of summer-month water temperature: historic data from lighthouse keeper records from the late 1800s and three decades of recent temperature data.

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Lionfish
3:18 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Why Lionfish Are Targeted Underwater And Online

Lionfish are beautiful, but they are becoming a menace along South Florida reefs.
Credit NOAA's National Ocean Service/Flickr

If they weren't such a pest you could almost pity the lionfish.

The creature, after all, is simply doing what it is biologically programmed to do: eat and reproduce. Unfortunately, it has made its way to the reefs off South Florida where it doesn't have natural predators.

So the lovely lionfish has become a menace.

They eat juvenile saltwater species that are commercially and biologically important, like lobster, crab, snapper and grouper. And they eat herbivores like wrasse that help limit algae growth on reefs.

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Environment
4:21 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

A Sort Of Google Street View For Florida's Coral Reefs Is In The Works

Credit Catlin Seaview Survey

South Florida's coral reefs are getting ready for their close-up.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is teaming up with the Catlin Seaview Survey as part of the Australia-based project's ambitious effort to create a photographic record of the world's coral reefs.

As the Sun Sentinel reports:

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Keys Election Results
9:27 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Cates Wins Fourth Term As Key West Mayor

Key West Mayor Craig Cates is congratulated Tuesday night after he won re-election for a fourth term.
Credit Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Key West Mayor Craig Cates won a fourth and final term as mayor of the southernmost city Tuesday, defeating Margaret Romero for a third time and taking 53 percent of the votes in the three-person race. Romero won 44 percent while perennial candidate Sloan Bashinsky took just over 2 percent.

"I'm just a happy camper right now," Cates said. "Everybody that came out and supported me, four elections in a row -- it's an overwhelming feeling."

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Key West Cutter
4:11 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

New Coast Guard Ship Honors WWII Hero In Key West

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evans, to be commissioned Sept. 6, is one of six new Sentinel-class cutters that will be homeported in Key West.
Credit Nancy Klingener / WLRN

A World War II hero will be honored when the Coast Guard's newest cutter is commissioned into service in Key West on Sept. 6.

The 154-foot ship is named after Raymond Evans, who received the Navy Cross for rescuing Marines during the Battle of Guadalcanal in 1942.

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