Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Reef Rescue News & Upcoming Events

Sea Turtle Day Celebration March 7


Kick-off turtle nesting season by joining Reef Rescue at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center for the fourth annual Turtle Day. Celebrate sea turtles, marine life, and our oceans in a fun-filled family day of environmental education. Over 30 exhibitors, games and crafts for the kids. No admission fee; $5 donation per person suggested.

We will have our brand new 40 minute DVD - Underwater in Palm Beach - available for the first time at our booth. Shot entirely in Palm Beach County, it contains 10 minutes of video exclusively dedicated to marine turtles. Click to watch DVD movie trailer.

Saturday March 7, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, Boca Raton.

Get directions


Earth Day Kayak-a-thon April 18

It is time to sign-up for the annual Earth Day Kayak-a-thon: a 15 mile trek along the Lake Worth Lagoon through the mangroves to J D McArthur State Park, Singer Island, Peanut Island, Palm Beach and downtown West Palm Beach.

Kayakers have family, friends, associates, organizations and local businesses sponsor them for the event, just like a walk-a-thon. This has become a major fund raising event for Reef Rescue. We depend on your participation and support of the Kayak-a-thon to help fund our coral reef protection programs. Top fund raiser wins two free round trip tickets anywhere JetBlue flies

Visit: http://www.kayakathon.com/ to learn more and sign-up.


Reef Rescue launches anti-anchoring public education campaign

Our coral reefs are disappearing. Boats anchored on the reef damage and kill coral.

Reef Rescue volunteers are bringing the message to the boating public by erecting signs at boat ramps and distributing flyers. While damaging coral is already illegal in Florida, enforcement has been lacking. New federal protections under the Endangered Species Act went into effect on November 21, 2008. Damaging Florida threatened corals can now result in federal prosecution.

Reef Rescue divers are underwater video taping boats anchored in coral and the Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection is issuing enforcement letters. Fines can be as high as $10,000 per incident and if ESA listed corals are damaged federal law allows for fines of $25,000.


We have installed a few boat ramp signs and are already getting a positive response, but we need about 40 more, just for Palm Beach County. We are seeking corporate sponsorship for the anti-anchoring campaign. If you or someone you know are in a position to help fund this program please call us at: 561 699-8559.


Reef Rescue Files Federal Petition to Protect Palm Beach County Corals


The final critical habitat designation for elkhorn and staghorn (Acropora) corals listed under the Endangered Species Act went into effect December 2008. All Palm Beach County coastal waters were originally proposed to be designated habitat critical to the survival of the species. But when the final rule was published half of the county was eliminated. NOAA claims, in comments published in the Federal Register, they had no knowledge of Acropora coral historically or presently occurring north of the Boynton Beach Inlet.

Following this ruling, local divers took to the water and documented numerous staghorn coral colony locations from the Boynton Inlet northward. As a result of these findings Reef Rescue was able to file a formal petition with the federal government to include all these locations and designate all of Palm Beach County coastal waters habitat critical for the survival of the species. The feds have until the end of March to respond.



Click here to view NEW Reef Rescue PSA on YouTube



Palm Beach County Reef Rescue


PO Box 207 * Boynton Beach, FL 33425 *