Big Pine Key & the Lower Keys

Brian Vest: Steward of the Conch Republic Marine Army

Brian Vest, founder-president of the Conch Republic Marine Army, a nonprofit organization created to restore Florida Keys marine habitats, has taken more than 4,000 volunteers to the Keys backcountry. Nearly every Saturday, groups of up to 10 volunteers commit to a five-hour experience to clear debris washed up on remote, uninhabited islands.

By |2023-03-01T14:10:00-05:00March 1, 2023|

Nautical Expo and Unique Attractions Await on Big Pine Key

Attention, watersports enthusiasts: boating, fishing and nautical merchandise galore will be available at the 19th annual Big Pine & Lower Keys Nautical Expo, an eclectic market set for Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 14-15. But that’s far from the only attraction in the area — other must-see spots include the Blue Hole and Grimal Grove.

By |2022-12-14T14:26:38-05:00December 14, 2022|

Events Bring Enchantment to Florida Keys Holiday Season

Sunny subtropical holidays in the Florida Keys & Key West are filled with warmth and good cheer throughout the 125-mile-long island chain. From Key Largo to Key West, the 2022 holiday season features spirited events such as lighted boat parades, historic inn tours, only-in-the Keys frivolity, sparkling waterfront celebrations and other island festivities.

By |2022-12-07T11:05:25-05:00December 7, 2022|

Key West’s 58-Year-Old Tournament Promotes Fishery and Fun

Nearly 60 years ago, Captain Gainey Maxwell conceived a way to encourage people to visit and fish Florida Keys waters — and then come back to do it again. He called it the Key West Fishing Tournament. Today, an impressive 46 backcountry and offshore species are targeted during the free-entry tournament’s eight-month span.

By |2022-11-09T14:41:14-05:00November 9, 2022|

The ‘Code of the Keys’ Guides Eco-Protection Practices

Florida Keys residents, and others who love the island chain, are guided by a code of conduct designed to protect the region’s amazing natural environment. Its core is the 10 Keymandments — a lighthearted yet informative set of recommendations for enjoying meaningful, memorable experiences while respecting and helping to preserve the Keys’ treasured eco-realm.

By |2022-10-12T13:02:15-04:00October 12, 2022|

George Bellenger: Steward of the Natural Backcountry

George Bellenger, who co-founded Key West Eco Tours with wife Carla 20 years ago, believes that even a five-minute commitment helps with preserving the Keys’ natural backcountry and dense mangrove islands. The Bellengers’ backcountry eco-tours are operated from the Geiger Key Paddle Hut out of Geiger Key Marina fish camp and RV park.

By |2022-10-05T14:20:52-04:00October 5, 2022|

After Ian: Florida Keys Update

Most people who care about the Florida Keys probably know that the island chain felt some impacts from Hurricane Ian’s tropical storm-force winds and storm surge when Ian passed well to the west of Key West. So this week, Keys Voices breaks from its usual format to provide readers a post-Ian update.

By |2022-10-02T19:26:58-04:00September 28, 2022|

Discover Seafood with a Florida Keys Twist

In the Florida Keys, fresh fish and seafood are menu staples at most popular restaurants. It’s easy to find just-caught snapper, grouper and mahi-mahi served grilled, blackened or fried. In addition, many chefs and restaurateurs in the island chain enjoy showcasing “only in the Keys” dishes, unusual species or innovative preparation techniques.

By |2022-09-07T14:40:23-04:00September 7, 2022|
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