Connect & Protect

Lemurs, Armadillos and More: Keys Sheriff’s Animal Farm

A unique refuge on the grounds of the Sheriff’s Office detention center near Key West shelters some surprising creatures: about 150 domestic and exotic animals from 45 species, ranging from armadillos to Kramer the emu. Benefiting both the animals and inmates who help care for them, the facility welcomes visitors twice each month.

By |2022-05-18T12:07:16-04:00May 18, 2022|

Dave Dipre: Steward of the Keys’ Fish and Wildlife

Captain Dave Dipre, Marathon-based operational captain with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Division of Law Enforcement, oversees operations from Key Largo to Key West. His love of the Keys, and his sense of environmental responsibility, run as deep as the 125-mile-long island chain’s waters that he’s charged with protecting.

By |2022-04-27T14:54:18-04:00April 27, 2022|

Eco-Experience Bucket List: Lower Keys and Key West

Encouraging actions that support the environment is a vital element of the Florida Keys’ commitment to protecting the island chain’s natural resources. And from Big Pine Key to Key West, visitors can find a wide variety of positive environmental activities and attractions that illustrate how to share that commitment — while making lasting memories.

By |2022-04-13T16:36:44-04:00April 13, 2022|

Wander the Keys’ Wide-Open Spaces

Florida Keys visitors can discover a place embracing sustainability and the preservation of environmental wonders, filled with hammocks and rainforest areas, sandy beaches and on-the-water relaxation, and unique opportunities for world-class bird watching. Whether on land or water, the Keys’ natural world provides the rejuvenation that comes from time spent outdoors.

By |2022-03-02T12:30:25-05:00March 2, 2022|

Mark Hedden: Steward of the Florida Keys Audubon Society

Mark Hedden, executive director of the Florida Keys Audubon Society and artist-in-residence at The Studios of Key West, is perhaps the Keys’ best known “bird man.” A self-taught photographer acclaimed for his recent “South of Southernmost” exhibit, he hopes to use his creative artistry to inspire others to discover the Keys’ natural world.

By |2022-02-25T17:53:07-05:00February 23, 2022|

‘Bucket List’ Eco-Experiences in the Upper Keys

Every day is an adventure in the Florida Keys, where the subtropical climate and scenic natural settings create the perfect backdrop for intriguing eco-activities — such as exploring mangrove wilderness, tropical hardwood hammocks and rainforest areas, or diving a protected underwater park. Upper Keys visitors can enjoy unplugged experiences from bird watching to “voluntourism.”

By |2022-02-16T13:59:27-05:00February 16, 2022|

How to Become a Steward of the Keys

The Florida Keys offer scores of earth- and sea-friendly options for visitors to enjoy, guided by residents who cherish their close-to-nature lifestyle and strive to preserve it. They include sustainable fishing and dive charter operators, coral restoration innovators, trailblazers in “voluntourism,” wildlife rehabilitation experts and leaders of eco-tours and cultural excursions.

By |2022-01-26T13:25:19-05:00January 26, 2022|

Ken Nedimyer: Steward of Reef Restoration

Ken Nedimyer, an Upper Keys–based director of Reef Renewal Foundation International, is globally recognized as a father of reef restoration, creating strategies to rebuild coral reefs around the world. He oversees three coral nurseries in the Keys — off Tavernier, Big Pine Key and Marathon — that house 21 coral species with 1,000 genotypes.

By |2021-12-29T16:58:09-05:00December 29, 2021|

Allyson Gantt: Steward of the Keys’ National Parks

Allyson Gantt inspires others to care for the Florida Keys’ two national parks and their unique environments. A National Park Service ranger for over 25 years, she directs communications and public affairs for Everglades and Dry Tortugas national parks — and is overseeing a year of activities for Everglades National Park’s upcoming 75th anniversary.

By |2021-12-01T14:33:26-05:00December 1, 2021|
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