Stewards of the Keys

Samantha Zeher: Steward of Islamorada’s Wildlife

Captain Samantha “Sam” Zeher operates KeyZ Charters, an eco-tour operation specializing in wildlife tours out of Islamorada’s popular Robbie’s Marina. Offerings include sightseeing excursions with birdwatching and sunset viewing and Islamorada–area island trips that explore Indian Key, Lignumvitae Key and Alligator Lighthouse — each with a history dating back to the 1800s.

By |2021-09-07T11:55:51-04:00July 7, 2021|

Elena Muratori: Steward of the Upper Keys’ State Parks

In May, Elena Muratori celebrates 25 years with the Florida Park Service. With two decades of working at John Pennekamp Coral Reef and Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical state parks, she’s one of the longest-serving stewards at any Florida Keys state park. And she’s deeply dedicated to restoring and preserving natural resources.

By |2021-09-07T11:56:44-04:00April 21, 2021|

Rob Oliverio: Steward of the Keys’ Backcountry

Rob Oliverio traded life as a road warrior — a corporate manager launching House of Blues openings in Boston, New Orleans and Los Angeles — for life as an eco-entrepreneur and owner of Key West’s Mellow Ventures. Today he’s focused on helping visitors learn to appreciate, respect and protect the beauty of the Keys.

By |2021-09-07T19:03:33-04:00March 31, 2021|

Kelly Grinter: Steward of Keys Wild Birds

Kelly Grinter estimates she’s rescued and released more than 20,000 injured birds since she founded the Marathon Wild Bird Center in 1995. The sanctuary at Marathon’s Crane Point Hammock Museum and Nature Center has 11 habitats and about 40 permanent residents — and Kelly is inspired by each bird admitted into the facility’s care.

By |2021-09-07T18:57:26-04:00February 24, 2021|

Dan Davis: Steward of Environmental Artistry

Florida Keys artist Dan Davis, owner of the online Florida Keys Ocean Gallery, uses the ancient Japanese art of gyotaku to create prints from fish he catches in Keys waters. He also educates art lovers about the need to preserve local waters that are home to a vast array of prized game fish.

By |2021-09-07T19:04:48-04:00January 27, 2021|

Misha McRAE: Steward of a Rare Botanical Garden

As executive director of the Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden, former ballet danseur Misha McRAE is preparing to celebrate the 85th anniversary of the 15-acre subtropical treasure. Described as the continental United States’ only frost-free tropical forest and botanical garden, the enchanted spot has been his passion since the late 1990s.

By |2021-09-07T18:44:04-04:00December 29, 2020|

Kelly McKinnon: Steward of Historic Pigeon Key

Kelly McKinnon, executive director of the Pigeon Key Foundation, is one of four residents of the historic island beneath the Middle Keys’ Old Seven Mile Bridge. The 5-acre Pigeon Key once housed laborers building the 1900s-era Florida Keys Over-Sea Railroad, and Kelly is committed to its sustainability and future as a cultural attraction.

By |2021-09-07T19:00:43-04:00November 24, 2020|

Stephen Frink: Steward-Photographer of the Underwater World

Renowned photojournalist Stephen Frink, quite possibly the planet’s most prolific published underwater photographer, makes his home in Key Largo — a place he values for its incredible marine life population, offshore reef and legacy marine conservation restrictions. He’s passionate about using his stunning underwater images to inspire people to appreciate the coral reef.

By |2021-09-07T19:04:08-04:00October 28, 2020|

Brad Bertelli: Steward of Florida Keys History

As curator and historian at Islamorada’s Keys History & Discovery Center, Brad Bertelli is a storyteller who spins colorful tales with rich factual details about life in the Florida Keys. He has also authored several books — including two about snorkeling in Florida and the Keys, and one each about Key Largo and Islamorada.

By |2021-09-07T18:56:02-04:00September 30, 2020|

Mike Goldberg: Steward of Islamorada’s Coral Reef

In his previous life, Mike Goldberg was a Bear Stearns money manager. But things change, and a year ago, he and marine biologist Kylie Smith, a Florida Wildlife Commission scientist, spearheaded the founding of I.CARE — the Keys’ only Islamorada-based reef restoration organization — partnering with Mote Marine Laboratory and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation.

By |2021-09-07T19:05:41-04:00August 26, 2020|
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