Commemorating Earth Day in the Florida Keys & Key West

Green Scene
This Green Scene story spotlights an environmentally focused attraction, event, person or place that enriches the Florida Keys

April 2024: The Florida Keys & Key West are putting Earth Day in the spotlight with a wide range of activities throughout the island chain on and around 22nd April 2024.

Every day is a reason to celebrate the beauty of the planet in the Florida Keys, full of natural wonders including ten state parks, two national parks, four federally protected wildlife refuges and the continental United States’ only contiguous coral barrier reef.

Earth Day activities include:


Mote Marine Laboratory’s Ocean Fest: This community celebration of the Florida Keys’ marine environment takes place on Saturday 20th April, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Truman Waterfront Park in Key West. Attendees of all ages are invited to enjoy a fun day of crafts, games, music, food, local brews and shopping as Mote and numerous other environmental organisations provide exhibits and experiences to enhance understanding of the important work being done to preserve coral reefs.

Earth Day 5k Run/Walk: The Key West Southernmost Runners’ 26th annual Earth Day 5k Run/Walk is set for Saturday 20th April at Truman Waterfront Park in Key West. Proceeds from the race benefit the Conch Republic Marine Army, a local nonprofit grassroots organisation dedicated to cleaning and restoring the shallow mangrove habitats of the Florida Keys.

Plogging the Keys Earth Day Cleanup: Plogging the Keys, a group that stages numerous cleanups around Key West, is to hold its Earth Day cleanup event in the Triangle area at the entrance to the island city, including the Cow Key Channel Bridge and surrounding streets, starting at 8 a.m. on Monday 22nd April.


Bahia Honda State Park Earth Day Celebration: Bahia Honda State Park in the Lower Keys is to stage its annual Earth Day celebration on Saturday 20th April, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Attendees can learn about earth-friendly activities and practices from numerous conservation-minded vendors and enjoy live music and crafts. A scavenger hunt will send kids on a journey to visit the festival’s many exhibitors, including the Florida Keys’ Turtle Hospital, Reef Relief, and Save-A-Turtle of the Florida Keys.

Plant Mangroves with Plant a Million Corals and Coastlove: Plant a Million Corals’ headquarters at Summerland Farms in the Lower Keys is now home to both coral and mangrove nurseries. Coastlove, a leader in mangrove restoration, has joined with Plant a Million Corals to create an Earth Day community event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday 20th April, with tours of the nurseries and the chance to plant baby mangroves along the shoreline, along with educational activities, live music, and refreshments.

Full Moon Kayak Excursion: Captain Bill Keogh’s Big Pine Kayak Adventures hosts full moon kayak excursions from October to May in the waters surrounding the National Key Deer Refuge on Big Pine Key. April’s full moon paddle takes place on Tuesday 23rd April, the day after Earth Day. Paddlers on the 6:30-8:30 p.m. excursion can explore the quiet beauty of the mangrove estuary, view the brilliance of the full moon light sparkling on the shallow water flats, and learn about the area’s delicate ecosystem. Cost is a US$30 donation that supports the Florida Keys Wildlife Society, the friends group for the island chain’s national wildlife refuges.


I.CARE Coral Restoration Dives: I.CARE is a nonprofit group dedicated to the restoration and maintenance of the coral reef communities in the Florida Keys. Coral transplant dives are offered every Saturday and the third Sunday of each month - including 20th and 21st April - with three participating Upper Keys dive shops. Those interested can join the citizen science effort while exploring Keys reefs with other conservation-minded divers who enjoy giving back to the underwater realm.

Mote Outplanting Coral Credit: Florida Keys News Bureau

Mote Outplanting Coral Credit: Florida Keys News Bureau

This article was updated on April 18, 2024 at 9:49 AM