New National Marine Sanctuary Foundation Chapter opens with major local donation

KEY WEST, FL – The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation (the Foundation) announces its newest chapter in the Florida Keys. The chapter will promote local stewardship of Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (the sanctuary) through projects that support conservation and restoration and engage the public and partners in protecting its unique ecosystems.

To kick-off this effort, and encourage businesses that rely on healthy Florida Keys ecosystems to engage in its stewardship, Fury Water Adventures, located in Key West, donated $25,000 to help the protect coral reefs in the Lower Keys.  

The chapter is the result of a merger with the Sanctuary Friends Foundation of the Florida Keys to form the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. Its board members include Bruce Popham of Duck Key, Tom Davidson of Ocean Reef, Stephen Frink of Key Largo, Jeff Neidlinger of Big Pine Key and Rachel Bowman of Marathon. The chapter’s initial priorities include establishing partnerships with local businesses and organizations to invest in on-the-water conservation projects that help with coral restoration, fostering enjoyment of the sanctuary through infrastructure improvements and championing the sanctuary at the state and federal levels.

“Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Foundation provides a way for businesses and our community to focus efforts on protecting, conserving and restoring the marine ecosystem that drives the local economy and our way of life,” said Bruce Popham. “We thank Scott Saunders, CEO of Fury Water Adventures for his commitment to and leadership in supporting a healthy future for our marine environment.”

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary looks forward to working with the new Foundation chapter to form even more partnerships with the local business community to ensure that the marine ecosystem we all deeply value can be enjoyed long into the future,” said Sarah Fangman, Superintendent of Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

“The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation is proud to have a local partner in the Florida Keys to work with the sanctuary and local communities to restore, protect and conserve this precious ecosystem,” said Kris Sarri, President and CEO of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation.

More information about the Foundation’s Florida Keys chapter, including current career opportunities, is available at marinesanctuary.org/florida-chapter.

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The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, established in 2000, is the official non-profit partner of the National Marine Sanctuary System. The Foundation directly supports America’s national marine sanctuaries through our mission to protect species, conserve ecosystems, and preserve America’s maritime heritage.  We accomplish our mission through community stewardship and engagement programs, on-the-water conservation projects, public education and outreach programs, and scientific research and exploration. The Foundation fosters innovative projects that are solution-oriented, scalable, and transferable, and develop strategic partnerships that promote the conservation and recovery of species and their habitats. The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Foundation joins existing chapters in Savannah, Georgia, Monterey, California and Port Angeles, Washington, all of which support work in their local sanctuaries and the surrounding communities. Learn more at marinesanctuary.org

Designated on November 16, 1990, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is one of 15 marine protected areas that make up the National Marine Sanctuary System. Administered by NOAA, a federal agency, and jointly managed with the State of Florida, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary protects 2,900 square nautical miles of waters surrounding the Florida Keys, from south of Miami westward to encompass the Dry Tortugas, excluding Dry Tortugas National Park. Within the boundaries of the sanctuary lie spectacular, unique, and nationally significant marine resources, from the world’s third largest barrier reef, extensive seagrass beds, mangrove-fringed islands, and more than 6,000 species of marine life. The sanctuary also protects pieces of our nation’s history such as shipwrecks and other archeological treasures.

 

Contacts:
Marcus Reamer
Strategic Communications Director
301.608.3040 x 311
marcus@marinesanctuary.org

Gena Parsons
Communications and Outreach Manager
305.809.4694
gena.parsons@noaa.gov