National Marine Sanctuary Foundation names Key West Chamber executive as Florida Keys Communications and Outreach Manager

Key West, Fla. – January 4, 2021 – The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation announced the hiring of Scott Atwell as Florida Keys Communications and Outreach Manager based in Key West, Florida. Atwell will build and strengthen community outreach and engagement efforts in the Florida Keys while raising national and international awareness of the national marine sanctuary.

Most recently the executive vice president of the Greater Key West Chamber of Commerce, Atwell is a 1979 graduate of Key West High School. He holds a communications degree from the University of Miami and worked in television in Tallahassee before serving in several communications positions at Florida State University and as president and CEO of the FSU Alumni Association. 

“Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is a national treasure that protects a marine ecosystem like no other in the world,” said Kris Sarri, president and CEO of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. “Scott’s involvement in the Florida Keys community make him an asset to the Foundation for engaging Florida Keys businesses and residents in the stewardship and management of this unique ecosystem.” 

“The waters that fall within the sanctuary are the heart and soul of the entire Florida Keys community. My grandfather made his living as a charter captain here as far back as the 1930s,” said Atwell. “I’m privileged to be part of the team working to safeguard this resource for present and future generations to enjoy.”

In 2019, the Foundation released a study showing that economic activity generated in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is responsible for contributing $4.4 billion and 43,000 jobs across the state of Florida. It is a major driver of tourism and recreation dollars, offering opportunities for world-class diving and fishing alongside abundant and varied wildlife. However, increased use, boat groundings, marine debris, pollution, intensifying storms, disease outbreaks, rising ocean temperatures and acidification are among the threats to the environment and the economy that the sanctuary supports. The report demonstrates the need to protect and restore the fragile habitats of the Florida Keys for the economic well-being of the Keys and the entire state.

Contact: Chip Weiskotten

Director of Strategic Communications



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. Learn more at

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary protects 3,800 square miles of highly diverse and economically valuable marine habitat, including North America’s only coral barrier reef, 1.4 million acres of seagrass, and 1,800 miles of mangrove shoreline, supporting more than 6,000 species. It preserves an estimated 800 underwater historical sites representative of the Florida Keys’ rich maritime heritage. Designated in 1990, the sanctuary is co-managed by NOAA and the State of Florida. Learn more at