Contact Us Blog Shop
Share This:
Striped Dolphins observed in emulsified oil on April 29th, 2010. photo: NOAA

Action Alert: Tell Congress to Act to RESTORE the Gulf Coast Now‏

On July 21, a bipartisan coalition of nine Gulf Coast senators, including Senators Bill Nelson and Mario Rubio, introduced the RESTORE the Gulf Coast Act of 2011 (S. 1400). This much-needed legislation would ensure that at least 80% of BP penalties paid under the Clean Water Act would be dedicated to Gulf States to invest in the long-term health of the coastal ecosystem and its economies. Under current law, this money would go to the U.S. Treasury and the Gulf Coast would get nothing.
These nine senators crossed party and state lines to come together in support of a bill that will help ensure a thriving future for the Gulf coast environment and economies. But there is still work that needs to be done.
Please urge the members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to give their approval to the RESTORE the Gulf Coast Act before the Senate adjourns for its September recess. Also, urge Gulf Coast members of the House of Representatives to follow the lead of their counterparts in the Senate and introduce the bill in the House before the August Recess.
Let Congress know that it is important to you that the Gulf coast communities affected by the Gulf oil spill disaster get the money from BP penalties under the Clean Water Act not the U.S. Treasury. Make sure they know that you expect them to act, NOW, to ensure that these funds are dedicated to the restoration and protection of the coastal and marine ecosystems, fisheries, and economies of our Gulf States. You can read the bill at
For contact information for Senators on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and Gulf Coast Representatives please visit the Reef Relief blog at
Coral Camp for Kids 2011
Reef Relief’s 4th year of Coral Camp for Kids proved to be a huge success with a 30% increase in enrollments over last year.  Our program also received recognition from the National Marine Educators Association and we were asked to give a presentation at their annual conference that was held in Boston, MA this past July.  Now, Coral Camp for Kids is recognized nationally as a must do program for kids aged six through twelve years of age.
Enrollment for next year will begin in early spring as we anticipate even more Coral Campers for next year’s program.  New and fun activities were also added this year including:  microscopic analysis of sand grains which led into discussions on low vs. high energy environments; plankton studies which led into discussions on food webs, trophic levels, and predator/prey interactions; the role of microbes in the marine environment and all of this was made possible by an award from the University of Hawaii for the purchase of a microscope!
We looked at coral reproduction, dispersal mechanisms, recruitment, and all kinds of fun stuff that the kids really enjoyed.  We went on a field trip every day, and went snorkeling on the reef two days in a row.  The kids also learned a valuable lesson from an unlikely teaching source—evil moon jellies.  Coral Camp for Kids has provided kids with an education that’s both informative and fun and we look forward to next year.
SYRCL’s Wild & Scenic Film Festival Comes Back to Key West
SYRCL’s Wild & Scenic Film Festival inspires people and unites communities to take action to protect their local Wild & Scenic places. At Wild & Scenic, film-goers are transformed into a congregation of committed activists, dedicated to saving our increasingly threatened planet. Festival Films illustrate the Earth’s beauty, the challenges facing our planet, and the work communities are doing to protect the environment. Through these films, Wild & Scenic both informs people about the state of the world and inspires them to take action. This is the second year that Reef Relief has been able to host the Wild and Scenic Film Festival here in Key West. Reef Relief has spent 24 years helping to conserve and protect the wild and scenic coral reef ecosystems here in the Florida Keys. We are excited to bring this fantastic film festival back thanks to a grant provided by Patagonia and the Saltwater Angler.
Visit the Reef Relief blog for more information at
Be a sponsor of the event. Contact Reef Relief at 305-294-3100.
Human Pathogen Killing Corals
On Wednesday, August 31st, Reef Relief Scientific Advisor, Dr. Jim Porter and two colleagues will be arriving in Key West to document coral disease at two locations off of Key West.  Reef Relief staff will be joining in this five year study and we look forward to the opportunity work with Dr. Porter and his staff. We will be conducting dives at two sites on the reef looking for the presence of coral diseases. It has been documented that white pox, a disease that has wiped out as much as 88% of the elkhorn and staghorn coral populations, has been genetically linked to an enteric bacteria found in the intestinal tracts of humans.  Probable sources are leaking septic systems, cesspits, boat discharges, and possibly stormwater run-off. Dr. Porter’s work is vital as it increases our knowledge of the etiology of these diseases which can lead the way for discovering methods to mitigate their impacts upon coral reef ecosystems.
Sea turtles often eat plastic debris such as plastic bags. This can cause them to choke, starve or drown. photo: Greenhouse Carbon Neutral Fdn
Help Clean-up the ocean on Saturday, August 27th 10am-1pm
T.R.A.S.H.E.D. in the Keys and Reef Relief are hosting a mangrove and shoreline clean-up, Saturday August 27th, 2011 from 10am-1pm. Volunteers are needed to help remove marine debris that is harmful to marine life and contributes to poor nearshore water quality. Bring a kayak if you have one.  Lazy Dog will be donating their kayaks for the event if you do not.Meet at Hurricane Hole Marina located at 5130 US 1

Please RSVP to Reef Relief at 305-294-3100 or
             [email protected]
Become a Member of Reef Relief Today 
– Join online by clicking the donate now button or go to
– Join by calling Reef Relief at 305-294-3100
– Mail your donation to: Reef Relief P.O. Box 430, Key West, FL 33040
– Or visit Reef Relief’s Environmental Center at 631 Greene St. in Key West
P.O. Box 430 | Key West, FL 33041-0430 US