Contact Us Blog Shop
Reef Relief Brings the SYRCL’s Wild & Scenic Film Festival to Key West
Reef Relief will host the Wild and Scenic Film Festival at the Tropic Cinema in Key West, Thursday October 13 at 7:30pm. This festival highlights nature, the challenges facing our planet, and the work communities are doing to protect the environment. The films featured seek to inform viewers about the state of the world and inspire them to action. Reef Relief has worked over 24 years to help preserve and protect the wild and scenic coral reef ecosystems here in the Florida Keys. The 2011 Wild & Scenic Film Festival will feature: SoLa: Louisiana Water Stories, Save the Farm, A Simple Question, and a selection of film shorts. Thanks to event sponsors: Patagonia, Inc., The Saltwater Angler, Dancing Dolphin Spirits Charters, Debora A Designs and Clearly Unique Charters for making this event possible.
Tropic Cinema located at 416 Eaton St., Key West, FL 33040.  Tickets $10
Purchase tickets online now at
Or call 877-761-FILM (3456). You can, also, purchase yours directly from Reef Relief at 631 Greene St., Key West. For more information call Reef Relief 305-294-3100
Visit the Reef Relief blog for more information at
Your Streets to Our Reefs: Stormwater Education Community Project launched!
This month Reef Relief in partnership with the City of Key West launched the Stormwater Education Community Project (SECP).  Key West High School Reef Relief Club members, community volunteers and Reef Relief staff will be stenciling environmental messages on storm drains across the City.  Many people unknowingly believe storm drains connect to sewer treatment systems. But in most communities whatever enters the drains is discharged directly into a neighboring body of water without benefit of treatment.  In Key West it is our near-shore waters and ultimately our coral reefs. Storm drain stenciling benefits our reefs by making residents aware of the connection between our communities our oceans.
Stenciling will not solve water pollution problems alone, but it is a practical, easy first step.  Studies show that storm drain stenciling works to raise citizen awareness of storm drain connections to local waters. In one study, more than 75 percent of the people who had seen the stenciled drains knew where their water went, compared to less than one third of those who had not seen a stenciled drain.
The Key West High School Reef Relief Club and Reef Relief staff will be stenciling on Thursday October 3rd and Friday October 4th.
If you are interested in taking part in the Stormwater Education Community Project (SECP) contact Reef Relief for details at [email protected] or 305-294-3100.
By, Rudy Bonn, Reef Relief’s Director of Marine Projects
On Wednesday, August 31st, I had the privilege to meet dive with Dr. James Porter from the Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia and a member of Reef Relief’s Scientific Advisory Board .  Dr. Porter was accompanied by Meridith Meyers, a PhD student who is doing her work on the genetics of coral species in the genus, Agaricia.

Dr. Porter and a number of fellow researchers were the first to link a devastating disease in the threatened Elkhorn Coral, Acropora palmata, to a unique strain of a bacterium known as Serratia marcescens, strain PDR60, that is an opportunistic pathogen found in human waste.
The disease, known as acroporid serratiosis ( APS ), commonly referred to as white pox,  has devastated the elkhorn coral populations in the Florida Keys, and was the main reason why the coral was listed for protection under the Endangered Species Act ( ESA ) in 2006.
White Band Disease ( WBD ), another coral killer, is mainly responsible for the high mortality that the staghorn ( A. cervicornis ) coral populations have suffered in recent years and the etiology of WBD is still unknown.  Both corals are listed as threatened under the ESA.
What is also very important about the research that Dr. Porter and colleague, Dr. Kathryn P. Sutherland, of Rollins College, in Winter Park, Florida, have discovered is the first example of a marine “reverse zoonosis” involving the transmission of a human pathogen to a marine invertebrate.  Their findings underscore the interaction between public health practices and environmental health indices such as coral reef survival.   Read the full article

Reef Relief is assisting the United States Coast Guard over the course of the next few months with repairs to navigational aids from Key Largo to the Dry Tortugas.  The project is to survey the areas of the repairs for the presence of endangered coral species, namely, Elkhorn and Staghorn corals as required by NOAA.  If these two species of corals are absent from the area of the repairs, the OK is given by Reef Relief staff to proceed with the repairs.  Reef Relief is always willing to assist and feels fortunate to be called upon by the Coast Guard to use its expertise in this important project.  This represents a collaborative effort between NOAA, the United States Coast Guard, and Reef Relief all working together to ensure protection of the sanctuary’s living marine resources.
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