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World Oceans Day – Youth the Next Wave for Change
Friday, June 8th is World Oceans Day. People across the globe take today to celebrate the body of water which links us all, and provides so much.  The Ocean Project and The World Ocean Network have helped to promote and coordinate this event since 2002. This year’s theme of Youth the Next Wave for Change is fitting as Reef Relief kicks off this summer’s Coral Camp for Kids Program.
6-12 year old youths, explore and learn about our surrounding marine environment through exciting, educational activities at the Reef Relief Environmental Center in Key West. Each fun-packed day, campers experience hands-on learning, interactive games, group activities, and films of life at the amazing living coral reef.
Activities include science and art projects in addition to exciting field trips around Key West. Campers enjoy three days of snorkeling courtesy Ft. Zachary Taylor State Park (for snorkel school) then they are off to explore the reef with Fury Water Adventures and Sebago Watersports. They also tour marine life at the Key West Wildlife Center and Key West Aquarium, go on an interpretive shoreline walk, do a scavenger hunt at the Florida Keys Eco Discovery Center and more. Nine individual sessions are available beginning June 11th through August 17th. Sessions are limited to 25 campers per session and are filling fast! A limited number of scholarships are available. Camp will run from 8:30am-4:30pm Monday through Friday. Camp fees are $215 per week or $370 for two or more weeks. Fees are non-refundable.
For more information about sponsoring a scholarship or to register call Reef Relief
at 305-294-3100 or email [email protected]
Download your registration at www.reefrelief.org/homepage/coral-camp-2012/
photo: NOAA
The the FKNMS is holding public meetings in June to gain public comments on issues related to sanctuary boundaries, marine zones,  Key West and Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge’s Backcountry Management Plan, and associated regulations. Public comments will help to guide the review of the FKNMS regulations, and shape Florida Keys marine conservation for decades to come.
Comments will be accepted at five public meetings. Meetings are 4:00 – 8:00 pm. Sanctuary and Refuge staff will provide presentations about sanctuary zones, regulations and the Refuge’s Backcountry Management Plan at approximately 4:15 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. Attendees may provide comment at any time during the duration of the evening.
Following the presentations, the format for providing input will be small discussion groups. Members of the public can attend the meeting at any time to provide written comments or ask questions of staff and advisory council members.
June 19: Marathon, FL; Monroe County Government Center; Emergency Operations Center
June 20: Key Largo, FL; Key Largo Library
June 21: Key West, FL; Doubletree Grand Key Resort; Tortuga Ballroom
June 26: Miami, FL; Florida International University; Graham University Center; Room GC243
June 27: Fort Myers, FL; Joseph P. Alessandro Office Complex; Rooms 165 C and D
Comments are being accepted online through the Federal eRulemaking Portal www.regulations.gov through June 29, 2012, under docket number NOAA-NOS-2012-0061

Volunteers who removed 1206lbs of marine debris
Sunday, June 3rd Cleanup at Murray Marine 
Reef Relief was joined by 21 volunteers who spent Sunday helping to cleanup our shores. Volunteers removed 1206 lbs of debris from the shoreline.
Shoreline cleanups are a simple way to make a difference.  Removing man-made debris from our shoreline prevents animal entanglements, or even deaths of sea turtles, birds and bottom dwelling organisms like hard and soft corals.
Thanks to Murray Marine for hosting this event and Big Pine Kayak Adventures for providing kayaks. If you know a shoreline site in the Florida Keys that needs a cleanup or would like to volunteer please contact Reef Relief with details at 305-294-3100 or [email protected]
Oil on a beach in Gulf Shores, Alabama, June 12, 2010
When the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill in the Northern Gulf of Mexico threatened the Florida Keys, literally thousands of local residents called numerous organizations to volunteer to help defend our fragile environment.  Most of these potential volunteers were disappointed to learn that since they had no hazardous material (HAZMAT) training, they would not be able to help.  That training eventually became available in several forms but was usually costly and/or limited to a small number of participants.  Of the many lessons learned during DWH, one was that maritime communities should make this needed HAZMAT training available to all in advance of a need and at no cost to interested citizens.
If you are interested in the training, you can call toll free at  1-888-470-5566 ext. 4.  Leave contact information and your call will be returned. You can also email [email protected] and send names of those interested to attend and all contact information.
– Join online by clicking the donate now button or go to www.reefrelief.org/act/donate/  
– 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