MIAMI – Cleanup efforts and removal operations of displaced vessels are progressing throughout Florida waterways seven weeks after Hurricane Irma made landfall in the Florida Keys. The Unified Command for the response—officially titled Emergency Support Function 10 (ESF 10) Florida—consists of leaders from the U.S. Coast Guard, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Currently, 1,492 displaced vessels have been removed from Florida waterways. Nearly 230 people from state and federal agencies are involved in the disaster response. Responders are prioritizing [continue reading…]
As part of the Hurricane Irma recovery effort, the U.S. Coast Guard has designated all waters within one nautical mile of land in the Florida Keys as a regulated navigation area. Any vessel traveling through the navigation area must proceed at a slow speed (fully off plane, completely settled in the water and not creating excessive wake).
by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. She’s an amazing photographer: photos of endangered birds standing on the flats, manatees drifting over the seagrass beds. I point to an extraordinary shot of the sunset. “Well, the place is called Sunset Cove,” observes Louise with a smile. Along with her husband, Louise Lindsay has lived within that secret corner of Key Largo for the past 30 years. But like many others in the Keys, she now fears that the quiet peaceful days are over. Business, you see, has discovered their [continue reading…]
Monroe County’s Marine Resources Office, in coordination with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, will accept applications July 26 through Aug. 18 for its new Vessel Turn-in Program (VTIP). The federally funded pilot program is for vessel owners who cannot afford to properly dispose of end-of-life boats that are anchored in Florida Keys waters. A VTIP Disposal Event is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 4, at the Key Haven Boat Ramp Facility, mile marker 5 on U.S. 1. The VTIP pilot program provides an opportunity for vessel [continue reading…]
The summer season has arrived and that can mean crowded conditions on Florida’s waterways. Save the Manatee Club encourages the boating community to watch for manatees when out on the water. “Last year was a record year for manatees killed by watercraft in Florida, and many more manatees suffered injuries from boat strikes,” said Patrick Rose, Save the Manatee Club Executive Director. “Watercraft-related manatee mortality is the leading identified cause of manatee death in Florida.” Manatees usually swim about 3 – 5 miles per [continue reading…]
by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. Get out of the tent! Joe Sanders had just woken up to deputies yelling orders. As he peers through the slit in his tent his eye suddenly focuses on the barrel of a deputy’s gun 6 inches away and pointed straight at him. Now, according to the federal government, Joe had pitched his tent on public land.
The American alligator is a conservation success story. Florida has a healthy and stable alligator population, which is estimated at 1.3 million and consists of alligators of every size. They are an important part of Florida’s ecosystem, but should be regarded with caution and respect. During spring when temperatures rise, alligators become more active. Although alligator incidents are rare, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) recommends taking precautions when having fun in and around the water. Alligators inhabit all 67 counties in Florida [continue reading…]
by Bob Holzhei……. Six miles out from shore in the waters of the ocean called the Atlantic, aboard a 21-foot Sea Cat center console, the fishing trip of a lifetime began. The anchor was lowered and shrimp were used as bait on the number one long shanked hook. Even though 25-pound Spider Wire was on the open-faced reel either a Mackerel or Barracuda cut the line. Twelve-pound Flora Carbon, a lighter line was more successful in landing fish. Also, used as bait was Ballyhoo, cut [continue reading…]
The Future of the Florida Keys is in your hands and we want to show you how to make a difference! The health of our marine resources has been in decline for years. The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, responsible for balancing the protection of these natural resources with sustainable use by the public, is currently in the process of deciding how to manage the Sanctuary in the future. We invite you to attend a presentation by Marine Zoning Works for Me to learn more [continue reading…]
December 30, 2016 by Naja Girard……. He is renowned for his real estate prowess, selling 100-million-dollar hotels in Key West as if they are going out of style: Parrot Key Resort on Roosevelt Boulevard in 2014 sold for $100,000,000 and only 1 year later, in March of 2015, The Marker near Key West Bight sold for $96,250,000). Pritam Singh, dubbed the Donald Trump of the Keys, is now ready to unveil his latest creation: Ocean’s Edge Key West on Stock Island (the old Oceanside Marina). People will say, “It’s [continue reading…]
HOYT S. VANDENBERG IS NOW AVAILABLE AS AN INTERACTIVE 3D DIVE MAP One month after the successful release of Ocean Maps’ Florida Scuba Diving App including more than 60 interactive 3D underwater maps the next highlight is coming: The world-famous wreck of the Vandenberg can be explored virtually now. The Florida Scuba Diving App by Ocean Maps is available in the Google Play and App Store. The USNS General Hoyt S. Vandenberg served as a navy ship for the United States Armed Forces. After serving, [continue reading…]
by Ray Jason……. It was my very first day in the Archipelago of Bliss, and I sat savoring a meal in a waterfront restaurant. Even though the food was excellent, what was even better was the fact that I was not bouncing around while I ate it. After two weeks of sailing here from Key West, it was sublime to be motionless. Before my fish sandwich arrived, a wrinkled, old fisherman rowed up to the restaurant dock in a small cayuco that was hand-carved [continue reading…]
CISRERP Releases Biennial Review on Progress of Everglades Restoration Palmetto Bay, Fla. – The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committee on Independent Scientific Review of Everglades Restoration Progress (CISRERP), a non-governmental body charged with providing Congress with independent and objective scientific information, this week released its sixth biennial review on the progress of Everglades restoration. The 2016 findings underscored declarations by more than 200 scientists that critical water storage outlined in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) is falling far behind what is [continue reading…]
Empress of the Seas Cruises to Cuba Royal Caribbean’s Empress of the Seas has been rebuilt with Cuba in mind with special Boleros Salsa Club and an expanded Cigar Lounge. The new itinerary will include a round trip cruise from Tampa to Cozumel with stops in Key West and Havana. On Thursday the company requested dockage reservation for Mallory Square dock for May 21st, 2017, 12:30 – 19:00.
Change of Date for the 26th Annual Schooner Wharf Bar & Galley Lighted Boat Parade Due to high winds, the date for the 26th annual Schooner Wharf Bar & Galley Lighted Boat Parade has been moved from Saturday, December 10 to Wednesday, December 14. This Saturday December 12, Wednesday December 14, festively illuminated watercraft, including schooners and small yachts, fishing and pleasure craft, row-boats and skiffs will participate in the 26th annual Schooner Wharf Bar & Galley Lighted Boat Parade. The boats begin parading at [continue reading…]
Company to Pay $40 Million and Implement Remedial Measures on All Carnival Companies Visiting U.S. Ports During the campaign leading to the Key West Channel dredging referendum, the question of the efficiency of cruise ship waste water system came to the forefront of the debate. After years of litigation, the image of wastewater tanks regularly overflowing into the bilge of the Caribbean Princess is reaching the public. The Caribbean Princess is one of the cruise ships that visits Key West during the winter season. Here [continue reading…]
The U.S.C.G. Auxiliary Flotilla 13-1 two-day Boating Skills and Seamanship Class will be offered on Saturday, December 3rd and Saturday, December 10th from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM at the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center, 33 Quay Rd, Key West. Upon successful completion of the course students will be awarded a certificate which meets the licensing requirements for the State of Florida Boating Education ID card. Instructors include Captain Kathy, Captain Sean and other local Auxiliary members. Before Florida Keys boaters take to the waters, know [continue reading…]
The Everglades Foundation will take to the road on Wednesday, October 26, 2016, for a 12-day, 20-city bus tour to urge the President, Congress, and Florida’s elected leaders to move forward with the 16-year–old plan to restore the Everglades, protect Florida’s water and save Florida tourism. “The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan is now 16 years old — old enough to get a drivers’ license – but we still don’t have a critical project – the EAA Reservoir,” observed Everglades Foundation CEO Eric Eikenberg in announcing [continue reading…]
SWC, a local engineering, planning and environmental science firm, has created an official dive program that has received certification by the American Association of Underwater Scientists (AAUS). “This has been a long-term commitment of SWC, to develop a program that addresses diver safety during work activities that meets federal OSHA standards and addresses requirements of many federal and State agencies,” said Sandy Walters, SWC president. “We worked together with Florida Keys Community College to certify our Dive Safety Officer Shawn Martin as an AAUS [continue reading…]
The U.S. Coast Guard responded early Tuesday morning to a Mayday call on vhf radio sent by fishing vessel “Little Angenette.” About an hour before sunrise the “Little Angenette” missed the entrance to Key West harbor. The captain initially reported that he’d hit a channel marker and was sinking fast.
Dear Editor, I don’t know where to begin. I read with incredulity last week’s opinion piece by Mr. Kevin Diaz regarding the Florida Keys Stewardship Act (FKSA). It’s hard for me to comprehend how someone seeking to represent the citizens of Monroe County could so totally misunderstand what the Keys are about and it worries me that he could so totally misread this significant legislation. He has egregiously mischaracterized the Stewardship bill. Let’s start by explaining that there are some unique realities of land management [continue reading…]
Wednesday May 4, 2016: Commercial vessel allegedly discharging gunfire at another vessel 40 miles west of Key West, Florida. Reporting vessel is running for safety at top speed. Coast Guard orders all unnecessary personnel on reporting vessel below deck… The incident reportedly began when a recreational dive boat drove through a commercial fisherman’s chum slick while southwest of the Marquesas Keys. Update [from U.S. Coast Guard Miami]: The Coast Guard responded to a report of the discharge of a firearm southwest of Marquesas Key, Florida, on [continue reading…]
El Galeon will be at the Historic Seaport through Sunday March 27, tours are from noon to 8:00 pm, tickets: $15.00 Hōkūle’a will be here through noon Friday March 25 [or longer depending on weather] For more information about the El Galeon and the Hōkūle’a visit their websites linked below: Website for El Galeon: http://www.elgaleon.org/ Website for Hōkūle’a: http://www.hokulea.com/ DID YOU LIKE THIS STORY? SUPPORT THE BLUE PAPER Help us continue to bring you local investigative journalism… CONTRIBUTE:
Globe Trekking Canoe To Land in Key West on Wednesday Renowned artist and conservationist Wyland has been added as a guest crew member aboard the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s globe-trekking voyaging canoe, the Hōkūle`a (Ho ku lay a), as it continues on the next leg of its journey from Cuba to Key West Bight Marina. Depending on ocean conditions, the vessel is expected to arrive on Wednesday or Thursday morning. The canoe, along with its sister vessel, the Hikianalia, is traveling over 60,000 nautical miles around [continue reading…]