MIAMI – Cleanup efforts and removal operations of displaced vessels are progressing throughout Florida waterways eleven 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, 1,968 displaced vessels have been removed from Florida waterways. Approximately 170 people from state and federal agencies are involved in the disaster response. Responders are [continue reading…]
MIAMI — The Coast Guard, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission responded to a vessel fire Thursday in Tarpon Basin in Key Largo. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Key West Command Center received a call from Coast Guard Station Islamorada at approximately 6 a.m. stating they received a report of a vessel fire in Tarpon Basin. The station self-launched a 24-foot Special Purpose Craft—Law Enforcement boatcrew to respond. The station SPC—LE crew arrived on scene and assisted in putting out the fire on a 50-foot houseboat using the wash from [continue reading…]
KEY LARGO, Florida Keys — Jules’ Undersea Lodge, the United States’ only submerged recreational hotel, is to reopen to overnight divers Friday, Dec. 1. The famed lodge, located at Key Largo Undersea Park, sustained no damage when Hurricane Irma struck the Florida Keys Sept. 10. At the park, however, the Category 4 storm damaged a property generator, gift shop, office and above-ground rooms, temporarily discolored its Emerald Lagoon and scattered debris from downed tree limbs and foliage. The lagoon reopened to divers and snorkelers in early November after [continue reading…]
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…]