Join Reef Relief for the September 21st Shoreline Clean-up

reef relief clean up

Past Clean-Up: Reef Relief, The Lost bus, and a group of local students teamed up and collected 600 lbs of marine debris from the mangroves off Key West


Reef Relief will be celebrating International Coastal Cleanup with a community shoreline cleanup on Sunday, September 21, 2014. We invite locals and visitors interested in protecting our ocean and wildlife to this weekend event.

Meet us at the Lazy Dog kayak stand located at Hurricane Hole Marina, look for the Reef Relief sign. The event will start at 10:00 am and finish up at 1:00pm. Thanks to Lazy Dog for generously providing kayaks.

To attend or for directions contact Reef Relief at (305) 294-3100,

Reef Relief is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to improving and protecting our coral reef ecosystems. Find out more at Continue reading

GUEST COLUMN: Grinder Pumps For Dummies – Or Why I Don’t Want To Be A Loser


If you live in the Cudjoe Regional Wastewater System area, you need to read the “Dummies Guide To Grinder Pumps”.  If you are a “loser” as our County Commisioner has called all who are getting grinder pumps, you should read it very slowly.


Dummy Version – The greatest invention since ice cream.  To quote our Mayor, “when you flush it goes away”, what else can you ask for?

Real Version – A system in which sewage flows from gravity into a heavy duty plastic tank.  The tank is about 180 gallons just over one day of waste for a typical family.  It has a one horsepower motor that turns grinder blades similar to a garbage disposal in your sink.  A progressive cavity pump then forces the sewage into a 1 1/4” pipe which leads to master stations or the treatment plant on Cudjoe Key. Continue reading

Reef Relief Urges Keys-Wide Wastewater Reuse Plan / Adamant That Laws Be Obeyed During Planning, Permitting, and Construction


Reef Relief continues our work of using the best available science to educate the public and policymakers to achieve conservation, protection, and restoration of coral reef ecosystems.

The most critical issue facing all of us today is water quality. We fight to combat pollution in our oceans and negative effects of climate change, but without clean water, all of our work with regard to restoration and conservation are only delaying the loss of our coral reef ecosystems.

This is why Reef Relief, along with many other local, state, federal and private entities, have worked so hard toward creating a Keys-wide sewer system. We should all be proud of the work we have accomplished in this matter. Reef Relief would like to thank everyone involved in the implementation of the Keys-wide sewer system. It is imperative that our inefficient septic tanks are no longer allowed to leach human waste into our near shore waters. We would also like to thank all homeowners for cooperating with this process, as we are well aware of the financial burden. Continue reading



Last stand logo cropped

Last Stand announced on Wednesday that it is strongly opposed to disposal of treated sewage into shallow wells at the as yet unfinished Cudjoe Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant.

In letters to DEP, FKAA and each Monroe County Commissioner, the Keyswide environmental group cited state regulations, insufficient treatment and danger to sealife as reasons why the plant should be required to pump its waste 2,500-3,000 feet below the surface into the Boulder Zone.

“DEP requires sewage plants that have the potential to treat one million gallons a day to use deep well disposal,” said Naja Girard, president of Last Stand, a watch-dog group which has operated in the Keys for over 25 years.  “Deep wells receive the partially treated waste water and retain it below solid barriers, while shallow wells allow the fresh water to rise to the surface and move into the nearshore waters,” she added. Continue reading

SAVE THE DATE! Keys Water Quality: The Buck Stops Here


Everyone acknowledges that the interaction between water quality and coral reefs, seagrasses, and marine creatures in the Florida Keys is a complicated issue. Climate-change, land-based sources of pollution, habitat loss and destruction, and overfishing all contribute to the health of local waters.

Recognizing the importance of water quality, Last Stand and Everglades Law Center are scheduling free forums in April, bringing together a panel of water quality, hydrology, and coral reef experts to examine the science behind what is occurring and what is being planned to improve water quality in the Keys.

The Upper Keys forum, on Wednesday, April 16 in Key Largo, features the director of South Florida Natural Resources Center for Everglades National Park, Bob Johnson, and the director of science and policy for the Everglades Foundation, Tom Van Lent, Ph.D.

Also on the program are Andrew Baker, Ph.D., associate professor at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami, Jerry Lorenz, director of research for Audubon Florida, and Billy Causey, Ph.D., Southeast Regional Director for NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.

“We know how critically important water quality is to the Keys,” said Last Stand president Naja Girard. “That’s why we’re having two sessions. The people we’ve invited to speak are all renowned experts on the issue of Everglades’ water flow and near- and off-shore water quality.”

The April 16 forum will be held at the Key Largo Public Library, 101485 Overseas Hwy. in Key Largo, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The informational session is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

A second session takes place in Key West on Tuesday, April 22, also from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Eco-Discovery Center. 

For more information, contact Julie Dick at 312-399-4057.

sonsored by

Floridians’ Clean Water Declaration Campaign



The Floridians’ Clean Water Declaration is a positive vision to inspire people to work together to create a new water ethic, find solutions to Florida’s water quality and quantity problems and send a clear message to our water managers that the people of Florida demand clean water.

From North Florida’s renowned freshwater springs to South Florida’s Everglades and coral reefs, our state is blessed with countless watery wonders. Today many of these wonders are dying – either choked by pollution and toxic algae or drying up because of over-consumption of water, or both. We know the problems that are facing our waters and we know that the longer we wait to fix these problems, the more expensive the fixes will be. Now is the time to act because we, our children and our grandchildren deserve better. Continue reading

Clean Water Advocates from Panhandle to Keys Launch Floridians’ Clean Water Declaration Campaign

Orlando: Clean water advocates representing every corner of the state came together today to announce the launch of the Floridians’ Clean Water Declaration Campaign. The Declaration, already signed by 46 organizations even before the official launch, is a positive vision to inspire people to work together to find solutions to Florida’s water quality and quantity problems and to send a clear message to the state’s water managers that the people of Florida demand clean water:


In recognition that: 

Clean water is essential for healthy people and a healthy economy. 

Florida water quality and quantity are inseparably linked. 

Florida waters are held in public trust by the State of Florida for the benefit of its people and the maintenance of natural ecosystems. 

We the undersigned hereby declare: 

The people of Florida have an inalienable right to: 

1. Clean drinking water whether that water is drawn from public sources or private wells. 

2. Safe lakes, streams, springs, rivers, canals and coastal waters for swimming and fishing. 

3. Protection from water pollution and its effects. 

4. Know the sources of pollution that threaten Florida’s waters. 

5. Protection from water privatization and its effects. 

6. Abundant water for drinking, fishing and recreation. 

Continue reading