UPPER KEYS COMMUNITY TAKES CARE OF ENVIRONMENT, ONE PIECE AT A TIME

This community takes such pride in its environment ‒ working tirelessly to keep it clean, safe and sustainable for many generations to come. It’s no wonder then that Earth Week in the Upper Keys was a jam-packed community affair, with coastal cleanups, underwater lionfish hunting, turning trash into art, and so much more. Each one of us plays a part as a piece of the puzzle keeping our Keys beautiful and clean.

SHERIFF’S OFFICE CLEANUP
On April 24, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputies in Key Largo teamed up with Publix Key Largo to pick up debris around the Tradewinds Plaza.

KEY DIVES MARINE DEBRIS PAINT & SIP
Key Dives, known for its Marine Debris removal efforts, upcycled its haul for Earth Day with a paint-and-sip using old lobster traps as the canvas. The theme: ‘A Diver’s Paradise,’ of course.

REEF LIONFISH DERBY
Despite windy conditions on the water, the 8th Annual REEF ‘Locals’ Lionfish Derby went on to remove 494 lionfish in one day. Teams and participants helped eradicate this invasive species, supported the local commercial market and spread the word far beyond Key Largo. Team ‘Forever Young’ came home with the win, removing 269 lionfish. In total, REEF Lionfish Derbies have removed 28,544 fish from Florida waters.

RAINBOW REEF ECO FAIR
Rainbow Reef Dive Center hosted a three-day eco-fair featuring local favorites like Coral Restoration Foundation, Lionfish Jewelry, BeautyCounter and more. Underwater, they participated in REEF’s Lionfish Derby and picked up some marine debris along the way.

OCEAN STUDIES MARINE DEBRIS DERBY
On Saturday, Ocean Studies Charter School in Key Largo hosted its inaugural marine debris derby in honor of former student Pascal Weisberger and as a fundraiser for their Middle School Expansion Project. One count registered over 2,500 pounds of trash collected.

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