Everyone is invited to learn more about the condition of the coral reef, the Lower Keys fishery and economic impacts of water based tourism from the experts on Thursday August 22nd at the Tropic Cinema, 416 Eaton Street beginning at 7:00pm.

Admission is free and tickets will be distributed first come, first served beginning at 6:00pm.

Guest Panel

Sean Morton, Superintendent of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, will speak on the status of new coral species to be protected under the Endangered Species Act and current sanctuary regulations.

Dr. David Vaughan, Executive Director of Mote Tropical Research Laboratory, will provide information on the current status of corals in and near the Key West Harbor and the connection between tourism and healthy coral reefs.

Dr. Aaron Adams, Director of Operations of the Bonefish Tarpon Trust, will describe the overall status of the Lower Keys fishery and present information from a recent study on the economic impact of flats fishing in the Florida Keys.

"…these experts will discuss important facts Key West voters should consider before the election"

Update:  The Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) will send a representative to discuss their process and what Key West can expect from a study to widen the Key West Harbor channel.  The individual representing ACOE will be confirmed early next week.

Jenna Stauffer, Host of Channel 19 Good Morning Florida Keys, will moderate the panel and questions from the audience following the presentations.

Learn About Tourism Impacts on the Coral Reef

“We are excited to have assembled this outstanding panel to provide Key West voters with the facts about the coral reef, tourism impacts on our near shore waters and economy in advance of the October 1st referendum on the channel widening feasibility study,” said Keys Keeper director Steve Trippe.

“None of the speakers will offer an opinion on the referendum, but these experts will discuss important facts Key West voters should consider before the election.”

“Tourism in Key West has always been associated with the natural environment surrounding the Florida Keys.  Last Stand is pleased to partner with Keys Keeper and the Tropic Cinema to allow interaction with experts on the coral reef and the protections the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary provides to sustain it,” said Last Stand President Naja Girard.

“We’re encouraging everyone who needs more information to join us in the Tropic Cinema Carper Theater at 7:00pm on August 22nd for this free public forum.”

For More Information

Contact Mark Songer, Last Stand Secretary, at (305) 394-3807.