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"Heads Up"in March 2020 with the Coral Chronicles


Whether on sea or land, the Coral Restoration Foundation™ intern team takes action! Earlier this month, twelve of our interns took a trip to Biscayne National Park for a massive park clean-up. Can you guess how many pounds of litter our interns collected? The answer is revealed at the end!

CRF™ interns with the trash they collected. © Coral Restoration Foundation™

Biscayne National Park is known for its flourishing wildlife and marine-based adventures. On an average day in the park, you can see kayakers, snorkelers, people reading on the edge of the bay, fishermen on the canals, and of course, beautiful scenes of nature. What is often less seen, however, is the side of Biscayne that represents the unfortunate footprint of its past visitors.

While looking out at the park, you may not notice what lies just a foot within the mangroves of the canals. Empty bottles and cans, discarded fishing line and broken plastic, entire bags filled with trash simply thrown out of sight into the brush. An overwhelming amount of litter left behind by those benefiting from the natural preserve of the park.

Litter found in Biscayne National Park. © Coral Restoration Foundation™

The few small trash bags that our interns expected to fill eventually turned into buckets, a handful of more bags, and entire full-size trash bins of collected litter until an entire truck bed was full to the brim. The interns, with muddy scuba booties and dirty gloves, dove deeper into the canal mangroves than many other clean-up crews have gone to purge the forest of trash.

Interns clean up trash along a canal in Biscayne. © Coral Restoration Foundation™

At the end of this long day, our team collected over 800 pounds of trash! Now that's what we call a successful clean-up. But even with this progress, there is still much more to do. Our team would like to remind everyone that even the smallest pieces of litter are dangerous for wildlife and pollute the environment that both humans and critters enjoy! Reducing purchases of single-use plastic and disposable accessories is a great way to prevent trash from entering the oceans and washing up on our shores.

Thank you to Biscayne National Park for this amazing opportunity and for all their hard work managing this beautiful natural resource.



Ahoy readers! Do your kiddos like pirates, coral, marine conservation, Earth Day, or having incredible amounts of fun? Then board your dinghies, and row on over to Murray E. Nelson Government Center on April 22nd for a free, swashbuckling, high-octane learning

adventure with Captain Coral and Coral Restoration Foundation™!

On this 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, we'll be having some reef-saving fun with Captain Coral as he teaches us about science and conservation in the most fun and theatrical way! With Captain Coral’s unique interactive style and love for fun, the whole family is guaranteed to laugh all night long while learning useful information about coral. Children might even be chosen to get up on stage and help the Captain out with his demonstrations.

Before the show begins, visit the booths of other organizations from around the Florida Keys that will be participating in this Earth Day celebration, including Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Divers Direct, DolphinsPlus, Florida Keys Wild Bird Sanctuary, The History of Diving Museum, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, MarineLab, and Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF).

Here ARRRRRRe the important details for this event that you won't want to miss:

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Murray E. Nelson Government Center

102050 Overseas Highway, Key Largo, FL 33037

Free of charge!

Doors open at 5pm, Show starts at 5:30pm

Limited to 250 people on a first-come first-served basis

Visit our Facebook page for details and updates.



Looking for fun educational activities to do at home with your student? CRF™ has a series of educational packs available on our website for students of all ages to learn about coral and marine science while also having hands-on fun!

Staghorn coral up close. © Alex Neufeld/Coral Restoration Foundation™

This week, we are featuring our scrumptious activity, Appetizing Acropora.

This K-12 adaptable activity introduces students to the different parts of a coral polyp and how coral reefs are formed by making an edible model!

Click here to access the activity pack. All you have to do is enter your basic contact information, and you’ll be directed to immediately download the activity pack.

Item checklist:

  • Crackers

  • Bananas (or marshmallows)

  • Licorice strips (or a similar candy)

  • A plate

  • Sprinkles

  • Jam (or any sticky spread)

Each item represents a different physiological trait of a coral polyp and demonstrates the importance of each part, and when put all together, this project makes a delicious snack. If you don't have these items at home, you can also create a non-edible model using arts and crafts supplies!


"Heads Up" Editorial Interns

Andrew was raised in West Palm Beach, Florida and spent many hours in the Atlantic Ocean swimming and snorkeling as a child. He graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and minors in biology and mathematics. In school, he researched marine gastropods and conducted sea turtle tagging surveys. After graduating, Andrew wanted to dive (no pun intended) into the world of marine conservation and do something to make a tangible difference for the ocean. After completing 50 dives in the Upper Keys and witnessing ghastly coral graveyards, struggling ecosystems, and degraded portions of the Florida Barrier Reef, Andrew was inspired to apply to CRF™ to actively help restore our beloved marine ecosystem. He is super excited to join the CRF™ family and learn a variety of skills both above and below the surface. In his spare time, Andrew loves playing any and all sports and watching Marvel movies on repeat.

Maria, growing up in Seattle, knew from a very young age that she wanted to be an environmentalist. The vastness of the ocean and adventure embodied in marine conservation spoke to her the most, and this passion led her to travel the world to study sustainability, live on a boat for a short time, and receive her scuba certification before graduating high school. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies, where she gained experience in documentary filmmaking, coastal grant reviewing, and was connected with many other environmental and social activists. After being an educator for the last year, Maria is enthralled to be joining CRF™ as the first big step in her hopefully long career with environmental non-profits.

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