Florida Keys Research and Restoration

It's time to think about science and the environment before its too late!

A strong economy is a good thing but a strong, restored and healing environment is equally important-No air, no seas...NO PEOPLE.

We can dance around the issues or we can do something about its companies, individual adults, and even by educating the youth of today, and prying their faces out of their electronics long enough to care.

If you have ever been to a nature center, or field museum, you know the wide-eyed look of someone experiencing nature, alive or preserved, for the first time. I spent years in Michigan trying to get close enough to a sandhill crane,  long enough to look it over. Here in Florida, these 4-foot tall birds practically mug you, in order to find a hand-outs. The first time I was able to see its lance-like beak up close, I was like a kid again. They obviously can do some damage if you get too close. The point is that the experience awakened my child-like curiosity at age 60 and caused me to, in some way, help preserve these magnificent birds.

Being a diver and former Chief Naturalist on the Key West Submarine, my inner child awoke in 2005-2008, when I lived in Key West. I began to see a whole, new world full of iridescent colors and swimming shapes, ducking in and out of the equally-magnificent color formations. Some of the corals were thousands of years old, while others were newly-placed sunken vessels springing to life as aquatic cities for marine life. Migratory, local, and palegic species took them over almost as quickly as they nestled into the sandy bottom. It is a beautiful process as it unfolds, if you understand its hierarchies. Just beautiful, but something was wrong-the reefs were showing signs of dying. Bleaching is starting to become more common, on our reefs. The corals begin to die, losing crucial algae while other harmful algae began to move in, water temperatures were rising, and as chemicals and other contaminants began to have their effect, whole sections of the reef began to bleach and die. An ancient reef such as found in the Keys lives this long and then begins to die...points a finger towards a mighty guilty culprit...US!

Reefs are not only beautiful but they also serve a natural purpose...Reefs buffer the storms that hit our coastlines, from Maine to Florida, to Texas, the Gulf, and onwards up the Pacific Coast from California to Alaska. We won't forget Hawaii, either. With them, the land is eroded, undercut, and silt that makes its way back into the oceans, affects temperatures-above and below the surface, which disrupts the food chain.

The bottom line is that we are responsible for the problem, fixing it, and educating others not to do it again.

Here's what we need the money for:

1. A freakin' awesome, floating marine nature center for groups to visit and experience what many have not...the bottom of the deep, blue sea.

2. Support vessels and equipment necessary for research and restoration activities.

3. Initial operating expenses.

4. Necessary fees for the lease of ocean bottom, if not donated by the Federal Government.

*Cost breakdowns to follow, subject to inflationary increases.

In the days of my youth, I was inspired by the imaginations of popular television writers and their offerings. SeaHunt and the Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau made me want to scuba dive into the depths and visit strange new creatures and soar over vibrant reefs. Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and SeaQuest DSV made me wonder about the possibilities of sustained exploration. And watching NASA flights take-off and land, and conferences by the crews of the International Space Station (ISS) allowed me to think beyond peanut butter in a tube, and Tang®, and ponder the menu of our first manned flights back to the moon, over to Mars, and beyond. Aeroponics, Aauaponics, and Hydroponics arrays are...pardon the pun, growing everyday. And it all started with a guy named Mike Nelson, and a French guy and his family, sailing all over the world, discovering, and saving all kinds of critters below the waves, and bringing them into my parents' living room.

William Shatner's voice, in the intro for StarTrek, says, "Space, the final frontier..." The fact is that we probably know more about the surface of the moon than we know about the bottom of our oceans. Fewer than 10% of the world's oceans have been explored, yet the earth is 70% covered with water. We really need to know more about our own backyard before we jump the fence and visit ET.

What's in it for you?

The knowledge that you did the right thing without being nagged into it.

2. Free admission to the facilities.

3. Live and delayed video feeds.

4. Email newsletter with live Q&A links and scheduled video feeds.

5. Once we file the paperwork, per our Legal Rep, and Financial advisor, we will become a "viable charity" and your donations will become tax-deductible.

It doesn't take a PhD to save a coral reef; it takes a heart the size of the oceans. Please do the right thing. Help me educate others as to the issues affecting everyone through our environment.
  • #1 fundraising platform

    People have raised more money on GoFundMe than anywhere else. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case that something isn’t right, we will refund your donation. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more