[Coral-List] SEAKEYS Project Terminated

Sarah Frias-Torres sfrias_torres at hotmail.com
Tue Mar 6 12:40:54 EST 2012

It seems the coral reefs have no voice and no CEOs to demand a bailout. 
Is there anything the scientific community can do to reverse this decision ?

Sarah Frias-Torres, Ph.D. Schmidt Ocean Institute Postdoctoral FellowOcean Research & Conservation Association (ORCA) 1420 Seaway Drive, Fort Pierce, Florida 34949 USA Tel (772) 467-1600http://www.teamorca.orghttp://independent.academia.edu/SarahFriasTorres

> From: jim.hendee at noaa.gov
> Date: Tue, 6 Mar 2012 11:43:43 -0500
> To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> Subject: [Coral-List] SEAKEYS Project Terminated
> This sad bit of news comes from a recent SECOORA (Southeast Coastal Ocean
> Observing Regional Association) bulletin.  The station referred to that
> AOML will maintain is located on the Molasses Reef lighthouse.
> *SEAKEYS Assets Removed from Water*
> **
> The SEAKEYS network has been operational for over 20 years and provides a
> long time series of observations in the Florida Keys. The program provides
> a framework for long-term monitoring and research along the 220 mile
> Florida coral reef tract and in Florida Bay at a geographical scale
> encompassing the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS).
> Compounding the problem of limited funding, the instruments are primarily
> on a series of stationary platforms (lighthouses, towers), the structural
> integrity of which has now becoming questionable due to age. The US Coast
> Guard do not have plans to repair the lighthouses but intend to sell. It is
> anticipated that non-profit entities will purchase these for their
> historical value.
> To address the future of SEAKEYS and its infrastructure and funding, the
> Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO) held a meeting at the Keys Marine
> Lab in November 2011. The user community was invited and included
> representatives from many areas of NOAA (Florida Keys National Marine
> Sanctuary; National Weather Service; Atlantic Oceanographic and
> Meteorological Laboratory; Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory),
> the National Park Service, the Ocean Reef and Gun Club, and FIO. The
> NOAA/National Data Buoy Center, Coast Guard, FL Fish and Wildlife Research
> Institute, and representatives from Audubon, the dive and fishing
> communities, and staff from a local legislative office were unable to
> attend, but some sent letters of support. Following the meeting other
> funding sources were sought but were not successfully identified.
> At the end of 2011, due to a lack of financial support, FIO made the
> difficult decision to terminate the SEAKEYS program, and are withdrawing
> all FIO assets from the water. NOAA/AOML, with assistance from NOAA/FKNMS,
> has agreed to take over maintenance of one station (FIO is loaning an
> instrument to NOAA/AOML for this purpose); NOAA/GLERL are investigating the
> possibility of maintaining a second station; and a limited subset of
> meteorological sensors will be visited every two years by NOAA/NDBC, with
> no maintenance support between visits.
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