Protect Our Oceans

The Keys are struggling, and Florida’s younger generation knows it

A local paper recently highlighted the story of a Florida born and based student and his strong love for the Keys, an ecosystem that's withering away.


Coral in the Florida Keys NMS
Matt McIntosh/NOAA | Public Domain
The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is home to the only barrier reef in the continental U.S.

The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is home to over 6,000 distinct species of plants and animals and is one of Florida’s most beloved treasures. Iconic species like manatees, sea turtles, and a whole host of corals live here, but sadly the ecosystem’s health has declined rapidly as of late. Climate change, water pollution, overfishing and overuse have taken their toll, and no one understands this more than Florida’s youth.

Andres Cubillos, a senior at Florida State University and campus chapter president of FLPIRG Students, voiced his concerns in an opinion piece he wrote for the Tallahassee Democrat. The Sanctuary managers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently released their proposed Florida Keys Restoration Blueprint – their plan to restore the ecosystem, but more clearly needs to be done if we are going to save it.

“These protections are an investment in an environment that has sparked wonder and imagination in Florida’s students and youth for generations. We need to protect this incredible place to inspire and open horizons for the next generations to come,” said Cubillos. 

Read more in his opinion piece


Ian Giancarlo

Oceans Advocate, Environment America

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