The Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF), headquartered in Key Largo, has appointed Martha Klitzkie as general manager. Klitzkie began her career as education director at the Pigeon Key Foundation in Marathon. She went on to direct a larger marine education program based at Camp Ocean Pines on the central coast of California.
Klitzkie’s return to the Florida Keys comes as the 46,136 member REEF organization is completing its 21st year of marine stewardship through the activities of scuba divers, free divers and snorkelers who are trained as citizen scientists to count and report fish species and quantities, coupled with the efforts of staff scientists.
Klitzkie reports to Paul Humann, co-founder of the not-for-profit REEF organization and chairman of its volunteer board. She holds a masters degree in educational leadership and administration and is responsible for managing all day-to-day operations at REEF.
With more than 150,000 fish count surveys tallied, the REEF database is a vital resource to conservation groups and management agencies such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Park Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. REEF programs currently operate in the coastal areas of North and Central America, the Caribbean and Hawaii.
In addition, REEF is widely recognized for its leadership in addressing the problem of non-native lionfish that are eating their way through native fish and crustacean populations in Florida and the Caribbean and its collaboration with the Cayman Islands government to protect groupers when they gather to spawn near Little Cayman Island.
For information about free REEF membership, go to www.reef.org or call 305-852-0030.