Our Invasive Lionfish Research Program is keeping busy getting ready for the spring and summer. In addition to the tagging research in the USVI also reported in this month's E-News, we are also gearing up for a busy Lionfish Derby season. We have six derbies planned in Florida for REEF’s 2018 Lionfish Derby Series presented by Whole Foods Market®. These competitions encourage teams to collect and remove as many lionfish as possible. They are important education and outreach events, and have been shown to be quite effective in lowering local lionfish populations. In 2017, derby participants removed over 2,500 lionfish. More than 21,000 lionfish have been removed since the derbies began in 2010. To view the schedule and complete details, visit www.REEF.org/lionfish/derbies.

And finally - if you live in Florida, be sure to mark your calendar for April 19 for 5% Day at Whole Foods Market®. Nine stores across South Florida will be supporting ocean conservation, donating 5% of their total sales from the day to REEF to support our South Florida conservation efforts. Participating stores are: Coral Springs, Davie, Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines, Pompano Beach, Boca Raton, Palm Beach Gardens, Wellington, and West Palm Beach.