REEF’s 2020 Upper Keys Lionfish Derby is sponsored by Ocean Reef Conservation Association (ORCA), a non-profit dedicated to protecting and preserving the environment, fish, wildlife, and marine related areas including water quality and habitat. Since 2009, ORCA has supported the efforts of several non-profits including Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, The Everglades Foundation, Audubon of Florida, Coral Restoration Foundation, Coastal Conservation Association and more. Education is an important part of ORCA's mission. The organization annually awards college scholarships to graduating seniors in the Florida Keys who are pursuing marine and environmental studies. Since 2010, the Scholarship Program has awarded over $500,000 to the future stewards of our environment.
The 2020 Upper Keys Lionfish Derby is made possible thanks to supporters like ORCA. This year’s derby is designed to allow teams and coordinators to maintain a safe social distance while still encouraging the removal of lionfish from our reefs. Yeams of 2-4 people will compete for more than $3,000 in cash prizes, which will be awarded for Smallest, Largest, and Most Lionfish. This year’s lionfish derby allows for two full days of fishing from sunrise to sunset on Friday, Sept. 11 and Saturday, Sept. 12. There are two contactless drop stations: one at the REEF Campus in Key Largo and one at Mote Marine Laboratory in Summerland Key.
Thanks to ORCA's generous financial support, REEF is able to bring the Florida Keys community together to combat the lionfish invasion and protect our marine habitats. For more information about the 2020 Upper Keys Lionfish Derby, visit www.REEF.org/2020derby.