More than $1,000.00 raised to support marine conservation in the Florida Keys


The Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF) and Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) teamed up during the second week of September for “Corals In and Lionfish Out,” a series of events to engage and educate the public while raising funds for coral restoration and invasive lionfish removal efforts in the Florida Keys. 


Many members of the community attended REEF’s monthly “Fish and Friends” social on Sept. 9, which featured a presentation on invasive lionfish by Lad Akins, REEF Director of Special Projects and Elizabeth Underwood, REEF Lionfish Program Manager. On Sept. 10, Ken Nedimyer, the Founder and President of CRF, shared a lecture about the history and future of coral restoration in the Florida Keys and ways to become involved in the work. This seminar was followed by CRF’s Coral Plant-a-Thon on Sept. 11. During the one day Plant-a-Thon, 765 corals were planted by 11 divers in near-shore patch reefs in the Upper Keys. 


The week’s events concluded with the 5th Annual Key Largo Lionfish Derby at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park on Sept. 13. 15 teams of divers and snorkelers removed 573 lionfish from reefs in the Upper Keys. In addition to the 84 Derby participants, many other Florida Keys residents and visitors came to the Derby to sample lionfish ceviche, witness lionfish dissections and learn more about the lionfish invasion. In conjunction with the outstanding coral planting and lionfish removal efforts, more than $1,000 was raised to support CRF and REEF’s marine conservation programs. For more information about CRF and REEF, visit and