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Florida Keys Free Press

More fresh water coming to Everglades, Florida Bay

SOUTH FLORIDA — Progress on removing an old section of the Tamiami Trail and a recent decision by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers signals a significant step toward putting more fresh water into Shark River Slough, a waterway to western Florida Bay, officials say. The Corps last week approved[…]

Fitness studio offers strategy for getting healthy

PLANTATION KEY — Fitness trainer Chris Merrell says there’s a mental element to being physically fit and that everyone controls their own stress level. Rather than harboring any toxicity, he recommends taking a 30-minute walk. Fitness is a personal journey but sometimes people need some guidance, which is what Merrell[…]

Paddle poker run promises much fun

ISLAMORADA — A cure for a week of hurricane stress may be found at the Florida Keys Poker Paddle, returning this weekend. “Bring the dogs. There’s always a lot of dogs on the paddleboards. It’s a blast,” organizer Cheryl McBay of host Florida Keys Brewing Co. said. Now in its[…]

County wants to hear less from public

MONROE COUNTY — An amended county sounding board resolution limits public speakers’ time at the podium to address county commissioners and requires them to wait until the end of the meeting to have their say. The sounding board is what the Monroe County Commission calls the public comment period offered[…]

Plastic straw ban draws more discussion

ISLAMORADA — A second showdown over a crackdown on plastic straws could return to Islamorada. “Any difference we make is a step in the right direction,” Vice Mayor Mike Forster said at the Aug. 29 meeting of the Islamorada Village Council. “The time has come where we can make some[…]

Village to limit fertilizer use

ISLAMORADA — Applying potent fertilizers to residential landscaping can be “too much of a good thing,” Islamorada Village Council members agreed Aug. 29. The council passed the first reading of a landscape ordinance that would prohibit the use of fertilizers containing nitrogen and phosphorus within 15 feet of a waterway[…]

Rental fleet’s eviction still stands

KEY LARGO — The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has extended South Shore Rentals’ deadline to remove its fleet of barrel-shaped lodging vessels moored to the state-owned Lake Surprise bay bottom. The company now has until Oct. 7 to avoid additional enforcement action. Canadian Beth Clark, who owns the company,[…]

Keys governments support Styrofoam ban

SOUTH FLORIDA — Coral Gables will appeal a recent 3rd District Court of Appeal ruling tossing out the city’s ban on Styrofoam, according to city attorney Miriam Ramos. Monroe County, Islamorada and West Palm Beach have signed an amicus curiae, or friend of the court, brief in support of Coral[…]

Park’s derailed trail reopens Saturday

LONG KEY — The Golden Orb Trail Bridge, which offered a full 1.1-mile loop trail for Long Key State Park visitors, has been rebuilt. The trail’s long-awaited reopening will be celebrated from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Sept. 7. The trail bridge was shut down following the bedlam wrought by[…]

Lab breakthrough could help Keys reef

FLORIDA KEYS — The last hope for the Florida reef tract’s endangered pillar coral started with a rescue effort and in the tanks of a Long Key state marine laboratory. Now much of what remains of the picturesque but delicate pillar coral, housed in the Florida Aquarium’s Center for Conservation[…]