Although no longer in the headlines, the Florida Keys is still suffering from the impact of Hurricane Irma that hit in September. In a desperate move, the Keys were open to the public on October 1. Tourism is the lifeline of the economy.
While Key Largo and Key West suffered little damage, most of the Keys were devastated by Hurricane Irma.
According to FEMA 25% of the homes in the Keys were impacted by Hurricane Irma and 65% of the homes were destroyed. Recovery efforts continue in the the lower Keys and Marathon which were hardest hit by the storm.
The focus on luring tourists back to the Keys has baffled some residents who still haven’t recovered from the hurricane. They feel essential needs of residents are being overlooked.
Schools and educational organizations in the Keys have also been devastated and need help. Big Pine Academy is asking for donations for their recovery efforts. Donations will help rebuild the school and replace supplies lost by the teachers. Visit their website to see how you can help. (https://bigpineacademy.com)
I’m determined to do what I can to help. I am donating 40% per cent of the proceeds from my coloring book Splash and Color to the Early Learning Children’s Foundation in Miami.
The Early Learning Children’s Foundation carried supplies to the Keys immediately after the hurricane. They have a track record of helping the residents of the Florida Keys. It’s my boots on the ground approach. Please buy a coloring book to help South Florida recover from Hurricane Irma.
For only $12, you can join efforts to save Florida’s Endangered Lighthouses. join the Florida Keys Reef Lights Foundation at
Last year the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation announced the 2016 11 Most Endangered Historic Sites at the 38 th Annual Statewide Preservation Conference in Tallahassee. The Most Endangered Historic Sites program is designed to increase the public’s awareness of the urgent need to save Florida’s neglected or threatened historic resources, and to empower local preservationists and preservation groups in their efforts to preserve Florida’s rich history.
Florida Keys Reef Lighthouses was on the Most Endangered List
The Florida Keys Reef Lighthouses are an important piece of Florida’s history. The six reef lighthouses are Carysfort Reef (6 miles south of Key Largo), Sand Key (7 miles southwest of Key West), Sombrero Key (5 miles south of Marathon), Alligator Reef (4 miles south of Islamorada), Fowey Rocks (6 miles east of Key Biscayne) and American Shoal (5 miles south of Sugar Loaf). Built between 1852 and 1880, these lighthouses are made of cast iron with a skeletal design to let as much wind and waves pass through in order to withstand hurricanes. These lighthouses were constructed to warn ships of the hazardous reefs below the surface. The Florida Keys Reef Lighthouses are currently owned by the US Coast Guard. The Florida Keys Reef Lights Foundation is applying for ownership of all but Fowey Rocks, which has been transferred to Biscayne National Park. With the Coast Guard facing budget cuts and many boaters relying on GPS for navigation, the proper upkeep of the lighthouses has been lacking. All lighthouses now have corrosion showing, and vandals leave the doors and windows open causing damage on the inside (Fowey Rocks has been secured now). The need to save these lighthouses as pieces of history now doubles to protect the reef. Should the lighthouses be left to decay the structures would fall on the reef causing damage that cannot be repaired.
“Art, like morality consists in drawing the line somewhere” GK Chesterton.