On Saturday, March 16, Altmeier will lead an illuminating morning seafaring excursion presented by Key West Art & Historical Society aboard the luxury catamaran SV Argo Navis, departing from the dock at 0 Margaret Street at 9:00 a.m. and returning at 11:00 a.m.
Passengers will enjoy Bloody Marys, mimosas or non-alcoholic beverages along with lite breakfast fare as Altmeier explores the background of the Marine Sanctuary. Warning signs about the fragile and finite nature of marine resources in the Florida Keys were present long before Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary was established. In 1960, to address the demise of coral reefs in the Keys, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park was established off Key Largo as the world’s first underwater park. Throughout the 1980s, oil drilling proposals, reports of deteriorating water quality, and evidence of declines in the health of the coral reef ecosystem continued to mount. These threats, combined with several large vessel groundings, prompted Congress to act. On November 16, 1990, President George H. Bush signed into law the bill establishing Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. This new sanctuary incorporated the preexisting Key Largo and Looe Key sanctuaries to protect 3,800 square miles of Florida Keys waters.
This project is sponsored in part by the Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture and the State of Florida, with additional support provided by The Helmerich Trust and S/V Argo Navis.