In the 1970s, Billy Causey was living in the Florida Keys, an archipelago of islands stretching from just off of Miami about 220 miles to the Dry Tortugas. On a map, the keys form the southern tip of Florida, which sort of tapers off into the sea.
Causey had fallen in love with the coral reefs there, and he and his wife were making a living as marine life distributors. They'd collect marine specimens and ship them to public aquaria, scientists and retail stores across the world.
That is, until the establishment of several National Marine Sanctuaries in the keys, a designation that carried particular regulations, protective measures and limitations. Causey wasn't sure what this would mean for him and other community members, so he started reading the Congressional National Marine Sanctuary Act. But rather than sharpening his sword for battle in opposition to the sanctuary designation, Causey had a change of heart. Listen on for a story about one man's years-long uphill battle.
Find out more about NOAA's National Marine Sanctuary Program here. Bonus: check out this article about "How Two Communities Embraced Their Sanctuaries." And to top off your reading assignments for this week, Thomas Friedman just published a great article on the value of protecting and preserving our wild spaces (i.e., the importance of marine sanctuaries).
Additional music credits for this week: The SoundCatcher from freesound.org. Bravo.