The Sanctuary Classic, a free summer-long fishing and photo contest, will kick off Saturday, June 9, at NOAA’s Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Coordinated by The Sportfishing Conservancy, the goal of the national contest is to encourage youth and families to experience national marine sanctuaries and foster a sense of stewardship for the marine environment. Prizes provided by The Sportfishing Conservancy, including college scholarships, will be awarded during the photo contest which continues through Labor Day.
The Saturday event begins with a Hook Kids on Fishing clinic, organized by Anglers for Conservation, a non-profit organization which works within recreational fishing communities to create a new generation of marine stewards. During the clinic, participants will learn about responsible fishing, and catch and release techniques.
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is one of 14 marine protected areas managed by NOAA. While the National Marine Sanctuary System’s primary mission is to protect the nation’s critical marine ecosystems, 98 percent of sanctuary waters across the country are open to activities including recreational fishing, diving, surfing and swimming.
WHAT: Sanctuary Classic kickoff
WHEN: Saturday, June 9, 8:30 a.m. – 12 noon
WHERE: Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center, 35 East Quay Road, Key West, Fla.
Nancy Sutley, chair, White House Council on Environmental Quality
Eric Schwaab, acting assistant secretary of commerce for conservation and management
Sean Morton, superintendent, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
Tom Raftican, president, The Sportfishing Conservancy