Florida Keys

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Online home renting sites like Airbnb have greatly expanded the vacation rental market — when travelers rent a home or apartment instead of a hotel room.

Two new studies illustrate the impact that's having on the Florida Keys.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Initial reporting can leave lasting impressions after a hurricane — and that can be really damaging to a tourism destination.

Monroe County Sheriff's Office

Students in the Keys are "starting with hello" this week, part of a program developed by Sandy Hook Promise.

At Poinciana Elementary School in Key West, that work took the shape of 600 small bodies spelling out the word "hello" and a smile.

"At the elementary level, it's a lot about inclusion," said Ilinke Royse, a Spanish teacher at the school who runs the new SAVE Promise Club.

MIAMI HERALD

A new, permanent hospital building is being built in Marathon for Florida Keys residents.

The Fisherman's Community Hospital was flattened by Hurricane Irma just in September 2017. It's owned by Baptist Health South Florida. Ever since, the hospital has been operating out of tents, and then a year later, portable buildings.

Warren Leamard / Special to WLRN

Keys residents were surprised to find saltwater on the streets Tuesday morning, well before the weekend's king tides.

This post was updated at at 12:15 p.m. on Sept. 12

The prospect of genetically modified mosquitoes is back for the Florida Keys — just as a new study raises concerns about the technology.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Anyone who's been to the beach in South Florida or the Caribbean in recent months has probably seen — or smelled — sargassum piled up on shore. The algae is hitting record levels.

In the Keys, some want their local governments to address the problem.

Monroe County Sheriff's Office

Two people were killed in a small plane crash off Marathon Sunday morning, according to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.

The 1961 Cessna 210 Centurion crashed into the water near Rachel Key, a small island off Marathon's gulf side.

The two people, whose identities have not been released, are believed to be the only two on board the plane, according to the sheriff's office.

Fish and Wildlife Research Institute / FWC

All of the Florida Keys reef is under thermal stress — meaning the water is warm enough that corals may start bleaching.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

There's one drawbridge left along the Overseas Highway, the only road connecting the Florida Keys. As of Sunday, Sept. 8, that bridge will be closed at night for maintenance five nights a week.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

The 1935 Labor Day Hurricane that slammed Islamorada was the strongest Atlantic hurricane landfall on record — until Sunday, when Hurricane Dorian tied it in the Bahamas.

On Monday, residents of Islamorada gathered for the annual Labor Day service at the Hurricane Memorial on Upper Matecumbe Key. They were thinking of hurricanes past — and present.

Emily Michot / Miami Herald

U.S. Fish & Wildlife officials Thursday evening faced a crowd of Keys residents strongly opposed to removing the Key deer from the Endangered Species List.

OCTAVIO JONES | Times

APOLLO BEACH -- After two years and more than $4.5 million, scientists working with the Florida Aquarium have pulled off something no one else ever has: They coaxed imperiled Atlantic Ocean coral into spawning in a laboratory, aquarium officials announced Wednesday.

The Turtle Hospital

He's not from around these parts. Yet somehow he's here.

Harry, an Olive Ridley sea turtle, was found floating roughly six miles offshore Tavernier in February. He had injuries from being tangled up in a fishing net on all four flippers.   

He was treated with antibiotics, nutrition via IV, laser therapy and more, including lots of fish, shrimp and squid. He's recovered enough that he's scheduled for release at Higgs Beach in Key West at 10 a.m. Thursday.

Harry will carry a satellite transmitter for tracking.

Nick Zachar / NOAA

The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary has released its restoration blueprint, an ambitious plan with some major changes for the sanctuary, including expanding its boundaries, adding more protected areas and, in a few cases, limiting access to popular reefs for snorkeling.

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