The Turtle Hospital. Rescue, Rehab, Release.

‘Florida Keys: Protecting Paradise’ Sustainable Travel Televlsion Special to Debut Dec. 29

FLORIDA KEYS — “Florida Keys: Protecting Paradise,” an hourlong television special that explores Keys sustainability efforts and the people dedicated to protecting the island chain’s unique natural environment, is to debut on the Discovery Channel, Sunday, Dec. 29, at 8 a.m. ET/PT and 7 a.m. CT/MT.
Hosted by Chad Crawford, the program highlights the rich history of conservation in the Florida Keys and the roles dedicated residents are playing in conservation and sustainability efforts. It also examines eco-tourism offerings, “voluntourism” and ways visitors can share in protecting the Keys’ environment and local lifestyle.
“I’ve spent the last 20 years of my life exploring this 125-mile-long chain of islands, and the Florida Keys truly are one of America’s great natural wonders,” Crawford said. “We take viewers to meet the people and creatures who dwell (in the Keys) and discover how visitors and locals alike are connecting with (the) unique environment.”
Among topics spotlighted are sea turtle rehabilitation and release with the Turtle Hospital’s Richie Moretti and Bette Zirkelbach, the Keys’ diverse ecosystems with Lower Keys naturalist Bill Keogh, cruising aboard the island chain’s first electric solar-powered tour boat with owner Captain Billy Litmer, the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary with sanctuary superintendent Sarah Fangman, responsible fishing and the importance of releasing gamefish with Captain Will Benson, and pioneering efforts to revitalize the Keys’ living coral reef with the Coral Restoration Foundation’s Roxane Boonstra.
Commentary from the featured residents illustrates their passion for and commitment to the Keys’ environment and close-to-nature lifestyle. Theprogram aims to inspire visitors to join local “stewards” by building cultural awareness and environmental respect into their time in the Florida Keys.
Following Discovery Channel, the program is to broadcast on Destination America, WGNA, Fox Sun Sports and several streaming services. Viewers should check local listings.
The program was underwritten by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council.

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