In recent years, conservation has become more of a priority for the allocation of GTF funds.
This more recent initiative reflects, in part, the wishes of the Florida Keys fishing guide community. South Florida and, consequently, the Florida Keys are increasingly a victim of their own success. A growing population fuels housing development and thus more and more residents and visitors are using the waters of the Florida Keys and Everglades National Park for a myriad of recreational purposes. Couple this with intensive agricultural practices upstate that effect water quality and sometimes it is hard to believe that the fishery remains viable.
Fishing guides, on the water 200+ days a year, are well versed in making sure their clients have a good day and catch fish. They are also conditioned to be optimistic. However, each day they see the telltale signs that all is not well in their aquatic world. Fish populations of many species are down in numbers and the rapid deterioration of the sea grass flats that nurture the entire ecosystem is painful to witness.
For these reasons, GTF supports conservation initiatives that monitor and measure the decline and propose initiatives to remedy the situation. In recent years, GTF has identified Bonefish & Tarpon Trust as having objectives closely aligned with those of our own. Consequently, this organization is our primary conservation beneficiary and we are proud to support their work.