NOAA 03-R447
Contact: Cheva Heck
NOAA News Releases 2003
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, has named three Florida Keys residents to the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council. The new members fill the Recreational Fishing, Upper Keys Citizen-at-Large and Charter Fishing seats and will serve for three years. Named to the council are Mark Klingbeil, Jack Curlett, and Captain Brad Simonds. Jim Trice and Jeremy Smith have been named as alternates.

“Each of these members brings a unique perspective to the Sanctuary Advisory Council based on their long experience in the Florida Keys,” said Billy Causey, sanctuary superintendent. “We are pleased that they have chosen to offer their considerable talents to help us protect the resources of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.”

Klingbeil joins the council as the new Recreational Fishing representative. Formerly a paramedic and an emergency services director, Klingbeil now manages the saltwater tackle department for Worldwide Sportsman in Islamorada. Klingbeil has fished both commercially and as a charter boat captain. He now fishes for pleasure in his free time in both the Gulf and Atlantic. Jim Trice, a general management consultant, also from Islamorada, will serve as Klingbeil’s alternate.

“I come in contact with folks from all over the world who come here to enjoy our national treasure,” said Klingbeil. “My desire is to see that the reef continues to thrive
and that careful management will let generations come to enjoy all that our sanctuary has to offer.”

Curlett will serve as the Upper Keys Citizen-at-Large representative. Born, raised and educated in the northeast, Jack served in the U.S. Army Special Forces. After years in the automobile industry, he relocated to the Florida Keys 20 years ago. For the past 15 years, Jack has owned Card Sound Yachts. For the past two years, he has managed Marine Max Hatteras at the Ocean Reef Club in North Key Largo. Curlett serves on the board of the Ocean Reef Rod & Gun Club, as well as Bonefish & Tarpon Unlimited. Jeremy Smith, a Florida Keys Land and Sea Trust board member, will serve as Curlett’s alternate.

Simonds will be the Charter Fishing representative. A 1979 graduate of Princeton University with a bachelor’s degree in American History, Simonds moved to the Keys in 1979. He served as a mate on charter vessels in the Upper Keys. After earning his captain’s license in 1983, he operated charter vessels from Ocean Reef to Key West. Simonds has been involved with billfish tagging programs since high school and has been repeatedly recognized as a top billfish tagger by NOAA Fisheries and other organizations. Since 2002, Simonds has owned and operated the charter vessel Southpaw out of Key West’s Oceanside Marina.

The council was established to advise NOAA and the state of Florida on implementation of the sanctuary’s final management plan. They also serve as liaisons to the community regarding sanctuary issues. Council members relay the community’s interests, concerns, and management needs to the sanctuary.

Positions Still Open

The sanctuary is still accepting applications for 14 additional seats on the advisory council.

The sanctuary will select new members and alternates for the following seats:

  • Local elected official
  • Citizen-at-large - Middle Keys
  • Citizen-at-large - Lower Keys
  • Tourism - Upper Keys
  • Tourism - Lower Keys
  • Diving - Upper Keys
  • Diving - Lower Keys
  • Charter Fishing/Flats Guide
  • Commercial Fishing - Shell/Scale
  • Commercial Fishing - Marine/Tropical
  • Conservation and Environment; Education/Outreach
  • Research/Monitoring; Submerged Cultural Resources.

The sanctuary is also seeking an alternate member for the Boating seat.

Alternates attend meetings when members are not available and assume the seat if a member resigns. Members and alternates will serve three-year terms. The council meets during the day on the third Tuesday of alternate months, usually in Marathon.

Applications are due in the Marathon office of the sanctuary by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2003. Applicants must reside in Monroe or Dade counties.

For information or applications, contact Fiona Wilmot via email at or by telephone at (305) 743-2437, ext. 27.

The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, designated in 1990, protects 2,900 square nautical miles of coral reefs, seagrass meadows, hardbottom communities, mangrove shorelines and mud and sand habitat through a state and federal partnership. NOAA and the state of Florida jointly developed a comprehensive plan to protect and manage sanctuary resources.

NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Program (NMSP) seeks to increase the public awareness of America’s maritime heritage by conducting scientific research, monitoring, exploration and educational programs. Today, 13 national marine sanctuaries encompass more than 18,000 square miles of America’s ocean and Great Lakes natural and cultural resources.

NOAA National Ocean Service manages the NMSP and balances environmental protection with economic prosperity in fulfilling its mission of promoting safe navigation, supporting coastal communities, sustaining coastal habitats and mitigating coastal hazards.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resource.

On the Web:


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National Marine Sanctuary Program:

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary: