Educating with Extension Newsletters

Each month, the Extension Service publishes a newsletter about its exciting programs and events both past and upcoming. See what we are doing and how you can become involved. 

For the February newsletter, Shelly Krueger, Monroe County Extension's Florida Sea Grant Agent, wrote the cover article on Florida Keys Shallow Water SpongesThe newsletter also includes updates on many Extension events going on this month!

Sponges being auctioned at the wharf in Key West (undated photo). Photo courtesy of NOAA

"Sponges are the oldest animals on Earth. Sponges are very important for water quality because they eat viruses, bacteria, and phytoplankton. The average basketball-sized sponge can filter 425 gallons of water per day. Yet very little is known about  sponges in general. Many sponge species in the nearshore waters are commonly misidentified and many have not been given common or scientific names at all. Even the role of sponges for   improving water quality and nutrient cycling is poorly understood. Sponges are ecologically, commercially, and culturally important in the Florida Keys. For more than 150 years there has been a commercial sponge fishery in Florida. At the turn of the 19th century, sponges collected from the Florida Keys were a major commercial commodity..."

To read the article, and find events and programs of the Extension Service, check out the February 2019 Newsletter

If you, or someone you know, would like to begin receiving these newsletters, please contact Liz Yongue, at or (305) 292-4501. 

Hard copies are available upon request.

Extension Services is an Equal Opportunity Institution. UF/IFAS Extension, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension. Single copies of UF/IFAS Extension publications (excluding 4-H and youth publications) are available free to Florida residents from county UF/IFAS Extension offices.