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New non-profit aims to protect Jupiter Inlet

Posted at 7:21 PM, Jul 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-18 19:21:20-04

As people enjoyed boating, snorkeling and fishing on the Jupiter Inlet Wednesday, Bob Shaw and several others were taking steps to protect the inlet through a newly-formed non-profit group called the Jupiter Inlet Foundation

"A bunch of us realized that the Jupiter Inlet and its waterways were being endangered and we wanted to create awareness," said Shaw, who is now the director of the Jupiter Inlet Foundation.

“Great idea. Fantastic. Somebody’s got to do it," said Ted Staudenmayer, who likes to fish on the inlet.

The group started forming toward the end of 2017. They've recently begun adding more members and starting initiatives. They have several hundred Facebook followers.

"It’s this community of people that want to protect what we have," Shaw said. "It’s the jewel of Jupiter.”

Protecting endangered seagrass is the organization's current short-term goal.

“We don’t want any anchoring on it or dragging your propeller along it," Shaw said. "That’s one of the major ways it can be damaged.”

They're raising money for informational buoys that would tell boaters about the endangered seagrass beneath them that’s critical habitat for marine life.

“We’ve already met with a lot of the regulatory agencies," Shaw said.

The foundation eventually wants to see more legal protections put in place for the inlet. They also plan to work to protect the habitat from overdevelopment.

If you want to get involved, the Jupiter Inlet Foundation is having its first volunteer meeting on July 26 at Old Town Hall in Jupiter at 6:30 p.m.

They also have a fundraising concert planned at Guanabanas on September 13 to collect money for those informational buoys to be placed near seagrass beds.