In the Florida Keys, the natural and human communities are intertwined. The health of living barrier coral reef that exists nowhere else in North America is tied to that of the mangrove trees that fringe the islands and the submerged seagrass beds and patch reefs in between. The Florida wildlife that thrives in this unique environment relies on these habitats to be healthy, just as we, in turn, depend on them to support food, recreation, and valuable jobs. But these resources -- and the livelihoods and way of life they support -- are threatened by the growing Gulf oil disaster. We must protect our valuable marine life to ensure the ecological and economic future of the Florida Keys.