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Clearwater nonprofit receives fish-monitoring grant from Clearwater Marine Aquarium

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The nonprofit group Reef Monitoring, Inc. has received a grant for $8,400 from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium to monitor fish populations in two reefs over the course of one year. RMI will partner with the aquarium to carry out the fish monitoring project.

“We are proud to announce this joint venture with CMA,” said Dr. Heyward Mathews, lead scientist at RMI and original creator of the Clearwater Marine Science Center. “This grant and partnership will enable RMI to monitor fish populations on the Clearwater Artificial Reef and nearby natural reefs for the next year. Tracking these populations will help us gain a more accurate assessment of what type of fish live off the reefs and how many. This project will partner CMA divers with scientists from St. Petersburg College, Clearwater Campus, and we are very appreciative of their support and dedication.”

RMI was established in 2010 to organize marine scientists to protect and preserve natural and artificial reef systems. The group monitors and improves near-shore marine communities, advances sustainability and works to build support for ongoing marine conservation.

The group also provides educational programs. RMI currently monitors three artificial and two natural reefs off the Pinellas County coastline.

The group is based in Clearwater.


Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email

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