Village Heroes: Bob Molinari & the Key Biscayne Community Foundation’s Citizen Science Project

At the Key Biscayne Community Foundation, we are inspired every day by people around us who give of their time, talents, and treasure through supporting Foundation initiatives or spearheading their own. As we prepare for Thanksgiving, The Key Biscayne Community Foundation wants to shine a light on some exceptionally giving neighbors whose missions enhance life on The Key and surrounding areas.


Here are fast facts about our Village Hero:

Who: Bob Molinari.  Key partners include Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Key Biscayne Community Foundation, Biscayne Nature Center, Bill Baggs Park, Key School District


What: Key Biscayne Community Foundation’s Citizen Science Project


Where: Key Biscayne & Virginia Key


When: The project was launched in 2011


How: Key Biscayne Community Foundation leadership collaborated with influential professors at the University of Miami to submit a proposal to the Knight Foundation. The founding members requested financial support for an organization which would make people on the Key aware of their surroundings and unique natural resources. Through financial support from the Knight Foundation and Key Biscayne Community Foundation, the Citizen Science Project was launched as an information service. Early efforts included lectures at the Community Center by experts on mangroves, seagrass, and coral.


Why: The goal is to educate residents on the barrier island’s rich natural resources so that they would work to protect them rather than harm them.


A little more info about our Village Hero:


The mission of the Citizen Scientist Project is to maintain our natural resources by creating a Village of environmental stewards through education and activities.  As the coordinator of the Citizen Science Project, Bob Molinari is the advocate tasked with achieving this mission.  The last two years have seen a great deal of initiatives under Citizen Science.  For example educational lectures were soon augmented by online efforts, like the launch of, which encouraged online learning.  Community-wide activities and events also encouraged experiential learning.  Today, there are several on-site field trips every season which offers live tours into areas like our beaches, Bill Baggs Park, and Crandon Park led by environmental experts and Professors.  The group also sponsors The Key Challenge, an island-wide initiative involving the 5 schools of the island and the Mast Academy under the leadership of Mrs. Anne Rothe.  The Challenge is directed at increasing student’s appreciation of the islands natural resources.  The Key Challenge is in its second year, with students of all ages competing in four areas: art, writing, technology and science.  Approximately 900 students participated in the first year of the Key Challenge.



What’s next for the Citizen Science Project:


Bob hopes to launch more long-term local and nationwide/global initiatives. He is exploring a partnership with the Frost Museum of Science as they embark upon their sand dune restoration on the North Side of Virginia Key. He is also working with the Nature Center to monitor the impact of Government Cut dredging on water quality off the Key. Bob is also continuing to explore involvement in major global efforts to diagnose the state of the world’s water supply.



How you can get involved:


Bob welcomes volunteers and attendees at all events! He especially asks for volunteers to aid with Mangrove and beach clean ups. You can find more information about how to get involved and stay up to date on related current events on their website. Email Bob at and watch for future events on the Key Biscayne Community Foundation website.