Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Website Privacy Policy

We are committed to the privacy of our visitors. We collect no personal information about you when you visit our website unless you choose to provide that information to us.

The text below explains how we handle information about your visit to our website:

Information Collected and Stored Automatically: If you do nothing during your visit but browse through the website, read pages, or download information, we will gather and store certain information about your visit automatically. This information does not identify you personally. We automatically collect and store information about your visit like the following:

  • The Internet domain (for example, "xcompany.com" if you use a private Internet access account, or "yourschool.edu" if you connect from a university's domain);
  • Your IP address (an IP address is a number that is automatically assigned to your computer whenever you are surfing the Web) from which you access our website.
  • The type of browser and operating system used to access our site;
  • The date and time you access our site;
  • The pages you visit; and
  • If you linked to our website from another website, the address of that website.

We use this information to help us make our site more useful to visitors, to learn about the number of visitors to our site, and the types of technology our visitors use.

Information Protection

For site security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, this government computer system employs software programs to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage. If such monitoring reveals evidence of possible abuse or criminal activity, such evidence may be provided to appropriate law enforcement officials. Unauthorized attempts to upload or change information on this server are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 and the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act or other law.

Information That You Voluntarily Provide

We do not collect personally identifiable information unless you choose to provide it to us. If you provide us with personally identifiable information, for example by sending an e-mail or by filling out a form and submitting it through our website, we use that information only to respond to your message and to help us provide you with the information and services that you request. We do not collect or use information for commercial marketing.

How Information is Used

The information we collect is used for a variety of purposes (for example, comments on proposed rules, license applications, to respond to requests for information about our regulations and policies and to fill orders). We make every effort to disclose clearly how information is used at the point where it is collected so that you can determine whether you wish to provide the information.

Sharing of Information

We may share the information you give us with another government agency if your inquiry relates to that agency. In other limited circumstances, such as responses to requests from Congress and private individuals, we may be required by law to disclose information you submit. Before you submit personally identifiable information, such as on an online form, you will be advised as to the purpose and how the information will be used.

Retention of Information

We destroy the information we collect when the purpose for which it was provided has been fulfilled, unless we are required to keep it longer by statute or official policy. Electronically submitted information is maintained and destroyed according to the principles of the Federal Records Act and the regulations and records schedules approved by the National Archives and Records Administration, and in some cases information submitted to us may become an agency record and therefore might be subject to a Freedom of Information Act request.

Links to Other Sites

This site has links to the webites of other federal agencies. There are alsolinks to private organizations, with their permission. Once you go to another site, you are subject to the privacy policy of the new site. It is always a good idea to read the Privacy Policy of any website that you visit.

Third-party Social Media Tools

We use third-party social networking/social media tools as a supplemental channel to promote awareness of Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary activities, events, news, and information. Those tools include:


Facebook is a social networking website where users can connect and interact with other people. We typically post something new on our wall every workday to keep you up-to-date with  news and information. Please note that you are subject to Facebook's privacy policy when visiting our Facebook page.

Google™ Earth/Google™ Maps

Google Maps and Google Earth map information and photographic imagery are used under license by Google. Data presented using Google Maps/Google Earth are in the public domain. The map information and photographic imagery contain trade names, trademarks, service marks, logos, domain names, and other distinctive brand features. This does not imply an endorsement of Google, Google Maps, or Google Earth products or services by the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Under the terms of the license, you are permitted to copy or use the Google Maps/Google Earth images on your site so long as Google Maps/Google Earth trade names, trademarks, service marks, logos, domain names, and other distinctive brand features are not deleted or in any manner altered. Please note that you are subject to Google's privacy policy when using this service.

Google Analytics

As required by the Digital Government Strategy, this site uses Google Analytics, a third-party web measurement and customization technology as defined and organized by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), "Guidance for Online Use of Web Measurement and Customization Technologies" (OMB M-10-22).

As you browse through our website, we gather and temporarily store technical information about your visit. This information does not identify who you are. The information we collect includes:

  • The name of the domain you use to access the Internet (for example, aol.com, if you are using an American Online account, or stanford.edu, if you are connecting from Stanford University's domain);
  • The date and time of your visit;
  • The pages you visited; and
  • The address of the website you came from when you came to visit.

We use this information to improve our website and provide a better user experience for our visitors. Google Analytics collecst and aggregates this information. This information is available only to web managers and other designated staff who require this information to perform their duties. It is retained only for as long as needed for proper analysis. Neither the Sanctuary nor Google ever have access to the specifics of your particular site visits.  The staff can only see the aggregate data from all users over a particular time period.

Google Analytics places a small file on your computer, commonly called a "cookie" so that it can recognize your computer if you visit our website in the future. This cookie does not collect personal identifying information. This is considered a Tier 2 service in the OMB guidance. Please review Google's privacy policy for additional information.

You can take actions to block cookies. Blocking these cookies from your computer will not affect your access to the content and tools on our website. Instructions to opt out are available on USA.gov http://www.usa.gov/optout_instructions.shtml.

Interaction with Children

This Web site offers educational content that may be of interest to children under 13 years old. No personally identifiable information is collected from them unless voluntarily submitted as a request for information or services. The information collected is used to respond to inquiries or to provide services requested by our users.