Florida Keys
National Marine Sanctuary

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is home to a diverse community of underwater habitats, ranging from the only coral barrier reef in the continental United States to the largest documented contiguous seagrass community in the Northern Hemisphere. More than 6,000 animal species are found here, along with an array of submerged historical and cultural resources, making this one of the world's most cherished locations for diving, fishing, boating, and wildlife viewing.

Sanctuary News

A diver hovers over the seafloor holding a measuring tape.
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SUMMER HEAT QUANTIFIED: Mission: Iconic Reefs surveys impact to corals

A team of researchers from NOAA’s Mission: Iconic Reefs program and partners from Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium and the Coral Restoration Foundation completed a scientific mission February 14, 2024 to quantify the impact of 2023’s marine heat wave on corals in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

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diver swimming by a coral nusery

Iconic Reef Guardians

The Florida Keys region has become a world leader in coral reef restoration. Now, we are inviting the public to lend a hand through the Iconic Reef Guardians program.

a phone with the app running is superimposed over an image of boats on the water

Marine Sanctuary Explorer

All 3,800 square miles of the sanctuary fit in the palm of your hand with this GPS-enabled guide to Florida Keys waters.

map of the florida keys, with marine life, boat, mangroves overlayed

Restoration Blueprint

In response to public concerns about threats to the marine environment, NOAA is conducting the first major review of regulations in the Florida Keys since 1997.

a small fishing boat with 6 passengers

Boater Education Course

Take this free, online course to help You safely navigate the tricky waters of The Florida Keys.

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Poster

Coastal mangroves and seagrass are nurseries for many species of fish, invertebrates and birds that inhabit Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. These calm, shallow waters are ideal for paddle sports, snorkeling, and fishing for species like tarpon. The offshore coral reef features elkhorn and brain corals, sponges, and other invertebrates which create habitat for spiny lobster, urchins, and many other species of reef fish like sergeant major and larger fish like sharks, rays, barracuda, and snapper.

Commemorative Poster Unveiled in Celebration of 50th Annivrsary

The spirit of Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is captured in a mosaic image by artist Matt McIntosh for a poster that commemorates the 50th anniversary of the sanctuary system.

National Marine Sanctuary System

national marine sanctuary system map

The Office of National Marine Sanctuaries serves as the trustee for a network of underwater parks encompassing more than 620,000 square miles of marine and Great Lakes waters from Washington state to the Florida Keys, and from Lake Huron to American Samoa. The network includes a system of 15 national marine sanctuaries and Papahānaumokuākea and Rose Atoll marine national monuments.