Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Accomplishments

Since being established in 1990, the accomplishments in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary have been many. The links below provide information about some of the major accomplishments through the years.

2017 Accomplishments (pdf, 291 kb)

  • Hurricane Irma impact assessment
  • Project removes Cuban chugs from islands in the Florida Straits
  • Volunteers promote responsible stewardship on and offshore

2016 Accomplishments (pdf, 752 kb)

  • Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary visitor use and habitat mapping surveys
  • Enhancing sanctuary enforcement through partnerships
  • Multi-partner collaboration to inform sanctuary management decisions

2014 Accomplishments (pdf, 516 kb)
From research in the Tortugas to stunning panoramic images of the Upper Keys launched on Google Street View, this year was full of new perspectives. Over two hundred new management ideas were forwarded to the sanctuary by its advisory council, with a request to analyze them. A new partnership with Florida International University bolstered research and education capabilities.

2013 Accomplishments (pdf, 526 kb)
With the first U.S. Coast Guard – NOAA Cooperative Maritime Strategy put into place in fiscal year 2013, the sanctuary partnered with several local stations to provide dedicated vessel and aerial patrols of sanctuary waters. Other major accomplishments included the permitting of critical wastewater treatment upgrades in the Keys and a Heritage Awareness Diving Seminar to teach dive instructors how to proactively protect shipwrecks, reefs and underwater cultural sites.

2012 Accomplishments (pdf, 530 kb)
Major accomplishments in fiscal year 2012 included a research mission studying fish spawning behavior in the Tortugas and unlocking the mysteries of a historic shipwreck off Key Largo. The sanctuary also received almost 1,300 public comments during a scoping period to help update sanctuary rules and marine zones.

2011 Accomplishments (pdf, 509 kb)
In fiscal year 2011, the sanctuary unveiled a redesigned website to better engage the community, continued to improve the understanding of natural and cultural resources in the Florida Keys, and released the Condition Report 2011 for Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary which will help guide a review of its zones and regulations.

2010 Accomplishments (pdf, 957 kb)
From responding to the BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill to finalizing a rule to prohibit the discharge of waste from marine sanitation devices into sanctuary waters, netting over 10,000 pounds of marine debris, and more, fiscal year 2010 was a busy one for the staff at Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

2009 Accomplishments (pdf, 1.0 Mb)
During fiscal year 2009, the sanctuary responded to the new lionfish invasion, conducted a coral health survey, launched the Blue Star program to recognize local businesses who promote proper diving and snorkeling etiquette to protect coral reefs, and more.

2008 Accomplishments (pdf, 386 kb)
In fiscal year 2008, the sanctuary released a revised version of its management plan, was presented with a Coastal America Partner­ship Award for its efforts to rescue more than 7,000 coral colonies, and saw the opening of the “Living Reef” exhibit by Mote Marine Laboratory in the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center.

Major Sanctuary Accomplishments: 1990 – 2007
This page reviews major accomplishments from the establishment of the sanctuary in 1990 through the release of the revised sanctuary management plan in 2007.