Marine Sanctuary Explorer App

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

Free Mobile App Promotes Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Experience

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is a vast marine ecosystem, but its 3,800 square miles can fit into the palm of your hand thanks to a new mobile application. The free Marine Sanctuary Explorer app will help visitors do their part to protect the unique Florida Keys marine environment by promoting responsible recreation and providing real-time information about sanctuary rules and regulations, as well as points of interest.

"It's as if a sanctuary team member is riding along with you as a guide," says Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Superintendent Sarah Fangman. "Users of every experience level will find this tool invaluable for safely exploring the sanctuary's protected waters, whether they've been here for years or are planning their first visit."

Packed with facts, Marine Sanctuary Explorer describes the more than 50 marine zones located within the sanctuary with easy-to-read guidelines that communicate activities allowable in each managed area.

Kris Sarri, president and CEO of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, said, "Marine Sanctuary Explorer makes the Florida Keys more accessible to visitors while helping them recreate responsibly and protect its resources for future generations. The app highlights points of interest like the famous shipwreck trail and allows visitors to tag destinations by their activities such as snorkeling, swimming, fishing or boating. It features animals and habitats commonly found in the Florida Keys and interpretive stories build a learning connection to protecting them."

Residents and tourists can use the app before, during, and after a sanctuary visit, with features that include:

  • Allowing devices to access locations for customized exploration;
  • Using an interactive map to geo-locate current position and points of interest;
  • Bookmarking favorite and new points of interest to explore;
  • Identifying experienced Blue Star guides who lead sanctuary experiences;
  • Browsing a library of resources on animals and habitats specific to the sanctuary;
  • Guidelines on how to safely explore the protected waters of the sanctuary; and
  • Accessing content for viewing offline

"Constituents have been asking us for a solution to navigating our complex set of regulations," says Fangman. "This app is a handy educational tool that will make it easier for locals and visitors to follow sanctuary regulations, therefore protecting the cherished resources that fuel the Keys' economy."

Marine Sanctuary Explorer is free to download and available for iOS (Apple) and Android devices through your app store.