Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
Restoration Blueprint

A Blueprint for the Future: Restoring Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary protects the only barrier coral reef in the continental United States, stretching south from Miami to the Dry Tortugas. Within these waters lie nationally-significant resources including seagrass beds, coral reef colonies, mangrove-fringed islands, and thousands of marine species.

But this fragile habitat is increasingly under threat from hurricanes, disease, boat groundings, rising ocean temperatures, pollution, and human interactions.

In an effort to address these threats, the sanctuary is proposing a Restoration Blueprint that embodies what we have learned from nearly 30 years of cutting-edge science, technical experience, and local community involvement.

Meeting the challenges of the future will take dedication, passion, and appreciation from all of us. The health of sanctuary habitats has a profound effect on our economy and our unique way of life in the Keys.

As we continue to develop our proposal, we look forward to your participation in this process.

Since 1990, the sanctuary has worked with partners and the local community to understand and protect the Keys' critical resources. Now it's time to do more to protect, respond, and recover.

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Restoration Blueprint

cover of the DRAFT Environmental Impact Statement for florida keys national marine sanctuary
DRAFT Environmental Impact Statement for Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary: A Restoration Blueprint (32MB PDF)
Since publication of the initial DEIS economic numbers have been corrected.

Executive Summary

Chapter 1 - Introduction & Background

Chapter 2 - Purpose of and Need for Action

Chapter 3 - Description of Alternatives

Chapter 4 - Affected Environment

Chapter 5 - Environmental Consequences

Chapter 6 - Conclusions

Chapter 7 - References


Sanctuary Boundary and Marine Zone Alternative Maps



Appendix A - List of Preparers

Appendix B - Technical Revisions

Appendix C - Draft Programmatic Agreement

Appendix D - Regulatory Framework

Appendix E - Listed species

Appendix F - Navy Operational Environment

Appendix G - Correspondence to Date

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary: Socioeconomic Supporting Documentation for the Restoration Blueprint, 2019


Interactive Map

Additional Background and Supporting Material

How to get involved

Public comments will be accepted in person, online, and by mail through January 31, 2020. The public comment period will span two Sanctuary Advisory Council meetings and will include opportunities for engagement, including public meetings.


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Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal, www.regulations.gov. Use docket number NOAA-NOS-2019-0094.

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Comments may be mailed to:

Sarah Fangman
Sanctuary Superintendent
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
33 East Quay Road
Key West, FL 33040

Public Meetings

NOAA is holding a series of public meetings for stakeholders to learn more about the Restoration Blueprint proposals and offer comments to inform the next step in the process, resulting in a refined proposal that would then also be subject to public comment.

Please keep in mind that time, seating, and parking are limited at these meetings. Speakers making oral public comment, where available, will be limited to three minutes. Groups are strongly encouraged to designate a speaker. Be prepared to present a statement that can be supplemented by a more detailed written comment submitted at the meeting or online at regulations.gov.


Informational Sessions

Given the complexity of the proposals, these sessions are being held to provide information and answer questions. Sessions are 6-9 p.m. Written questions and official comments in writing will be taken.

September 23

Key West, FL
Key West High School
2100 Flagler Avenue

September 30

Marathon, FL
Marathon Middle High School
350 Sombrero Beach Road

October 7

Tavernier, FL
Coral Shores High School
89901 Old Highway


Sanctuary Advisory Council Meetings

These Sanctuary Advisory Council meetings a are NOAA public meetings to receive official oral and written comment. Meetings are 1-9 p.m. and will be streamed live on the Sanctuary Advisory Council's YouTube channel. Agendas are posted here.

October 15

Key West, FL
Marriott Beachside Hotel
3841 North Roosevelt Boulevard

December 10

Islamorada, FL
Islander Resort
82100 Overseas Highway


NOAA public meetings in Marathon, Coral Gables and Fort Myers will receive official oral and written comment. Meetings are 6-9 p.m. Coral Gables and Fort Myers meetings also will provide information and answers to written questions.

October 28

Coral Gables, FL
University of Miami Newman Alumni Center
6200 San Amaro Drive

November 4

Fort Myers, FL
Holiday Inn Airport at Town Center
9931 Interstate Commerce Drive

November 6

Marathon, FL
Marathon Middle High School
350 Sombrero Beach Road

Learn more: Marine Zoning and Regulatory Review


How it works

Successful management of Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary relies on our valued partnerships. We are all part of the solution.