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 2019, in an effort to address these threats, the sanctuary will propose 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.
A Blueprint for the Future: Restoring Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
Since 1990, the sanctuary has worked with partners and the local community to understand and protect the Key's critical resources. Now it's time to do more to protect, respond, and recover.
How it works
NOAA will release a draft environmental impact statement, known as the Restoration Blueprint, for public comment. The proposal will include recommended changes to the current management plan, zoning, and regulations that have been in effect since 1997.
How to get involved
Attend Sanctuary Advisory Council meetings:
- April 16, 2019
- June 11, 2019
- August 20, 2019
- October 15, 2019
- December 10, 2019
Location: Hyatt Place, 1996 Overseas Highway, Marathon, Florida
Learn more: Marine Zoning and Regulatory Review
A Healthy Florida Keys is the Foundation of a Strong Economy
The highly diverse and sensitive ecosystem of the Florida Keys drives the economy and local way of life.
The sanctuary protects this ecosystem for future generations, balancing ecological health and economic benefits.
Natural and Cultural Resources
Pressures on the Ecosystem
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary responds to multiple ecological threats:
Economics and Employment
Sanctuary management prevents habitat injury, protects wildlife, improves water quality, and supports the local economy. So far, your sanctuary has:
- Established a network of marine zones with varying levels of habitat protection.
- Reduced large ship groundings in sensitive areas.
- Achieved significant decrease in localized water pollution.
- Increased navigation, habitat protection, and public use with more than 800 marker and mooring buoys.
- Partnered with public and private businesses to promote sustainable recreation.
- Engaged more than 600,000 visitors at the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center.