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


Interactive Map

Additional Background and Supporting Material

How it works

NOAA has released a draft environmental impact statement, known as the Restoration Blueprint, for public comment. The proposal includes recommended changes to the current management plan, zoning, and regulations that have been in effect since 1997.


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

Informational Sessions

Five informational sessions will be held for the public to learn more about the proposals and provide input. Written comments will be accepted at the sessions in Key West, Marathon, and Tavernier, while the sessions in the Miami area (Coral Gables) and Fort Myers will include additional opportunities for oral public comments. Sessions start at 6 p.m.

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

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


Members of the public may provide oral comments on the proposals during the Sanctuary Advisory Council meetings in October and December in the Keys. These meetings will also be streamed live on the Sanctuary Advisory Council's YouTube channel.

  • October 15, 2019 - 1-9 p.m., Marriott Beachside Hotel, 3841 N Roosevelt Blvd, Key West, FL 33040
  • December 10, 2019 - 1-9 p.m., Location TBA

Learn more: Marine Zoning and Regulatory Review