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

 

Appendices

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 it works

Public comment for the initial draft ended on January 31, 2020.

The comments are being reviewed and NOAA will formally propose a set of draft regulations to establish changes. There will be another round of public comments on that refined proposal. Subsequently, if NOAA moves forward with a final action, a final environmental impact statement and final notice of proposed rulemaking will be published in the Federal Register. That would be followed by an opportunity for review by the governor of Florida as well as by Congress.

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

Learn more: Marine Zoning and Regulatory Review

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

 

Mission: Iconic Reefs

NOAA and partners have launched an unprecedented effort to restore seven ecologically and culturally significant coral reefs within Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Informed by years of research, successful trials, and expertise, the mission represents one of the largest investments ever undertaken in coral restoration. By focusing additional efforts on coral reef habitat, Mission: Iconic Reefs complements NOAA’s ongoing Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Restoration Blueprint and management plan.

The effort to put Florida Keys coral reefs on track for recovery is an enormous undertaking, requiring long-term collaboration between many partners. A cross-NOAA team is engaging world-renowned scientists, local restoration partners, and other federal and state agencies to save these important, iconic resources.

Learn more about Mission: Iconic Reefs at www.fisheries.noaa.gov/iconic-reefs