Enforcement of Sanctuary Regulations

NOAA Ship Peter Gladding

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary has put special rules in place to protect the unique marine environment of the Florida Keys. Making sure that residents and visitors are aware of and follow those rules is the task of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in partnership with sanctuary managers, the NOAA Office of Law Enforcement, and the U.S. Coast Guard.

While patrolling sanctuary waters, enforcement officers board and inspect boats; hand out brochures and maps; and make sure divers, boaters, and fishers know, understand, and follow sanctuary regulations. On-water education can be very effective in preventing future violations.

Officers are often the first responders to emergencies like vessel groundings, oil spills, and injured manatees or sea turtles while on patrol. While on the water, if you have any questions about sanctuary rules, fishing regulations, or even boater safety, hail down an officer and tap into her local expertise.