Eco-Tours and Wildlife Viewing

mangroves next to shallow water with a small nurse shark swimming by
Mangrove islands provide nursery habitat for juvenile nurse sharks and other fishes. Photo: Michael Schilling/Get Into Your Sanctuary Photo Contest

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary has many beautiful and connected ecosystems to enjoy, from mangrove forests, to seagrass meadows, to our famous coral reef. Many Blue Star operators offer eco-tour opportunities that will immerse you in these amazing habitats where you can witness the creatures that live there. When visiting the sanctuary, please make sure you practice responsible recreation, follow our wildlife viewing guidelines, and are familiar with the leave no trace principles. Please leave this national treasure better than you found it.

A female kayaker in a hat with mangroves in the background

Blue Star Operators

Blue Star operators follow safe wildlife viewing practices.

Pink, mature birds and a baby in a nest

Wildlife Viewing Guidelines

NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries created these guidelines to help you appreciate wildlife in a responsible manner.

a school of white and yellow fish

What Will I See?

Check out this gallery of common plants, algae, and animals to keep an eye out for during your visit to Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

Above the water line a stand of mangroves. Below the water line, seagrass


Learn about the coral reefs, mangrove forests, and seagrass meadows that so many wildlife call home in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.