Newfound Harbor Key Sanctuary Preservation Area

Map of Newfound Harbor Key Sanctuary Preservation Area

Easily accessible by boaters, this half-mile square inshore patch reef is located just off Little Palm Island and partially within the Coupon Bight Aquatic Preserve. Newfound Harbor Key Sanctuary Preservation Area (SPA) features some of the best boulder corals in the Keys as well as star corals and giant brain corals, all in depths of 18 feet or less. The sanctuary has designated this area as one of the seven Mission: Iconic Reefs sites, setting the stage for a variety of restoration activity. Several species of angelfish, butterflyfish, surgeonfish, damsels, wrasses, grunts, snappers, and parrotfish are found here, with the occasional grouper sighting.

Winter's northeasterly winds produce the most favorable visibility at Newfound Harbor. Unfortunately, you will notice many coral heads are damaged by boaters who are unfamiliar with the shallow reefs and have run aground navigating into the harbor from Hawk Channel. This is the only inshore patch reef protected by a SPA in the Lower Keys.

Very high water temperatures in the summer of 2023 have caused widespread coral bleaching and mortality in the Florida Keys. Descriptions of coral cover or coral health on this page may not be accurate based on current conditions.

Special regulations apply here. Learn more about what activities are allowed in this type of zone.

A summary of all sanctuary regulations is available online. For the full text of sanctuary regulations, see 15 CFR 922 Subpart P.