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FLORIDA KEYS CONSERVATION:
NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Map
Click map for larger view
courtesy FKNMS/NOAA
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Map


Conservation of Florida's coral reefs includes:

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

The National Marine Sanctuaries Act of 1972 authorized the designation and management of marine environments with special national significance due to their conservation, recreational, ecological, historical, scientific, cultural,
archaeological, or educational qualities as National Marine Sanctuaries. Managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Marine Sanctuary Program, these sanctuaries are designed to protect marine resources.

Florida Reef
courtesy NOAA
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

The Florida Keys are known for their coral reefs as well as other interdependent habits including mangroves and seagrass beds. The Florida Reef Tract is home to over 6,000 species of plants, fishes, and invertebrates, including the only coral reef system in U.S. waters. This complex ecosystem is the foundation for the commercial and recreational fishing industries as well as the tourism-based economies that are vital to south Florida.

Close-up of Coral Polyps
courtesy Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
Coral Close-up NOAA


In 1990, 2,800 square nautical miles (16 square kilometers) of coastal waters surrounding the Florida Keys were designated as a national marine sanctuary. The sanctuary extends in a northeast to southwest arc beginning at the Biscayne National Park for over 200 miles (322 km) to, but not including, the Dry Tortugas Islands. From that point, it turns north and east, covering a large area of the Gulf of Mexico and Florida Bay.

The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary utilizes zoning to manage the resources within its boundaries. This zoning helps to reduce user conflicts and to minimize the overall impact to heavily used areas on the reef. Other management techniques are dependent upon the reef, water quality, fish, and invertebrate monitoring data.
For more information, visit: Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary





Habitats


Threatened and Endangered Species

Introduced Species

Threats

Conservation

Links


Florida Keys Homepage

Glossary

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