… Touching or standing on living or dead coral. Check with the appropriate federal agency for applicable rules and regulations that apply in these areas. (Photo courtesy of Thomas K. Gibson, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary; NOAA Photo Library.) vary widely in the level of protection they provide. SPAs have mooring buoys for boaters to use in order to prevent anchor damage to corals. 8. Anchoring when a mooring buoy is available. SPAs encompass discrete, biologically important areas that help sustain critical marine species and habitats. Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary uses a strategy called “marine zoning” to protect special habitat types such as corals, to avoid conflict by user groups such as divers and anglers, and to balance commercial and recreational interests with the need for a healthy ecosystem. 146, Friday, July 31, 2009) (pdf, 58 kb), Marine Sanitation Device Discharge Regulations for the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, 15 CFR Part 922 (Federal Register, Vol. Administered by NOAA, a federal agency, and jointly managed with the state of Florida, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary protects 2,900 square nautical miles of waters surrounding the Florida Keys, from south of Miami westward to encompass the … Regulations for this zone type are designed to limit consumptive activities and to separate users engaged in different kinds of activities. The summary of regulations that follows is only intended as a general reference to sanctuary regulations. They also provide food for a multitude of marine species such as snook, snapper, tarpon, jack, sheepshead, red drum, oyster and shrimp. 126 , Friday, June 29, 2001) (pdf, 44 kb), Regulation to Establish a No Discharge Zone for State Waters within the Boundary of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, 40 CFR Part 140 (67 FR 35735) (pdf, 52 kb), Changes to the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Regulations; Technical Corrections and Minor Substantive Changes, 15 CFR Part 922 (Federal Register, Vol. In the city of Key West, masks are to be worn in indoor and outdoor areas. 66, No. “no-access buffer” zone:  prohibited from entering the area 227, Friday, November 26, 2010) (pdf, 195 kb), Marine Sanitation Device Discharge Regulations, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Zones, Tortugas Ecological Reserve Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement/Final Supplemental Management Plan (pdf, 4.4 Mb), Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Regulations – Establishment of Tortugas Ecological Reserve, 15 CFR Part 922 (Federal Register, Vol. We are located only 200 yards from the Cross Keys Waterway which is also known as Adams Waterway which connects Florida Bay to John Pennekamp State Park and the Atlantic Ocean. Except in officially marked channels, operating a vessel at more than 4 knots/no wake within 100 yards of residential shorelines, stationary vessels, or navigational aids marking reefs. Shown … Fishing by any means; removing, harvesting, or possessing any marine life. Ahhh, the Florida Keys. “closed” zone:  prohibited from entering or using the area. buffer” zones or “closed”. White Heron and Key West National Wildlife Refuge Management Areas: Twenty Wildlife Management Areas are co-managed with the U.S. A vessel with an internal combustion Discharging any matter except cooling water or engine exhaust. There are 18 SPAs within the sanctuary, which together cover a total of about 4.97 square nautical miles. Everglades National Park. 113, Thursday, June 12, 1997) (pdf, 107 kb), Amendment to Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Regulations Revising the Boundary of the Northernmost Area To Be Avoided Off the Coast of Florida, 15 CFR Part 922 Anchoring on hardbottom is allowed. Fish and THE 10 BEST Florida Keys Beaches (with Photos) - Tripadvisor We have protected docking facilities on the Bay with immediate access to the ocean through the Waterway. Dredging, drilling, prop dredging or otherwise altering the seabed, or placing or abandoning any structure on the seabed. Homes, businesses, infrastructure and people, as well as natural areas and native species are affected by sea level rise today and may be impacted by storm surge at any time. The 891-acre (3.6 km 2) refuge was established in 1929. State fisheries regulations are available from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. a vessel at a speed greater that idle speed only/no wake. If you’ve gone fishing in central California, diving in the Florida Keys, swimming in Cape Cod, or hiking along the Olympic Coast, you’ve probably been one of millions of visitors to a Marine Protected Area, usually referred to … With certain exceptions, the following activities are prohibited in the Ecological Reserves (ERs) and Sanctuary Preservation Areas (SPAs): Additional regulation for the Tortugas Ecological Reserve South: Additional regulations for the Tortugas Ecological Reserve North: The following activities are prohibited in Special-use Research Only Areas: The following regulations apply in Wildlife Management Areas: The following regulations apply in Existing Management Areas: Activities prohibited in the Key Largo and Looe Key Existing Management Areas: Activities prohibited in the Great 11, Wednesday, January 17, 2001) (pdf, 8.2 Mb), Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Regulations – Anchoring on Tortugas Bank, 15 CFR Part 922 (Federal Register, Vol. This area is also home loads of marine life — nearly 1,400 species of marine plants and animals live here. Spanning approximately 221 miles, the reef extends from Key Biscayne near Miami down to the Dry Tortugas, located west of Key West. Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The waters around Key Largo are an ecologically fascinating place where freshwater from the Everglades mixes with the saltwater of Florida Bay. 158, Monday, August 17, 1998) (pdf, 34 kb), Monroe County Recreational Lobster Harvesting Regulations (pdf, 485 kb), Monroe County Spearfishing Regulations (pdf, 588 kb), A Guide to Closed Areas for Commercial Spiny Lobster Trap Fishing (pdf, 1,426 kb), Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, National Marine Fisheries Service - Southeast Region, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary permit, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Regulations, 15 CFR Parts 922, 929, and 937, Amendment to Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Regulations Revising the Boundary of the Northernmost Area To Be Avoided Off the Coast of Florid, Regulation to Establish a No Discharge Zone for State Waters within the Boundary of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Changes to the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Regulations; Technical Corrections and Minor Substantive Changes, Marine Sanitation Device Discharge Regulations for the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, 15 CFR Part 922, Tortugas Ecological Reserve Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement/Final Supplemental Management Plan, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Regulations – Establishment of Tortugas Ecological Reserve, 15 CFR Part 922, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Regulations – Anchoring on Tortugas Bank, 15 CFR Part 922, Monroe County Recreational Lobster Harvesting Regulations, A Guide to Closed Areas for Commercial Spiny Lobster Trap Fishing, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 1990. A copy of the regulations can also be obtained by calling any sanctuary office. Catch and release fishing by trolling is allowed in Conch Reef, Alligator Reef, Sombrero Reef, and Sand Key SPAs only. Discharging any matter except cooling water or engine exhaust. Contact the appropriate agencies or organizations directly for more information on these laws. Vessels may only enter if they remain in continuous transit with fishing gear stowed (diving and snorkeling are prohibited). Anchoring on living or dead coral or any attached organism. Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary visitors are invited to dive, swim, snorkel, or fish; however, rules and regulations are in place to make sure that these activities only happen in ways – and at places – that are not harmful to sanctuary resources. (NOAA Photo Library.) Diving or snorkeling without a dive flag. Coral bleaching, coral diseases, and protected areas in the Florida Keys Report to The Nature Conservancy, October 19, 2012 . Operating a vessel at more than 4 knots/no wake within 100 yards of a “divers down” flag. And the whole reef system is protected by the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Numerous rodents such as the endangered Key Largo woodrat, and the Lower Keys marsh rabbit along with opossum, skunk, and mink struggle to survive. Moving, removing, taking, injuring, touching, breaking, cutting or possessing coral or live rock. Wildlife Management Areas are marked by white and orange information/regulatory cylindrical spar buoys and signs. 62, No. R. van Woesik & S. Burman . Planning Your Visit. Taking or possessing protected wildlife. SPAs encompass discrete, biologically important areas that help sustain critical marine species and habitats. marine life. Fishing by any means; removing, harvesting, or possessing any marine life. Discharging or depositing treated or untreated sewage from marine sanitation devices, trash, and other materials. motor or engine may access a “no-motor” zone only through the use of Having a vessel anchored on living coral in water less than 40 feet deep when the bottom can be seen. Marine zoning is designed to protect and preserve sensitive parts of the ecosystem while allowing activities that are compatible with resource protection. A group of boaters out of Naples, Florida, were caught fishing in a federally protected no-take zone in waters of Dry Tortugas, said fish and wildilfe police. SPAs have mooring buoys for boaters to use in order to prevent anchor damage to corals. Crocodile – The American Crocodile is a threatened species and, though rarely seen in the lower Florida Keys & Key West, is protected by state and federal law. Damaging or removing markers, mooring buoys, scientific equipment, boundary buoys, and trap buoys. Mangroves provide protected nursery areas for fishes, crustaceans and shellfish. “no-motor” zone:  prohibited from using internal combustion For visitors to the Florida Keys, COVID-19 protocols remain in place. Anchoring on living or dead coral, or any attached organism. If you've gone fishing in central California, diving in the Florida Keys, camping in Acadia, swimming in Cape Cod, snorkeling in the Virgin Islands, birding in a Gulf Coast wetland, hiking along the Olympic Coast, or boating in Thunder Bay, you've probably been one of thousands of visitors to a marine protected area. For the full text of sanctuary regulations, see 15 CFR 922 Subpart P. Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary permit, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It had other problems Operating a vessel in such a manner as to strike or otherwise injure coral, seagrass, or other immobile organisms attached to the seabed, or cause prop scarring. The marine zoning plan for the Sanctuary includes five types of zones with varying levels of protection: Ecological Reserves, Sanctuary Preservation Areas, Wildlife Management Areas, Existing Management Areas, and Special-use Areas. There are many unique, distinctive plant and animal species here, both native and imported, and the waters surrounding the Keys are all part of a protected area called the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Operating a personal watercraft, operating an airboat, or water skiing. Do not hunt, trap, harvest, or harm any birds. Anchoring on living or dead coral or any attached organism. Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is one of the largest marine protected areas in the United States, encompassing 2,896 square nautical miles (9,933 square kilometers). However, commercial taking of spiny lobster and stone crab by trap and recreational taking of spiny lobster by hand or hand gear consistent with applicable state and federal fishery regulations are allowed. A road trip through the Florida Keys is its own reward: a 113-mile journey across islands with some of the most jaw-droppingly gorgeous scenery you’ll ever lay eyes on. Six percent of the sanctuary consists of fully protected zones. Operating a vessel in such a manner which endangers life, limb, marine resources, or property.