Fish and Wildlife Service, Florida.
Key West National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt as a preserve and breeding ground for native birds and other wildlife. This refuge was the first established in the Florida Keys and one of the earliest refuges in the United States. The refuge encompasses more than 200,000 acres with only 2,000 acres of land. The area is home to more than 250 species of birds and is important for sea turtle nesting. The islands are predominately mangrove with a few beaches and salt ponds.
The refuge is accessible only by boat. However, the refuge is administered as part of the National Key Deer Refuge headquartered on Big Pine Key, which is 100- miles south of Miami. The visitor center is located 1/4-mile north of the traffic light on Key Deer Boulevard in the Big Pine Key Shopping Plaza. The visitor center can be reached at 305-872-0774.