Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration, Florida.

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary supports one of the most diverse assemblages of underwater plants and animals in North America. Although best known for is coral reefs, the shallow nearshore waters contain interconnecting and interdependent marine habitats that include fringing mangroves, seagrass meadows, hardbottom regions, patch reefs, and bank reefs. This complex marine ecosystem is the foundation for the tourism and commercial fishing based economies that are so important to Florida. Visitors to the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary can enjoy diving, snorkeling and kayaking.

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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 Dry Tortugas, excluding Dry Tortugas National Park. The shoreward boundary of the sanctuary is the mean high-water mark, essentially meaning that once you set foot in Keys waters, you have entered the sanctuary.

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