Protecting the Reefs: A Look at the Latest Sanctuaries in the Florida Keys

The Florida Keys are home to some of the most beautiful and diverse coral reefs in the world, providing a home for countless marine species and attracting millions of visitors annually. In an effort to protect these vital ecosystems, a number of sanctuaries have been established in the Keys to safeguard the reefs and preserve them for future generations. Here's a closer look at some of the latest sanctuaries in the Florida Keys and their important work.

  1. The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary: Established in 1990, the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is a 2,800-square-mile protected area that encompasses the entire Florida Keys chain. The sanctuary, managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is home to a wide range of marine life, including fish, coral, and invertebrates, and is a popular destination for diving, snorkeling, and other water-based activities. The sanctuary protects reefs and marine life through various programs and initiatives, including research, conservation, and education.

  2. The Key West National Wildlife Refuge: Established in 1908, the Key West National Wildlife Refuge is a 2,000-acre protected area that includes a number of reefs, seagrass beds, and mangrove forests. The refuge, managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, is home to a wide range of species, including fish, birds, and reptiles, and is a popular destination for birdwatching, and fishing.