The extensive offshore coral reefs (patch, offshore bank or bank barrier, transitional and deep reefs), fringing mangroves, seagrass meadows, and hard-bottom areas, are protected as the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary; the third largest marine protected area in the USA. These resources are the basis for the economically important commercial fishing and tourism located in south Florida, which attracts more than 4 million visitors who spend in excess of 14 million visitor-days per year. Most are snorkelers and scuba divers, as well as recreational fishers and water sports enthusiasts. Others come to the Keys to relax and enjoy the tropical climate of a unique destination. The waters surrounding most of the 1700 islands of the Florida Reef Tract (here called the Florida Keys), which are arranged in a 320 km (220 mile) arc, were designated a national marine sanctuary in 1990 to stem mounting threats to the health and ecological future of the coral reef ecosystem. More than 60 % of the Sanctuary (9800 km; 2900 square nautical miles) is in State of Florida waters, and the Sanctuary is managed through a co-trustee managemen
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.