This is the largest marine park in the National Park System. Biscayne National Park manages a portion of the only living coral reef in the continental U.S. This is the third largest barrier reef tract in the world. The coral reef is suffering from warming waters, sedimentation, and nitrogen (nutrient) pollution. Boat strikes, anchoring and overfishing also harms coral reefs.
Recognizing the dire condition of coral reefs, the NPS has completed the General Management Plan that calls for creation of Biscayne Marine Reserve to protect 30% of the coral reef within the park. The Biscayne Marine Reserve would close only 6% of the entire park to fishing while providing more spectacular coral reef experiences for everyone else.
“Although the marine reserve only covers a small portion of the park, it will have a big impact on the health of Biscayne,” said Caroline McLaughlin, Biscayne program analyst for the National Parks Conservation Association. “Marine reserves are one of the best, most effective ways to protect the park’s ailing reefs and to help bring more fish back to Florida, increasing fish size, diversity, and abundance. This decision has been a long time coming and we are thrilled that after more than 15 years of advocating for protection for our coral reefs, this day has finally come.” Caroline spoke with Rob on Moir’s Environmental Dialogues internet talk radio.
Industry is calling on Congress to strike out the Marine Reserve when implementing the General Management Plan for Biscayne National Park.
Take a moment to tell your Representative why you care about the coral reef in Biscayne National Park. We will assemble signers by district and deliver complete petitions to Washington.