Dry Tortugas National Park (DTNP)

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Chapter 6. MANAGEMENT

f - Clarify if some species/habitats listed in section III are the subject of more management/recovery/protection measures than others

Habitats


Marine / costal / terrestrial ecosystems Management measures Protection measures Recovery measures Comments/description of measures
Mangroves no no no
Coral no no no
Sea grass beds no no no
Wetlands no no no
Forests no no no
Others no no no

Flora


Species from SPAW Annex 3 present in your area Management measures Protection measures Recovery measures Comments/description of measures
Combretaceae: Conocarpus erectus no no no
Compositae : Laguncularia racemosa no no no
Rhizophoraceae: Rhizophora mangle no no no
Verbenaceae: Avicennia germinans no no no

Fauna


Species from SPAW Annex 2 present in your area Management measures Protection measures Recovery measures Comments/description of measures
Reptiles: Caretta caretta yes yes no listed under U.S. Endangered Species Act in consultation with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Reptiles: Chelonia mydas yes yes no listed under U.S. Endangered Species Act in consultation with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Reptiles: Eretmochelys imbricata no no no
Reptiles: Lepidochelys kempii no no no
Reptiles: Dermochelys coriacea no no no

g - Describe how the protected area is integrated within the country’s larger planning framework (if applicable)

DTNP is a member site of the National System of Marine Protected Areas under the Framework established by U.S. Department of the Interior and NOAA and Executive Order 13158 on Marine Protected Areas.

h - Zoning, if applicable, and the basic regulations applied to the zones (attach in Annex a copy of the zoning map)

Name Basic regulation applied to the zone
Historic Preservation and Adaptive Use (HAU) This zone preserves and interprets the rich cultural and architectural history of Fort Jefferson, and provides necessary facilities to support a wide range of visitor activities.
Natural/Cultural Management actions are devoted to protecting resources, minimizing or preventing impacts from visitor use and ensuring visitor safety, and restoring disturbed or damaged areas. Most marine recreational uses are allowed with regulations governing these activities. Recreational fishing regulations are generally consistent with State of Florida fisheries management regulations for species bag and size limits.
Research Natural Area (RNA) This zone protects and restores physical structure and ecological integrity of habitats of outstanding value, including coral reefs, seagrass beds, and island habitats with marine and terrestrial species described in III c. Fishing and anchoring are prohibited. Nonconsumptive recreational uses are allowed and regulated. The area is set aside and managed for non-manipulative research to evaluate the response of resources to protection under an adaptive management framework. In 2007, the National Park Service (NPS) and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) developed a science plan, Assessing the Conservation Efficacy of the Dry Tortugas National Park Research Natural Area, specifically to assess the effectiveness of the 46 sq. mi zone. See Implementing the Dry Tortugas National Park Research Natural Area Science Plan: The 5-Year Report 2012 http://www.nps.gov/ever/naturescience/upload/DRTORNA5YrFINALCompl ete04092012LoRes.pdf
Special Protection Zones Within the HAU are two areas of increased protection that are closed to the public: the Nurse Shark Special Protection Zone (SPZ) and the Coral Special Protection Zone (SPZ). The Nurse Shark SPZ is a shark-mating site and contains a high number of pregnant females during mating season. The Coral SPZ is an area that contains a large portion of the park’s rare and threatened corals, including elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata), staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis), and the elkhorn-staghorn hybrid (Acropora prolifera).
Comments, if necessary

Four management zones prescribe specific resource conditions, protections, and appropriate visitor experiences to be achieved in each particular area of DTNP. Each zone specifies physical, biological, and social conditions, types and levels of visitor use, and management actions deemed appropriate to support these conditions and uses. The zones are:

1) Historic Preservation and Adaptive Use (HAU)– This zone preserves and interprets the rich cultural and architectural history of Fort Jefferson, and provides necessary facilities to support a wide range of visitor activities.

2) Natural/Cultural – Management actions are devoted to protecting resources, minimizing or preventing impacts from visitor use and ensuring visitor safety, and restoring disturbed or damaged areas. Most marine recreational uses are allowed with regulations governing these activities. Recreational fishing regulations are generally consistent with State of Florida fisheries management regulations for species bag and size limits.

3) Research Natural Area (RNA) – This zone protects and restores physical structure and ecological integrity of habitats of outstanding value, including coral reefs, seagrass beds, and island habitats with marine and terrestrial species described in III c. Fishing and anchoring are prohibited. Nonconsumptive recreational uses are allowed and regulated. The area is set aside and managed for non-manipulative research to evaluate the response of resources to protection under an adaptive management framework. In 2007, the National Park Service (NPS) and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) developed a science plan, Assessing the Conservation Efficacy of the Dry Tortugas National Park Research Natural Area, specifically to assess the effectiveness of the 46 sq. mi zone. See Implementing the Dry Tortugas National Park Research Natural Area Science Plan: The 5-Year Report 2012 http://www.nps.gov/ever/naturescience/upload/DRTORNA5YrFINALCompl ete04092012LoRes.pdf

4) Special Protection Zones – Within the HAU are two areas of increased protection that are closed to the public: the Nurse Shark Special Protection Zone (SPZ) and the Coral Special Protection Zone (SPZ). The Nurse Shark SPZ is a shark-mating site and contains a high number of pregnant females during mating season. The Coral SPZ is an area that contains a large portion of the park’s rare and threatened corals, including elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata), staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis), and the elkhorn-staghorn hybrid (Acropora prolifera).

i - Enforcement measures and policies

Special regulation to implement provisions and management zones under the GMP, including the RNA, were published in Code of Federal Regulations in 2007 at 36 CFR Part 7. Park Rangers are commissioned law enforcement officers empowered to enforce laws and regulations governing DTNP.

j - International status and dates of designation (e.g. Biosphere Reserve, Ramsar Site, Significant Bird Area, etc.)

International status Date of designation
Biosphere reserve no
Ramsar site no
Significant bird area no
World heritage site (UNESCO) no
Others: no

k - Site’s contribution to local sustainable development measures or related plans

DTNP is a separate MPA located entirely within the boundary of NOAA Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The Tortugas Ecological Reserve in the Sanctuary is a 518-km2 (200 mi2) no-take marine area consisting of two non-contiguous sections: Tortugas North Ecological Reserve (TNER) and Tortugas South Ecological Reserve (TSER). The TNER is adjacent to DTNP and the TSER is southwest of DTNP. The goal of the reserve is to protect large contiguous and diverse habitats to preserve biological diversity, maintain resource quality, and to replenish surrounding areas. The DTNP RNA adds 119 km2 (46 mi2) no-take area of shallow coral reef and seagrass habitats with high levels of biological connectivity with both the TSER and TNER. NPS collaborates with NOAA and other state, federal and academic partners with management roles and scholarly interests in scientific study of the region

l - Available management resources for the area

Ressources How many/how much Comments/description
Human ressources Permanent staff 12 Staff consists of a site manager and 12 permanent employees who perform various functions and duties including natural and cultural resource management, education and interpretation, facilities maintenance, and enforcement. Seasonal employees and volunteers also assist park staff with these functions.
Volunteers
Partners
Physical ressources Equipments Boats, fuel storage, and water and waste treatment plants. A 110-foot vessel. Fort Jefferson occupies Garden Key along with facilities and infrastructure including lighthouses and other historic structures, campgrounds, residential housing, offices, visitor center, docks, boats, fuel storage, and water and waste treatment plants. A 110-foot vessel supplies the park and provides a platform for marine research and maintenance activities.
Infrastructures Lighthouses and other historic structures, campgrounds, residential housing, offices, visitor center,docks.
Financial ressources Present sources of funding 2012 budget: $1.764 million U.S. The Park operational budget is subject to annual appropriations by U.S. Congress as part of the Operations of the National Park System under the U.S. Department of the Interior. 2012 budget: $1.764 million U.S.
Sources expected in the future NA
Annual budget (USD) 1764000

Conclusion Describe how the management framework outlined above is adequate to achieve the ecological and socio-economic objectives that were established for the site (Guidelines and Criteria Section C/V).

The management and operations of DTNP are aligned to achieve NPS Management Policies and park level mandates to:

· Prevent impairment of park resources and values;

· Provide best available scientific information for making decisions and for exercising key authorities;

· Emphasize consultation and cooperation with local/state/tribal/federal entities;

· Utilize best contemporary business practices and sustainability;

· Provide for appropriate use and enjoyment of park resources, including education and interpretation

· Pass on to future generations natural, cultural, and physical resources that meet desired conditions better than they do today, along with improved opportunities for enjoyment.