Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

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Chapter 2. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Present briefly the proposed area and its principal characteristics, and specify the objectives that motivated its creation :

The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary extends approximately 220 miles southwest from the southern tip of the Florida peninsula. Located adjacent to the Keys’ land mass are spectacular, unique, and nationally significant marine environments, including seagrass meadows, mangrove islands, and extensive living coral reefs. These support rich biological communities possessing extensive conservation, recreational, commercial, ecological, historical, research, educational, and aesthetic values that give this area special national significance.

They are the marine equivalent of tropical rain forests, in that they support high levels of biological diversity, are fragile and easily susceptible to damage from human activities, and possess high value to humans if properly conserved. The marine environment of the Florida Keys supports over 6,000 species of plants, fishes, and invertebrates, including the Nation’s only coral reef that lies adjacent to the continent, and one of the largest seagrass communities in this hemisphere. Attracted by this natural diversity and tropical climate, approximately four million tourists visit the Keys annually, where they participate primarily in water-related sports such as fishing, diving, boating, and other activities.

Explain why the proposed area should be proposed for inclusion in the SPAW list

EXPECTED DEVELOPMENT AND TRENDS OF THREATS TO AND PRESSURES UPON THE AREA
Deal briefly in succession with:
- The demographic development in and around the site
- The development of economic activities (other than tourism and recreation) within the area
- The development of local demand on tourism and recreation
- The development of tourism pressure on the area

According to you, to which Criteria it conforms (Guidelines and Criteria B Paragraph 2)

Conservation value
Critical habitats

Cultural and socio-economic criterias

Productivity
Socio-economic benefits