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Key Largo National Marine Sanctuary

The Key Largo National Marine Sanctuary takes over where the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park fell short after a 1974 ruling by the Supreme Court that limited Florida's ability to protect its ocean waters to three miles out from shore. This National Sanctuary covers lots of the popular diving reefs that were suddenly unprotected after the ruling. In addition, it includes an extra buffer zone out to 300-foot depth, to further protect the coral reef. Now, between these two adjacent preserves, the State Park and the National Sanctuary, the reefs of Key Largo are fully protected, covering everything from Molasses reef to Broad Creek..

The sanctuary and the park have worked together to provide public services such as:

  • mooring buoys
  • underwater photo contests
  • patrols
  • reef reports
  • videos
  • reserach & monitoring
  • educational programs

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