As many find themselves with more time at home than things to do, we wanted to alert you to two free, online boating courses available. They help boaters protect themselves, their vessels, and the unique marine environment around the Keys.

1. Everglades National Park Online Boater Education Course and Boater Permit

This required, but free course is available online in English and Spanish. Successful completion is required to obtain a Boater Certificate for Everglades National Park, which is required when boating in the park.

The program covers important safety information for boaters and specific considerations to protect the marine resources around Everglades National Park. The course outlines recommended boater behavior and equipment necessary for safely navigating Florida Bay, the Gulf Coast, the backcountry, and Ten Thousand Islands. 

The course consists of the lessons, assessment, and receipt of the park boating certificate. 

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2. Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Boater Education Course

This voluntary, free course is available online in English and Spanish. A completion certificate is provided at the end of the 30-to-45-minute course. 

The course gives a summary of the natural and historical resources within the 3,800 square mile protected area, provides strategies for responsible boating and stewardship, and highlights sanctuary rules and regulations. It is intended to complement existing safe boating courses.

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By the end of all this, we can all get back on the water together as safer, better-informed boaters.

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