NEW MARKER BUOYS IN UPPER KEYS AIM TO PROTECT SEAGRASS & CORAL

Whale Harbor no motor zone. MONROE COUNTY/Contributed

Monroe County Office of Marine Resources replaced 80 regulatory marker buoys at the Whale Harbor Channel “Flats” in Islamorada and 11 regulatory marker buoys at Harry Harris Park in Tavernier. 

Both regulatory No Motor Zones areas were established in 2003. Within a No Motor Zone, all vessels equipped with internal combustion motors (e.g., gasoline or diesel motors) for propulsion must turn off the internal combustion motor and, if possible, tilt or raise the internal combustion motor out of the water.

Harry Harris no motor zone. MONROE COUNTY/Contributed

This project was funded in part through a grant awarded to Monroe County by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Florida Boating Improvement Program (FBIP). Replacement of these waterway markers improves boater safety by increasing marker visibility and understanding of waterway regulations, promotes boating access, and protects shallow-water resources such as seagrass and coral.

The Monroe County Office of Marine Resources maintains more than 550 aids to navigation, encompassing 22 boating regulatory zones and 36 channel marker chains throughout the Florida Keys. The FBIP funding significantly augments Monroe County’s Boating Improvement Fund, which is generated from recreational vessel registrations and is used to maintain waterway marking infrastructure and other important boating and waterways services.

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