A truck backs in a boat at the Plantation Yacht Harbor Marina at Founders Park.

Two public boat ramps in residential neighborhoods in Islamorada will be closed off throughout the two-day lobster mini-season. 

Per a press release by the village of Islamorada, the ramps at East Ridge Road and Blackwood Drive will be blocked off to boat launching beginning at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, July 26. The two ramps, which don’t have any boat trailer parking, will remain closed until 8 a.m. on Friday, July 27. Lobster mini-season kicks off at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, July 27 and ends at midnight on Thursday, July 28.

Barriers will be placed to close the ramps to boats, but they will remain open to kayaks and paddleboards. 

Boat ramp closures began in 2021 to halt activity at the small, neighborhood ramps. Islamorada village council members ordered the closures during the busy weekends, like the Fourth of July and lobster sport season, to minimize negative impacts to village residents. 

Plantation Yacht Harbor Marina at Founders Park will be open to those looking to launch their boat. The ramp opens at 8 a.m. and closes at 6 p.m. Non-resident fees are $20 each way ($40 round trip.) When the trailer parking lot is full, restrictions will apply.

Islamorada village officials say visitors are also encouraged to support the local economy by using private marina facilities. The water access point at Indian Key remains closed.

In Islamorada, no snorkeling or diving is allowed within 300 feet of improved residential or commercial shoreline, or any man-made or private canal or public and private marinas. This rule applies during the three days preceding lobster mini-season, Wednesday, July 27 and Thursday, July 28 and the first five days of regular lobster season.

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Jim McCarthy is a Western New Yorkers who escaped the snow and frigid temperatures for warm living by the water. A former crime & court reporter and city editor for two Western New York newspapers, Jim has been honing his craft since he graduated from St. Bonaventure University in 2014. In his 3-plus years in the Keys, Jim has enjoyed connecting with the community. “One of my college professors would always preach to be curious,” he said. “Behind every person is a story that’s unique to them, and one worth telling. As writers, we are the ones who paint the pictures in the readers minds of the emotions, the struggles and the triumphs.” Jim is past president of the Key Largo Sunset Rotary Club, which is composed of energetic members who serve the community’s youth and older populations. Jim is a sports fanatic who loves to watch football, mixed martial arts and golf. He loves to hit the links and play some softball with his Make A Play team. He also enjoys time with family (he's expecting a little boy in October).