• Purple, yellow, gold and orange sponges and soft corals wave against a turquioise sea.

    Biscayne

    National Park Florida

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  • Boat Tours, Paddle-craft Rentals and Select Conveniences Temporarily Unavailable

    Glass-bottom, snorkel, diving and island boat tours, and rentals for canoes and other paddle-craft, are temporarily unavailable. The park is working to resolve the issue as soon as possible and regrets the inconvenience. Limited snack items are available.

Biscayne BioBlitz

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Date: April 14, 2010
Contact: Carol Seitz, (202) 775-6186
Contact: Linda Friar, (305) 242-7714

Grab your gear and join the National Park Service and the National Geographic Society at the Biscayne BioBlitz. On April 30 and May 1, teams of scientists, naturalists, community leaders, students, and the public will join forces to discover and inventory every living plant and creature in and out of the water at Biscayne National Park.

This free, two-day, round-the-clock event is part scientific endeavor, part festival and part outdoor classroom. The BioBlitz’s goals are to record as many living organisms in the park as possible in 24 hours, to increase awareness of the diverse species found in Miami’s closest national park and to better understand how to protect the natural environment in the future.

Sylvia Earle, renowned oceanographer and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, and Kenny Broad, a National Geographic Emerging Explorer and director of the University of Miami’s Leonard and Jayne Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy, are among the participating scientists.

The “Celebrate Biodiversity Festival” will follow the species count on May 1, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Highlights of the festival include family activities, live music, demonstrations, displays, presentations and opportunities to talk with scientists and see them in action. The “Endangered World” art exhibition, with Miami artist Xavier Cortada, will also be featured at the festival.

“Explorers” of all ages are invited. Activities will be ongoing throughout the two-day event at the main “base camp” located at Biscayne National Park’s Dante Fascell Visitor Center and at a smaller “base camp” on Elliott Key. Advance registration is required to reserve a spot on a snorkeling boat or “ferry” to Elliott Key, where many of the inventories will take place. No registration is needed to participate in the base camp activities or for the festival, both of which will be held at Biscayne’s Visitor Center complex. All parking for the event will be off-site, with shuttle transportation provided. To learn more about the Biscayne BioBlitz or to register, visit the National Geographic website or call (800) 638-6400 ext. 6186.

Did You Know?

Semaphore pricklypear cactus

In 2001, scientists taking a plant inventory in Biscayne National Park discovered a population of semaphore pricklypear cactus, one of the world's rarest plants. Previously known as only 9 plants in the lower Florida Keys, the new population numbered 570 plants...over 60 times the previous count.