The vast, unspoiled panorama of Everglades National Park and the pristine marine environment of Dry Tortugas National Park (with historic Fort Jefferson) offer photographers and filmmakers unique opportunities for capturing the natural world on film. However, the Congressional acts establishing these parks places a two-fold responsibility upon the National Park Service to protect the natural and cultural resources and to provide for the visitors' enjoyment of them.
While commercial filming operations are permitted, there are restraints imposed upon these activities. Under P.L. 106-206 all commercial filming requires a permit and is subject to a location fee and cost recovery.
Commercial filming is defined as digital or film recording of a visual image or sound recording by a person, business, or other entity for a market audience, such as a documentary, television or feature film, news segment (not breaking news) advertisement, or similar project.
Prior approval from the Superintendent, in the form of a film permit, is required before any work can commence. All filming activities must be in compliance with the general regulations for Everglades National Park and Dry Tortugas National Park. Filming activities are coordinated through the Chief Ranger’s Office at Everglades National Park, 40001 State Road 9336, Homestead, Florida 33034-6733 (telephone 305-242-7744 or 305-242-7730). You may contact the Film Permit officer through this e-mail link if you have questions.
To minimize delays, applications for filming permits should be submitted at least two weeks in advance. The application form is available in the weblink below and may be faxed to (305) 242-7716.
Did You Know?
Fort Jefferson served for a time as a remote prison facility. One of its most famous inmates was none other than Dr. Samuel Mudd, who set the leg of John Wilkes Booth following the assassination of President Lincoln. Mudd was incarcerated on the Dry Tortugas for only four years, from 1865 to 1869.