October 3, 2007
Contact: Linda Friar
Dry Tortugas National Park is accepting applications for commercial use authorizations from individuals and companies interested in providing authorized visitor services in the park. Commercial use authorizations are a type of permit issued by the National Park Service for business or commercial services that begin and end outside park boundaries.
A total of 30 commercial use authorizations will be awarded for approved activities. These approved activities include guide fishing, dive and snorkel trips, wildlife tours, and sailing charters. The 30 permits reflect the intent of the park’s approved General Management Plan Amendment to use commercial services to expand and direct opportunities for visitor use. There will be commercial use authorizations awarded for up to 11 guide fishing vessels, 9 dive and snorkel operations, 8 wildlife viewing operations, and 2 sailing charters.
When the National Park Service began the process to develop a General Management Plan Amendment for Dry Tortugas National Park, a moratorium was placed on the issuance of new commercial use authorizations until the plan was completed. The plan was completed in 2002 and set a limit of 30 commercial use authorizations. Now that the plan is complete, additional opportunities exist for people or businesses that want to do business in Dry Tortugas National Park.
Businesses interested in offering more than one type of activity must submit a permit application package for each activity. Since each commercial use authorization will only authorize the use of one vessel, businesses wanting to operate more than one vessel will need to submit multiple applications
The new commercial use authorizations which will be issued in January 2008 will be valid through December 31, 2009. Applications must be mailed to the Chief Ranger’s Office of Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks, 40001 State Road 9336, Homestead, FL 33034 and be received by November 30, 2007.
For further information or to request an application package, please contact Skaidra Kempkowski, Permit Examiner for Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks at 305/242-7732. Application packages can be obtained online at www.nps.gov/DRTO .