Dry Tortugas National Park Mooring Balls in Place for Visitor Use
Contact: General Park Information, 305-242-7700
Contact: Media Contact - Linda Friar, 305-242-7714
Superintendent Dan Kimball announced today that all mooring balls within the Research Natural Area (RNA) at Dry Tortugas National Park are now operational.
Permits are required for all vessels in the park, including the RNA. Boating permits apply to all recreational vessels including kayaks and dinghies, vessels operating under a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA), and commercial fishing vessels. The only vessels exempt from this rule are those transiting the area without interruption.
Vessels may only anchor overnight on sandy bottom within one nautical mile of the Garden Key Harbor Light. Within the RNA vessels may use one of the six recreational mooring buoys for day use only.
All visitors wanting to take vessels into the Research Natural Area (RNA) must have a permit and use one of the six mooring balls located in this area. Vessels are limited to 2 hours at a time on a mooring buoy. Vessels are no longer allowed to anchor within the area marked as the Research Natural Area.
Mooring Buoy Locations and Approved Activities:
RNAMB1/Windjammer: N24° 37.461 W82° 56.564
RNAMB3:/Davis Rock N24° 41.208 W82° 54.450
RNAMB4/Texas Rock: N24° 40.814 W82° 53.120
RNAB5 (Off Ramp) N24°40.166 W082°54.510
LMBSE (Loggerhead SE) N24°37.832 W082°55.188
MBSW (Loggerhead SW) N24°37.802 W082°55.542
Boating Permits are free and can be obtained: in person or on the water.
In Person: A visitor can obtain a permit in person at the Garden Key Visitor Center or Park Headquarters Office. Visitors will also receive information regarding the Research Natural Area as well as park rules and regulations
On the Water: Patrol rangers while contacting vessels in the park will check vessels for the Boating Permit. If a vessel does not have a permit a ranger will fill out the permit and issue it on the spot. The ranger will direct the visitor the sources available to obtain future permits, permit, either contact a park ranger in person on Garden Key, on Marine VHF 16, or call 305-224-4255.
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.