Everglades National Park reopens Frank Key Channel
Contact: Linda Friar, 304-242-7714
Homestead Florida. Everglades National Park Superintendent, Dan Kimball, announced today the reopening of Frank Key Channel in Florida Bay to the public. The closure buoys have been replaced with no wake signs. Carl Ross Key will remain closed to the public until further notice.
In a continuing effort to protect Roseate Spoonbills in Florida Bay, Everglades National Park closed Frank Key Channel and Carl Ross Key to public entry during the winter nesting season beginning December 23, 2006. These temporary closures have provided added protection for two of Florida Bay’s most significant spoonbill colonies.
Spoonbill nesting in Florida Bay has been threatened by residual damage from Hurricane Wilma, human activity, and unnatural predation. Hurricane Wilma in 2005 tore apart Carl Ross Key, a popular park campsite, and pruned the protective tree cover on nearby Sandy and Frank Keys, home to two major spoonbill nesting colonies. With less protective foliage nesting spoonbills can be easily spooked by passing boats and other human activity, prompting them to leave their nests and expose their young to predator crows.
Both Sandy Key and Frank Key have been permanently closed to public entry for more than 20 years to protect these nesting colonies.
As the winter nesting season comes to a close, Everglades National Park has reopened the channel running along the west end of Frank Key that was closed to protect the Frank Key colony. Carl Ross Key remains closed to public entry, pending additional assessments that are presently being carried out.
The Park is working with local anglers and boaters to help inform the public and visitors of the reopening of the channel and continued closures. For additional information contact the Chief Ranger, Everglades National Park at 305-242-7730.