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    Everglades

    National Park Florida

Everglades National Park Providing Free Florida Bay Boating DVD

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Date: April 28, 2008
Contact: Linda Friar, 305-242-7714

Key Largo, Florida: Everglades National Park has produced a free, 12-minute educational DVD for Florida Bay boaters. The video, produced with funding from the South Florida National Parks Trust provides boating rules and advice from fishing guides and park rangers who’ve navigated the tricky maze of shallow Bay waters for decades. Essential concepts covered include reading the water, boat handling techniques, and navigation. The video is based on information in the Florida Bay Map & Guide, a publication distributed free of charge at South Florida and Florida Keys tackle shops, marine stores, and marinas.

"Florida Bay poses many challenges for the novice boater," says Superintendent Dan Kimball, "every year park rangers investigate 80-90 boat groundings in the park, often with significant damage to the marine resources. We encourage visitors to enjoy their national park and experience the many wonders of Florida Bay and to learn about the navigational challenges here so that they won't damage their boats or the fragile natural resources."

The park has created this DVD on boating in Florida Bay as an information tool that will help boaters in the area enjoy the maginficence of Florida Bay safely. Florida Bay is made up of a series of shallow basins separated by seagrass-covered mud just below the water’s surface. Animals and boaters pass from basin to basin in skinny, winding "passes" or channels through the banks. Knowing how to read the water and trim an engine are essential to successful navigation of Florida Bay.

Businesses are encouraged to show the Florida Bay Map & Guide DVD to their customers boating in the backcountry of Florida Bay. Any business wishing provide free copies of the DVD to their customers can call 305.852.0324 x0338 or x0316. The public can request a free DVD (or the paper brochure) by calling the same number or by visiting the Park’s website: http://www.nps.gov/ever/planyourvisit/boating.htm, then visiting the Florida Bay section.

Photos of seagrass damage due to boats in unfamiliar shallow waters are available by request. Please contact Cara Cooper at 305-852-0324 x 0338.

-EVER-

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