The park follows two basic sets of rules; (1) rules common to all national parks and (2) rules that apply only in Biscayne National Park. Among the rules that apply to all national parks, the 1916 National Park Service Organic Act is the foundation. It states that the mission of the National Park Service is to:
... conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects, and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.
Other rules that apply to all national parks include the Historic Sites Act, Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Water Act and more. See Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations for more information.
Rules specific to the park include its enabling legislation, which expresses the park purpose in broad and beautiful language. The park superintendent compendium covers detailed items such as closures, speed limits, camping, personal watercraft and unmanned aircraft. General management plans guide park actions in order to achieve the missions of resource preservation and protection.
Fishing within park boundaries is governed by the State of Florida. There are special park regulations concerning such issues as the collection of tropical ornamental fish. Learn more on the fishing and lobstering pages.
Protected corals, animals and habitats are found throughout Southeast Florida.
Please do not anchor in coral reefs.
Tips to avoid striking protected species including sea turtles, manatees, smalltooth sawfish and dolphins:
Keep a sharp lookout
Watch your speed, especially at night
Keep your distance
Any collision or injury to such protected species should be reported immediately to:
National Marine Fisheries Service – (800) 853-1964
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission hotline – (888) 404-3922
Local rescue organization
Federal or state agencies may impose a civil fine of $25,000, a criminal penalty of $50,000 and/or up to 1 year in jail for violating the Endangered Species Act or state statute by “taking" an endangered or threatened species or damaging sea grass and coral. “Taking” is defined as harassing, harming, pursuing, hunting, shooting, wounding, killing, trapping, capturing, collecting or attempting to engage in such conduct.