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Bird Checklist
This bulletin, which includes 299 species, builds upon the work of many renown naturalists and dates back to John Audubon's visit to the area in May of 1832.
Bird Key Wreck
Bird Key Wreck
The Bird Key Wreck, also known as the Brick Wreck, is located in shallow waters that are only 4-6 feet deep on Bird Key Bank. Be cautious! Strong currents sometimes sweep across Bird Key Bank. Dive flags are required for snorkeling or diving.
Bush Key
Though only 20 acres in size, Bush Key boasts an impressive assemblage of plants and animals not found elsewhere in the continental United States.
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Engineering Officers' Quarters
The Engineering Officers' Quarters are listed in the National Register of Historic Places as contributing buildings of Fort Jefferson and are historically significant properties.
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Self-Guided Tour
The story of Fort Jefferson lies with the maritime history of the Florida Straits and the excellent harborage afforded by the Dry Tortugas.


Junior Ranger Program
It's simple and fun! As you explore the park, fill out this handbook. When you are fished, bring it to the Bookstore.


Kayaking in the Dry Tortugas
A kayak can be a great way to explore the beauty of the Dry Tortugas. As you paddle you can look down through clear water at the diverse marine life that makes the seagrass beds and coral reefs their home. Quietly paddling and taking in the wonder of these islands where terns and frigatebirds nest offers an amazing experience. Before you begin your adventure there are many things you need to plan for and consider.

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Keeping Watch on Surging Seas
For centuries, a vast network of coastal lights—like the ones that still tower over Garden and Loggerhead Keys—safely guided mariners away from shoals, reefs, and other
potential hazards.

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Life on Loggerhead
The largest island in the Dry Tortugas, Loggerhead Key has seen many changes in its history. From a site of shipwrecks, to a world-class lighthouse installation, to a cutting-edge marine research laboratory, to a goal for Cuban refugees, Loggerhead Key is a part of the crossroads that are the Dry Tortugas.


Park Regulations
Welcome to Dry Tortugas National Park! This is a special place, and requires care from all who visit. The following is a summary of those regulations most important to park visitors.

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Preserving Fort Jefferson
Preserving Fort Jefferson provides a unique challenge to National Park Service employees and contractors. The remote marine environment, the logistical difficulties, and
the size of the fort conspire to make restoring the fort seem daunting.


Park Map and Guide
Almost 70 miles west of Key West, Florida, lies a cluster of seven islands, composed of coral reefs and sand, called the Dry Tortugas.

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Normas del parque nacional
¡Bienvenido al Parque Nacional Dry Tortugas! Nosotros compartimos el deber de proteger las frágiles características naturales e históricas de este ambiente espectacular. Si tiene dudas, comuníquese con los guardaparques. ¡Qué disfrute una experiencia agradable y segura!
Windjammer Wreck
The Windjammer Wreck, located less than a mile southwest of Loggerhead Key, has gone by several names over its long history.
Totten Shutters
Construction of Fort Jefferson began in 1846 and continued through the Civil War until the 1870's. Fort Jefferson is part of the Third System of seacoast fortifications defined by systematic and refined casemate details. One of the most important features of Fort Jefferson is the original iron Totten Shutters;a uniquely designed and highly engineered defense feature. Ultimately the Totten Shutter became the first time that armor became a standard element of harbor defenses as a result of extensive experimentation and exhaustive study by one man;Joseph G. Totten
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The Underground Railroad at Fort Jefferson
Shortly after midnight on July 10, 1847, seven enslaved African Americans fled Garden Key. Over the lengthy construction of Fort Jefferson, large numbers of enslaved workers were employed by the Army. The conditions were harsh, and the hopes of escape virtually nonexistent. Freedom seekers faced incredible odds. Surrounded by miles of open sea and treacherous reefs, perhaps no area in North America presented greater challenges to selfemancipation. Undaunted by these long odds, seven men set out to do the impossible

Lighthouses of Garden Key
Lighthouses serve as important navigational markers for mariners alerting them to areas of dangerous waters. Garden Key has been home to two different lighthouses.

Conserving and Remounting

Conserving and Remounting Fort Jefferson's Cannon
Fort Jefferson was armed with many different types of cannons throughout its history. Some of the largest were the Parrot and Rodman Cannons. Parrott rifled cannon weigh 26,780 lbs and were designed to fire 300 lb projectiles a range of over 5 miles. The 15-inch Rodman weighs over 50,000 lbs and could fire a 440-pound shell over 3 1/2 miles.

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Tortugas Harbor Light

In 1876 the Tortugas Harbor Light structure replaced the original 1825 lighthouse located on the parade ground of Fort Jefferson. Plans are underway to rehabilitate the deteriorating lighthouse.

Loggerhead Key Lighthouse

The Loggerhead Key Light Station is significant for its role in facilitating America’s ocean-borne commerce and as a notable example of a civilian public works project undertaken by Army engineers prior to the Civil War. Since it was first lit in 1858, it has helped to alert mariners to the dangerous waters and shallow reefs of the Dry Tortugas. It also marks the western end of the Florida Reef.

Last updated: June 18, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

40001 SR-9336
Homestead, FL 33034


305 242-7700

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