Boat permits are required for all vessels entering in the park before any recreational activity. Even if you are not planning on visiting Fort Jefferson, a boat permit must be filed on Garden Key. 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 must anchor within 1 nautical mile of Garden Key on sandy bottom in the Historic Use Area (HUA).