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Contact: Linda Friar, 305-242-771
Superintendent Dan Kimball announced today that Carl Ross Key will re-open for day-use, from sunrise to sunset. In 2006, Carl Ross Key was re-designated a day-use only area with annual seasonal closures from October 15 to April 15. This change was necessary because of the impacts on the island from the 2005 hurricane season. Carl Ross Key sustained a significant loss of land making both overnight camping and associated waste disposal infeasible. As such, Carl Ross Key was closed to overnight camping.
From October 15 to April 15 each year, Carl Ross Key is closed due to its proximity to Sandy Key. Sandy Key, located to the immediate south of Carl Ross Key, is a major bird rookery. In order to preserve and protect the rookery, Sandy Key is closed to visitor access. Park staff will continue to monitor the impacts that day-use of Carl Ross Key has on Sandy Key to determine if there are any adverse impacts on the rookeries.
Everglades National Park is planning to provide a new camping opportunity in western Florida Bay. A paddler-friendly chickee will be constructed: the new chickee will enhance Florida Bay wilderness camping opportunities for paddlers beginning their trip from Flamingo or the Keys. When this chickee is completed the public will be notified and the information will be available on the park website at www.nps.gov/ever.Visitors can find camping information for other locations in the park at this website or by contacting the main park number 305-242-7700 between 8:30 AM and 4:30PM.