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Contact: General Park Information:, 305-242-7700
Contact: Mary Plumb, Public Affairs Officer (Acting), 305-242-7714
HOMESTEAD, Florida - Everglades National Park Superintendent Dan Kimball, announced today the reopening of Frank Key Channel in Florida Bay to the public. The closure buoys in Frank Key Channel have been replaced with no wake signs.
In a continuing effort to protect Roseate Spoonbills in Florida Bay, Everglades National Park closed Frank Key Channel and Carl Ross Key to public entry during the winter nesting season, beginning December 23, 2006. These temporary closures have provided added protection for two of Florida Bay's most significant spoonbill colonies.
Spoonbill nesting in Florida Bay has been threatened by residual damage from Hurricane Wilma, human activity, and unnatural predation. Hurricane Wilma in 2005 tore apart Carl Ross Key, a popular park campsite, and pruned the protective tree cover on nearby Sandy and Frank Keys, home to two major spoonbill nesting colonies. With less protective foliage nesting spoonbills can be easily spooked by passing boats and other human activity, prompting them to leave their nests and expose their young to predator crows.
Both Sandy Key and Frank Key have been permanently closed to public entry for more than 20 years to protect these nesting colonies.
As the winter nesting season comes to a close, Everglades National Park has reopened the channel running along the west end of Frank Key that was closed to protect the Frank Key colony. Carl Ross Key will be reopened as soon as the tide allows suitable access to remove the closure sign.
The Park is working with local anglers and boaters to help inform the public and visitors of the reopening of the channel and continued closures.
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more atwww.nps.gov.