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Contact: General Information, 305-242-7700
Contact: Program Manager Bridget Litten, 305-852-0324 X0316
Contact: Media Contact Linda Friar, 305-242-7714
HOMESTEAD, Florida: Are you thinking about heading out for a day of boating on Florida Bay? Is this your first time out on Florida Bay?
If the answer to either of these questions is "yes," we recommend picking up a copy of the recently updated Florida Bay Map & Guide. The new map and guide features articles on boating in the new Snake Bight Pole/Troll Zone, near Flamingo; handy advice on planning ahead for a great-and safe-day out on the bay; and the importance of seagrass to one of the world's largest estuaries.
Florida Bay's seagrasses provide essential habitat for many animals, including manatees, crocodiles, wading birds, more than 200 species of fish and 30 species of crustaceans. But because Florida Bay's waters are so shallow, these seagrass meadows often fall victim to propeller scarring and boat groundings. Each year, park rangers investigate about 100 groundings in the bay, while many more go unreported.
To aid in identifying the shallowest parts of Florida Bay, the map portion of the Florida Bay Map & Guide highlights all areas less than three feet deep. It also classifies passes and channels based on depth and degree of difficulty.
Copies of the Florida Bay Map & Guide are available at marinas and boating supply stores in the Upper Keys, as well as online at www.nps.gov/ever/planyourvisit/floridabay.htm. Copies may also be obtained from the park by contacting Ivy Kelley at 305.852.0324 x0338 or firstname.lastname@example.org.