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Contact: Linda Friar, 305-242-7714
Contact: Bridget Litten, 305.852.0324 ext. 0338
Key Largo/Homestead Florida: Everglades National Park’s Florida Bay is not a place for novice boaters. In fact, the “bay” is actually a series of more than three dozen basins, most no more than five feet deep, separated by shallow banks. These shallow waters are what get boaters into trouble and have park rangers investigating 80 to 90 groundings each year.
To help keep boaters out of trouble, the park produced a free 12-minute educational video specifically for Florida Bay boaters. The DVD helps boaters navigate the bay by providing boating rules and advice from local fishing guides and park rangers who know these waters like the back of their hand.
The DVD is based on the Florida Bay Map and Guide, a newspaper developed by the park and local fishing guides associations, which is distributed free of charge to area marine stores, tackle shops and marinas. The guide includes advice from local captains and a map that serves as a companion to Waterproof Chart 33E. The DVD covers boating concepts that are essential to a good day out on the water, including reading the water, boat handling techniques and navigation.
With the popularity of boating and fishing on the rise in Florida Bay—a recent boater use study found that boating in Florida Bay and the Gulf Coast areas of the park has increased by 250 percent in the last twenty to thirty years—it just makes sense to have the best information possible before heading out on the water.
The Florida Bay Map and Guide DVD and newspaper are both available as downloads from the park’s website (www.nps.gov/ever/planyourvisit/floridabay.htm) or by calling 305.852.0324 ext. 0338.