Being prepared reduces the risk of getting lost, running aground, paying towing fees, and damaging boats and park resources.
Navigable waters cover one third of Everglades National Park, creating excellent fishing and boating opportunities, but boating in the park is challenging. Boaters should be properly prepared in order to be safe, abide by the law, and protect park resources.
Collecting plants and animals is prohibited. This includes orchids, air plants, sea horses, starfish, tropical fish, marine snails (live or dead), lobster, coral, sponges and driftwood.
Harassing wildlife is prohibited.
Recreational boaters are required to complete the park's Boater Education Program and carry the certificate while boating in the park.
Check weather and tide predictions before leaving shore and always be prepared for mosquitoes.
Always carry a nautical chart and compass as it is easy to become lost or to run aground in park waters.
Avoid propeller damage by using marked channels, navigational aids, and push-poles or paddles. Propeller damage to seagrass beds is harmful to the marine ecosystem and is illegal.
Water skis: The towing of persons by vessels utilizing water skis, hydra slides, knee boards, or other similar types of equipment.
Personal Watercraft: The operation of personal watercraft, also known as “Wet Bikes”, “Jet Skis”, and other trade names.
Submersibles: The use of manned and unmanned submersible watercraft
Unmanned Aircraft: Use of any device that is used or intended to be used for flight in the air without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the device. This includes drones, quadcopters, and rc planes.
Combustion engines and/or trolling motors must be removed from the boat’s transom and/or bow before entering the areas below:
All Freshwater lakes, including Paurotis and Nine Mile Ponds.
Noble Hammock and Hells Bay Canoe Trails (Park Road to Lard Can).
Long Lake to the mouth of Garfield Bight. *Note* Watercraft with engines of 6 hp or less are permitted on West Lake, but not beyond.
Little Henry, Henry, Monroe, Middle and Seven Palm Lakes.
Joe and Snag Bays and all inland creeks and lakes north of Long Sound, except for the ponds and lakes associated with Taylor River.
Coot Bay Pond, Mud Lake and Bear Lake.
The Homestead Canal and all small lakes along the canal.
All associated small lakes on Cape Sable inland from Lake Ingraham.
Closed areas represent less than one percent of the total park area.
All keys (islands) in Florida Bay are closed to protect bird nesting areas (see exceptions below).
Wading within 100 feet of any closed area is prohibited.
Moats and internal creeks associated with Buchanan Keys.
Exceptions: Landing and camping are permitted on North Nest Key, Little Rabbit Key and Cape Sable. Carl Ross Key is open for summer day use. Bradley Key is open for day use all year. Permits are required for camping.