About the Foundation

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Foundation is the local non-profit partner for NOAA’s Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and its chief advocate.

The world’s most pressing challenges are often difficult to see. Water pollution; climate change; coral reef degradation; and species extinction, are all problems that live beneath the ocean surface. They grow invisibly, but pose a global threat.  Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is part of America’s essential network of protected waters which sustain coastal communities and our shared heritage, offer refuge for endangered species, and serve as living laboratories for critical conservation research. The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Foundation seeks to connect people to this treasured ecosystem, inspiring stewardship and a lifelong devotion to its care and protection.

The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, Florida Keys Chapter, was established in 2019, evolving from the Sanctuary Friends Foundation of the Florida Keys.

Mission: Foster stewardship of the Florida Keys marine ecosystem by engaging private, public and governmental entities, promoting advocacy, and supporting Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary’s programs and partnerships.

Vision: A healthy, vibrant and sustainable Florida Keys marine ecosystem.

At the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, we invite those with a stake in the health of their planet to work with us to conserve it. Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary sustains miraculous species, our coastal communities, and our way of life. Working in close partnership with NOAA, the many people and businesses in our communities who depend on and care for the sanctuary, and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, we support programs to restore the marine ecosystem and advocate for its health.

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

Designated on November 16, 1990, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is one of the 14 national marine sanctuaries and two marine national monuments that make up the National Marine Sanctuary System. Held in trust for the American people, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the State of Florida jointly manage the sanctuary, which protects 3,800 square miles of waters surrounding the Florida Keys, extending from south of Miami westward to the Dry Tortugas. The sanctuary boundaries lie adjacent to Biscayne, Everglades, and Dry Tortugas National Parks and the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Within the boundaries of the sanctuary lie spectacular, unique, and nationally significant marine resources, including the only living barrier reef in the continental U.S., extensive sea grass beds, mangrove-fringed islands, and more than 6,000 species of marine life. The sanctuary also protects national history such as shipwrecks and other archaeological treasures.

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary supports a healthy local and state economy. Ocean-related activities connected to the sanctuary contribute more than $4.4 billion in annual revenue and 43,000 jobs. World-class diving, swimming, fishing, boating, and other sports draw visitors to the sanctuary. Its approach to sustainable tourism – conserving resources because of, and for, its use – is the key to its continuing popularity and economic importance.

Photo: Mitchell Tartt/NOAA