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The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Environmental Sciences Essay

In 1990 the Congress nominated the 9515 kmA? Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary ( FKNMS ) as portion of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ‘s ( NOAA ) National Marine Sanctuary Program. The chief end for this appellation was to protect the coral reefs, sea grasses, Rhizophora mangles, and other marine resources of the Florida Keys ( Suman et al, 1999 ) . NOAA was ordered by the Legislation ( P.

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L. 101-605, A7 ( a ) ( 2 ) ) to develop a temporal and spacial districting scheme as portion of the Sanctuary Management Plan to guarantee resource protection ( Suman, 1997 ) .

NOAA coordinated the Draft Management Plan that was focused on be aftering attempts on action programs. The Zoning Action Plan proposed five distinguishable types of zones: Refilling Militias, Sanctuary Preservation Areas ( SPAs ) , Wildlife Management Areas, Special-use Areas, and Existing Management Areas ( NOAA, 1995 ; Bohnsack, 1997 ; Suman et al, 1999 ) . The Replenishment Reserves ( Key Largo, Sambos and Dry Tortugas ) and the SPAs were to be no-take countries, with consumptive utilizations restricted. The SPAs have the end to “ avoid concentrations of utilizations that could ensue in important diminutions in species populations or home ground or to cut down struggles between utilizations ” ( NOAA, 1995 ) .

Special-Use Areas were besides proposed and were designated for research merely. The Wildlife Management Areas were designated to restrain human entree to bird nesting and feeding countries, every bit good as polo-neck nesting sites ( Suman et al, 1999 ) .

In 1996 the concluding Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary ( FKNMS ) Final Management Plan was released, with some changes from the old Draft Plan. The change in the Zoning Action Plan, included merely one little no return modesty ( Western Sambos ) of the three that it originally had proposed ( NOAA, 1996 ) and the postponed of the constitution of the big Dry Tortugas Replenishment Reserve. The name Replenishment Reserve was changed to Ecological Reserve to “ reflect public concerns over the intent of these countries ” ( NOAA, 1996 ) . In 2001 the Tortugas Ecological Reserve was implemented ( Figure 1 ) .

Figure 1: Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

When the NOAA ‘s bill of exchange direction program was developed, Suman et Al ( 1999 ) and Shivlani & A ; Suman ( 2000 ) did a survey to frogmans ‘s perceptual experiences and attitudes of the direction schemes and ordinances of this program.

The Tourism in the Florida Keys

In 1995-96, the tourer trip sum exceeded 3 million and an estimated 31.3 % of the visitants participated in diving or snorkel diving activities. Many of the 80,000 lasting occupants participated in the same activities as the tourers did ( Leeworthy & A ; Wiley 1996 ) . Particular activities, such as the mini-season spiny lobster attract over 30,000 frogmans within a individual hebdomad to the Keys ( Hunt, 1994 ) .

The Florida Keys continue to develop its urbanisation due to the demand of people that live, but largely, to the tourers that visit the islands. The roads ( US 1 ) and the Bridgess associating the islands permitted the influx of people to the islands to about 80,000 lasting people ( Smith & A ; Nogle, 2001 ) in add-on to a 2,5 million visitants and seasonal tourers.

Tourism – with 76.8 million visitants in 2004 ( a record figure ) , Florida is the top travel finish in the universe. The touristry industry has an economic impact of $ 57 billion on Florida ‘s economic system. hypertext transfer protocol: //www.stateofflorida.com/Portal/DesktopDefault.aspx? tabid=95

Historic Economic Impact

Entire Tourism Spending ( Tourism/Recreation Taxable Gross saless ) 1999-2004:

1999 – $ 44.6 billion

2000 – $ 48.5 billion

2001 – $ 48.6 billion

2002 – $ 49.5 billion

2003 – $ 51.5 billion

2004 – $ 57.1 billion

2005 – $ 62.0 billion

Entire State Gross saless Tax Grosss from Tourism 1999-2004:

1999 – $ 2.7 billion

2000 – $ 2.9 billion

2001 – $ 2.9 billion

2002 – $ 3.0 billion

2003 – $ 3.0 billion

2004 – $ 3.4 billion

2005 – $ 3.7 billion

Number of Persons Directly Employed by Tourism Industry 1999-2004:

1999 – 826,200

2000 – 842,900

2001 – 864,500

2002 – 862,900

2003 – 874,700

2004 – 920,700

2005 – 948,700

hypertext transfer protocol: //media.visitflorida.org/about/research/

2.5 million tourers yearly

– 13.3 million visitor-days yearly

– spend US $ 1.2 billion yearly ;

– coastal and Marine Waterss support 28.3 million occupations ; and

– United States coastal countries are the finish for 180 million yearly.

( Causey, 1998 )

Those 2,5 million visitants cause a large impact in the Keys as it needs

Goodall and Stabler ( 1997 ) affirm that touristry induced bounds of acceptable alteration to local environmental conditions can be understood at different degrees. For Collins ( 1999 ) , there are different readings of sustainable touristry that make even harder to find local environmental transporting capacity bounds for touristry activity. Stakeholders values impacts in a different manner ( Van der Duim and Caalders, 2002 ) , so when a program or a extenuation are being done to seek to minimise the impacts that tourists activities may hold and go to to a sustainable development, all the local users have to take part on it. It is besides deserving to look for the tourer ‘s position, because they will be the 1s that will be coming back, divulgating the topographic point and bring forthing capital to it.

When we talk about touristry activities ‘ impacts, most of the surveies discuss about their impact in the environment, such as: when frogmans are treading in coral reefs ( Fig. 11a ) , touching the animate beings ( doing them more susceptible to diseases ) , interrupting corals ( i.e. : killing a settlement ) , suspending deposits ( smothering corals and filters animate beings ) or slapping corals with fives during scuba diving or snorkel diving ( Fig. 11b ) ( Hawkins & A ; Roberts, 1992, 1993, 1997 ; Davis & A ; Tisdell, 1995 ; Rouphael & A ; Inglis, 1995 ; Hawkins et al. , 1999 ; Walters & A ; Samways, 2001 ; Krob, 2002 ; Tonioli et al. , 2004 ) ; when people paddle into the reefs while kayaking ( interrupting the corals and touching animate beings ) ; when people feed fish during boating activities ( disequilibrium in nutrient ironss in the ecosystem ) ( Krob, 2002 ; Tonioli, 2003 ) ( Fig. 11c ) ; when the boats anchor on reefs ( aching or killing corals ) ( Fig.11d ) and throw oil and wastewaters ( besides solid rubbish ) ( pollution and lessening in H2O quality ) into the H2O ; and cruise ships environmental impacts such as resuspension of deposits, turbidness, wastewaters, among others ( Lester and Weeden, 2004 ; Murray & A ; Associates, 2005 ) ; among many others environmental impacts.

Figure 11: ( a ) Diver treading on coral reefs ; ( B ) A five hitting a coral reef ; ( degree Celsius ) Diver feeding the fish ; ( degree Celsius ) Anchoring on coral reefs.

The nature-based touristry in the Keys is wholly depended on the coral reef ‘s quality, as the touristry industry attracts 1000s of recreational leghorns, frogmans, snorkelers, and glass-bottom boat users to the part ( Bhat, 2003 ) . Consequently the Marine militias established there are expected to better the reef environment, peculiarly coral and fish copiousness and diverseness ( Bhat, op. cit ) .

In South Florida, tourists spend more $ 1.2 billion, which has a potency of bring forthing $ 2.94 billion in entire end product and $ 1.69 billion in income throughout the regional economic system ( Bhat, op cit ) .

As a consequence of increasing demands for entree to the coral reef for recreational and commercial utilizations, this Marine ecosystem has shown marks of unsustainability in the last old ages ( Bhat, op cit ) . If Restoration attempts are non shortly done to diminish the existent rate of debasement, the Florida coral reef is expected to vanish in less than 10-25 old ages ( The New York Times, 1994 ) .

This unsustainability is acquiring every clip more seeable and tourers are detecting the environmental debasements and effects causes for quality of life. Subsequently, the touristry rankings ushers began to worsen, mentioning stretches of commercial ocular pollution along stretches of US 1 ( Klinger, 1999 ) . In the face of the dependance of the local economic system on touristry, some local occupants are already oppugning the perceptual experience of promoting touristry growing ( Lynch, 1999d ) .

Besides that, the Florida Keys still leads the State in cost of life indices, particularly lodging indices, being Key West the 4th most expensive land and lodging market in the U.S. ( Clark, 2002 ) . This leads to a hard adversity for service sector employees ( Lynch et al. , 1999 ) and to a commercial shifting endeavor from locally owned stores and eating houses to national ironss ( Deford, 1999 ) .

Park et Al ( 2002 ) put out that scientists and ecologists should stress the importance to set up nonmarket values of coral reefs which can be used as inputs in measuring the overall cost effectivity of coral reef direction and extenuation plans. The debasement of such environment and the menaces to the H2O quality in the Keys has been a menace to the economic system of the topographic point ( Kruczynski and McManus, 2002 ) .

All Keys ‘ stakeholders ( commercial and recreational users of resources, conservationists, scientists, resource directors, occupants and visitants ) agree that the diminution in H2O quality is endangering of import resources. Causey ( 2002 ) believes that the grounds of that diminution could be: the deficiency of fresh H2O come ining the Florida Bay ; foods from domestic effluent via shallow-well ; stormwater overflow incorporating heavy metals, fertilisers, insect powders, and other contaminations ; pollution from marinas and live-aboard vass ; hapless flushing of canals and embayments ; accretion of dead seagrasses and algae along the shoreline ; deposit ; and environmental alterations associated with planetary clime alteration and lifting sea-level. Bing the most obvious causes of decline non-point-source discharges and habitat debasement, the development and overexploitation, and alterations in reef fish populations because of over-fishing ( Keller and Causey, 2005 ) .

The touristry activities call for a direction due to the impacts caused by it, with schemes that consider disproportional usage to efficaciously protect the part ‘s environmental resources, sing limited-entry system for honkytonk operators ( Shivlani & A ; Suman, 2000 ) and other users. The direction every bit good should hold the engagement of all stakeholders. There are a batch of struggles between stakeholders, as the Plan for the FKMNS create zones, which in some of them piscaries are non allowed but plunging and snorkeling are, when those last two can besides be impacting to the environmental if the frogmans are non cognizant of saving of the coral reefs, if their boats slop oil and throw rubbish into the ocean. It is a conflicting state of affairs, as there is zones merely for scuba diving and snorkeling with berthing buoys ( forestalling grounding on the reefs ) , but those zones do non hold a bound figure of frogmans that could be in it neither a environmental instruction with frogmans to do them cognizant of the impacts they may do ( touching the corals, interrupting it, resuspending deposits, etc ) and enforcement to see if the Scuba Diving Operators and Boating activities are esteeming it.

In relation to those zones, the major struggles are among fishers and scuba dive operation, as fishers felt extremely alienated from the procedure of zone appellation and displayed a sense of impotence with regard to what they considered to be an effort to except their group from the crop refugia ( Suman et al, 1999 ) . The piscaries in the Keys are divided into commercial, recreational and charter fishing. Most of the commercial piscaries ‘catch is harvest outside the boundaries of the FKNMS ( Milon et al, 1997 ) .


The chief end of this paper is to compare frogmans ‘ perceptual experiences of direction schemes and ordinances in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary presents with their perceptual experiences when the FKNMS was implemented ( comparing the consequences obtained here with the consequences obtained by Suman & A ; Shivlani ( 1998 ) that had interviewed the Diving Operations when the Sanctuary was foremost implemented ) . And besides, through the interviews, detect how the FKNMS does socioeconomic impact the diving industry in the Florida Keys.


A graded random sample of the Dive and Snorkel Operators was selected from a list of all known operators/owner in the Florida Keys. After that, a missive was sent to each Dive and Snorkel Operator selected in the sample, informing them about the research that would be realized, and the types of information that would be collected. The missive explained that a research worker would be acquiring in contact with them to set up clip and topographic point for an interview.

The interview was based on a study that would inquire societal economic inquiries and besides, information about their cognition, attitudes and perceptual experiences of direction schemes and ordinances in the FKNMS ( The study ‘s inquiries analyzed on this paper are attached in Appendix 1 ) .

From all the Dive and Snorkel Operators interviewed until now, there are 60 Operators interviewed, being 32 Operator from the Upper Keys, 9 from the Middle Keys and 19 from the Lower Keys. The end of the survey is to make 70 studies. The present paper will analyse the honkytonk operators ‘ cognition, attitudes and perceptual experiences of direction schemes and ordinances in the FKNMS and its impacts on their economic system.

All the inquiries analyzed in this paper about the FKNMS Management have five types of reply: 1 -Strongly agree ; 2 – Reasonably agree ; 3 – Neutral ; 4 – Reasonably disagree ; and 5 – Strongly disagree. And all the societal inquiries about the frogmans profile have options to do the study easier and faster, and besides to ease the information analyzes.

The information obtained through the interviews ( studies ) was statistically analyzed through the Excell and the StatMost plan.


Economic Information

Analyzing the information obtained, it was possible to observe that

Table 1: Divers ‘ Operators Economic Information

2004 Average cost

Suman & A ; Shivlani ( 1998 ) norm cost

2004 Sum cost

Suman & A ; Shivlani ( 1998 ) sum cost

Vessel value





Dive cogwheel value





Compressor value



Docking fees





Interest payments on vas






Vessel care





Equipament care











Table 2: Trip Expenses from the Divers ‘ Operators

Upper Keys

Middle Keys

Lower Keys

Trip Expenses




























Entire $ $ Upper


Entire $ $ Middle


Entire $ $ Lower


Entire $ $ all Keys = 9209,4

Table 3: Number of trips and norm of frogman and snorkeler per trip.

Upper Keys

Middle Keys

Lower Keys

Number of trips





Number of trips





Number of trips



















Figure 2: Honkytonk Operators ‘ household income derived from the diving industry.

FKNMS Management Information

All inquiries have options of replies and most of them have the option 1-5, discussed above. However the analyzes were done based on the amount of the inquiries which mean an understanding ( reply 1 plus answer 2 ) or a dissension ( reply 4 plus 5 ) with the inquiry. As good were analyzed replies in which the fishermen were impersonal to the inquiry ( answer 3 ) and besides replies which the fishermen would state “ I do non cognize ” for the inquiries made.

Figure 3: Honkytonk Operators ‘ replies about FKNMS regulations and ordinances.

Figure 4: Honkytonk Operators ‘ replies about FKNMS.

Figure 5: Honkytonk Operators ‘ replies about FKNMS.

Figure 6: Honkytonk Operators ‘ replies about resources quality.

Figure 7: Is the FKNMS responsible for the resources quality?

Figure 8: Honkytonk Operators ‘ replies about the chief intent of the FKNMS zones.

Figure 9: Who is the most benefited group from the FKNMS zones?

Discussion and Decision

Comparing the consequences obtained in this survey with the survey developed by Milon et Al ( 1197 ) , it was possible to observe that even 10 old ages after the execution of the Sanctuary, the fishers still feel the same manner they did ten old ages ago.

It is notably the struggles between commercial fishers with recreational fishers and leghorns. And besides, the struggles between recreational and commercial frogmans with the commercial fishers. The SPAs ( Sanctuary Preservation Areas ) that had as chief end the decrease of user struggles have failed to accomplish that. Actually, the struggle seems to hold even increased, as the commercial fishers feel that the regulations and ordinances for the Sanctuary developed by NOAA, were unjust to them.

Even though the chief end of the zones is non to increase piscaries, the surveies done by Cox & A ; Gregory ( hypertext transfer protocol: //monroe.ifas.ufl.edu/lobster_conference.htm ) showed that some of the zones are excessively little to wholly protect lobsters from crop. So, with the present size that the zones have, even though the chief end is of the Sanctuary may non be increasing the stocks, how worth is it to maintain them with that size, if it will non be efficient to refill the stocks and has lead to so much users struggles? I am non proposing that those countries should be re-open or neither stating that they should be increased ( to be able to back up the refilling of some species ) , because this would increase even more the users struggles. However, I do believe that if they are to protect and conserve the reefs and its habitant species, nil besides research should be allowed in at that place. If fishers can non travel in it, frogmans should non be allowed. Besides, if there are zones that merely the frogmans can travel, there should be zones that merely fishermen could travel. That manner it could be scientific compared which countries would be more wedged and every bit good, those could be “ sacrificed ” countries. NOAA could besides make rotary motion through the zones through the old ages, still go forthing some closed zones for everyone.

When NOAA developed the regulations and ordinances for the Sanctuary they were unjust to the fishers because they closed the countries for their usage, but left it unfastened to the frogmans. If the SCUBA diving activity does non work with environmental instruction, intending non merely verbal instruction, but besides practical instruction ( teachers and dive Masterss plunging with the frogmans, commanding their floatability and learning them to non step on the corals ( treading ) or touching anything ) the activity can be really wedged to the environment, chiefly in countries sensitive such as coral reefs. In the Sanctuary, this “ practical ” environmental instruction does non go on and the frogmans can make whatever they want under wateraˆ¦ This is an issue that NOAA shall develop in the Sanctuary.

The touristry industry has besides be a job to the fishers, due to the addition of the monetary values in the Keys. It is much more expensive to populate in Keys today than it used to be ten old ages ago. When I talked to some fishers that left the piscaries in the Keys, most of them seemed to hold left it because of the extremely cost of life in the Keys combined with their economic loss in the piscaries ( with the last hurricanes a batch of them lost a batch of traps an could non return to the piscaries or had to get down fishing for person else ) .

Some of the fishers would besides correlate the touristry growing with the lessening in H2O quality. Even tough most of them feel that the Sanctuary was non the most responsible for the existent conditions of the resources ; they would besides notice that NOAA should be more concern and turn to the issue of H2O quality.

The other issue, besides addressed by the commercial fishermen is the deficiency of enforcement to the recreational fishers and leghorns. Most of those users, harmonizing to the fishers, transgress the regulations most of the clip and stop up non being caught by the governments. Harmonizing to the interviewed fishers, a batch of them truly do non cognize about the regulations and ordinances, and some of them merely pretend that they do non cognize. In both instances, when it happens that they are caught, they are most of clip non penalized as the authorization believes that they did cognize about the regulations and ordinances. This being truth or non, once more, NOAA has the duty to turn to that issue, informing the recreational users about the Torahs, for illustration, giving them explicative booklets about the zones, and so, if they are in the countries where they should non be or if they are transgressing any piscary ordinance, they should be punished.

The commercial fishers besides feel that there is a deficiency of information about the regulations and ordinances for themselves every bit good. They said that it is invariably altering and if they are non informed and they do something incorrect, they are punished anyhow. In that instance, NOAA could direct enlightening newssheets updating them about the piscaries regulations and ordinances and this newssheet should be written in English and Spanish, as a high per centum of the Hispanic fishermen do non talk in English.

With all this regulations and ordinances that have been input through those old ages, I believe that has been a loss in the societal cultural individuality of the fishermen. The civilization of the Keys Fishermen, the individuality of being a Fisherman is acquiring lost. Now there is all those divisions ( because of certifications ) which they have to option what sort of fishermen will they beaˆ¦ They need to make up one’s mind whether they want to catch grouper and center or lobsters or rock pediculosis pubis or pelagic and so onaˆ¦ This may non look to be a job for some directors but merely a consequence of piscaries direction. In my sentiment it is an of import issue, because in somehow they are fring their individualities as fishermen, but it is a job that it is really difficult to turn to, if attempts should every clip more be decreased.

As a decision of the present research developed, it was noted that most of the commercial lobster fishers interviewed seemed to be excluded from the determinations ( in any procedure of the Sanctuary ) and experience powerless against the system. That is a large issue as in the dimension that the Keys are right now it is difficult to propose a direction based more on the local community or a co-management based. However, in some manner, the fishermen need to be more participative on the procedure to develop regulations and ordinance. My chief suggestion still would be the closing of the bing zones for everyone and the resettlement of some to specific diving activities, others for commercial piscary and other for recreational piscaries.