Florida is the only state in the continental United States to have extensive shallow coral reef formations near its coasts. These reefs extend from St. Lucie Inlet in Martin County, to the Dry Tortugas in the Gulf of Mexico. The most prolific reef development occurs seaward of the Florida Keys. The most extensive living coral reef in the United States is adjacent to the island chain of the Florida Keys. The Florida Reef Tract possesses coral formations very similar to those found in the Bahamas and Caribbean Sea. The Florida Reef Tract is nearly 360 linear miles long It is the third largest barrier reef ecosystem in the world. All but the northern-most extent of the reef tract lies within the boundaries of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The 2,800 square nautical mile Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS), designated in 1992, surrounds the entire archipelago of the Florida Keys and includes the productive waters of Florida Bay, the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Discontinuous and less biologically diverse coral reef communities continue northward along western Florida shores to the Florida Middle Grounds, a series of submerged pinnacles rising to within 60-80 ft of the surface, about 100 miles northwest of St. Petersburg.

In addition to local residents, millions of vacationers come to Florida in order to enjoy scuba diving, snorkeling, and fishing on south Florida's coral reefs. These activities provide a great source of income for Florida and its coastal communities. It is estimated that coral reef activities in Martin, Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties generate $3.4 billion in sales in general and income and support 36,000 jobs in the region each year.

Florida location map

Florida location map

Florida satellite map

Florida satellite map


Florida's Coral Reef Management Priorities

Florida Capacity Assessment Report and Coral Reef Conservation Time Line

A cooperative multi-agency reef fish monitoring protocol for the Florida Keys coral reef ecosystem. Natural Resource Report NPS/SFCN/NRR-2009/150

Southeast Florida Coral Reef Fishery Independent Baseline Assessment 2012-2014 Summary Report

An Integrated Biogeographic Assessment of Reef Fish Populations and Fisheries in Dry Tortugas : Effects of No-Take Reserves - NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 111

Mapping Southern Florida’s Shallow-water Coral Reef Ecosystems: An Implementation Plan

Socioeconomic Impacts of Marine Reserves - Tortugas Ecological Reserve

A Socioeconomic Study of Reefs in Southeast Florida, Final Report - October 19, 2001

Report on the Status of Marine Protected Areas in Coral Reef Ecosystems of the United States. Volume 1: Marine Protected Areas Managed by U.S. States,Territories, and Commonwealths. NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP 2 February 2007

Can marine “protected” areas be effective?

State of The Reefs report (SOTR)

The State of Coral Reef Ecosystems of the United States and Pacific Freely Associated States: 2008

The State of Coral Reef Ecosystems of the United States and Pacific Freely Associated States: 2005.

The State of Coral Reef Ecosystems of the United States and Pacific Freely Associated States: 2002.

Local Action Strategy

Florida Local Action Strategy Factsheet

Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative: A Local Action Strategy

Management Activities

Florida Reef Tract Coral Bleaching Response Plan

Climate Change Action Plan for the Florida Reef System 2010-2015

Metadata, Data and Publications search in CoRIS

Search the CoRIS Geoportal for Florida metadata, data and publications

Reef Base Coral Bleaching Reports

Select "U.S. Caribbean" in the Region window and " Florida (USA)" in the Country window

Real Time and Near-Real Time Monitoring Data

Coral Reef Watch Satellite Monitoring

Coral Reef Watch - Florida Keys

The Global Temperature-Salinity Profile Program

NOAA/National Weather Service - Data from Florida

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

Southeast Florida Coral Reef Evaluation Monitoring Project (SECREMP)

Face Monitoring Sites

NOAA CO-OPS - Tide Data

NOAA Tide Predictions - Florida

Smithsonian Marine Station, Indian River Lagoon, Ft. Pierce, Florida (FTPF1)

Sebastian Inlet jetty, Sebastian, Florida (SEBF1)

Other Data & Information

Historical Atlas of Southern Florida Shallow-water Benthic Habitats (1991)

South Atlantic Deep Coral Assessment - Deep Coral Cruise Data

South Florida Information Access (SOFIA) - is an interdisciplinary service that provides coherent information access in support of research, decision making, and resource management for the South Florida ecosystem restoration effort.

Continuous bottom temperature measurements in strategic areas of the Florida Reef Tract

Coral reef fish species survey data GIS from the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (1979 to 1998)

Florida Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) Files

Education and Outreach

Aquarius Reef Base - Education and Outreach

Reef Relief Home Page

Florida Department of Environmental Protection - Coral Reef Conservation Program

Florida’s Coral Reefs

Fish and Wildlife Research Institute

South Florida Water Management District

The South Florida and Caribbean Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Unit (SFC CESU)

University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science National Center for Coral Reef Research (NCORE)

NOAA Ocean Service Education on Corals

NOAA Ocean Service Education Roadmap to corals Resources

NOAA’s Aquarius – The World’s Only Undersea Research Station

Marine Protected Areas/ Marine Managed Areas(MPA)

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations: Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf, and South Atlantic

Marine Protected Areas of the United States Home Page

The Marine Protected Areas Inventory

Federal MPA Legislation

Marine Federal Areas Fact Sheet

Executive order 13158: Marine Protected Areas

Marine Protected Areas of the United States: Florida

Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge

Biscayne National Park

Dry Tortugas National Park

Everglades National Park

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

Fish and Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuges (Florida)

Florida Middle Grounds Habitat Area of Particular Concern

Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge

J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

Key Largo National Marine Sanctuary Outstanding Florida Water

Key West National Wildlife Refuge

Key Deer National Wildlife Refuge

Reef Fish Longline and Buoy Gear Restricted Area

Reef Fish Stressed Area

Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge

Tortugas Ecological Reserve

Virginia Key No Entry Zone