10 Florida Keys State Parks Wide-Open Spaces & Scenery

Ten secluded Florida Keys State Parks throughout the 125-mile-long Florida Keys include the Keys’ most scenic wide-open spaces for social distancing, solitude and outdoor recreational activities such as hiking, swimming, snorkeling and paddling.  Florida state parks offer some of the destination’s best and most secluded beaches, fishing, boating, scuba diving and kayaking. These parks are…

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Dry Tortugas National Park Is 99% Underwater

Enter Dry Tortugas National Park, one of just three designated national parks in Florida — and one of the most remote in the entire U.S. National Park System.Wide-open spaces are the name of the game in today’s pandemic-ravaged tourism landscape, which is why travelers all over the U.S. are flocking to national parks. But a national park…

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Live-aboards Not Wanted at Rowell’s Park in Key Largo

No live-aboards should be allowed to dock at the future redeveloped Rowell’s Waterfront Park, but a splash pad for children would be widely welcomed. Those were two main takeaways from a county-hosted public input meeting held last week. Neighboring residents asked Monroe County officials to implement the same ban on live-aboards accessing the park that…

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Research Natural Area – Dry Tortugas National Park – Video

The Research Natural Area (RNA) was designated as an area of special protection within Dry Tortugas National Park in 2007. The RNA was designed to work along with the two existing ecological reserves as a network to protect the shallow water habitats and reef fish species found in the Tortugas. Recent research shows that the…

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Celebrations Highlight Florida Keys Earth Day 2018

Every day is full of natural wonders throughout the Florida Keys, known for their sweeping, scenic backdrops of earth, sea and sky. Throughout April, Keys visitors and residents can celebrate Florida Keys Earth Day with unique outdoor activities to be experienced only in the Florida Keys. This year’s Earth Day is Sunday, April 22. The Florida Keys & Key…

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National Key Deer Refuge Offering Free Guided Nature Excursions

The Florida Keys Wildlife Society, a friends group for the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Complex and the National Key Deer Refuge, kicks off this season’s full moon kayak excursions Monday, Jan. 29, departing at 4 p.m. from Big Pine Kayak Adventures on Bogey Road. The two-hour paddle traverses through the National Key Deer Refuge….

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9 Florida Keys State Parks Remain Closed

Nine Florida Keys State Parks remain closed, due to Hurricane Irma damage, until further notice, Florida Department of Environmental Protection officials said Monday. Those Monroe County parks are: • Bahia Honda • Curry Hammock • Dagny JohnsonKey Largo Hammock Botanical • Fort Zachary Taylor Historic • Indian Key Historic • John Pennekamp Coral Reef •  Lignumvitae…

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My 3 Favorite Things To Do in the Upper Florida Keys

I have been in love with the Florida Keys most of my life. Having been born and raised in South Florida, the natural beauty of the area has captivated me since early childhood. The fortune of growing up in a boating family instilled me with an unending need to experience nature to it’s fullest. The…

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Gumbo Limbo – Not a New Dance But Good for Native Landscaping

These days, most merry-go-round horses are made from molded fiberglass and plastic. However, in the days when they were carved from wood, most of them were made from gumbo limbo, Bursera simaruba. Gumbo limbo is one of the most recognizable trees in the tropical hardwood hammock of the Florida Keys. Its red, peeling bark has…

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2017 Islamorada Priorities – Traffic – Park – Canal Improvements

Islamorada Mayor Jim Mooney said one of the governing board’s main focuses in 2017 will be tackling traffic issues, a recurring theme for much of Monroe County. U.S. 1 has long experienced lengthy delays due to holidays, community events and accidents, among other things. Mooney said the village is working on two solutions to alleviate…

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FAVORite People – Wildlife Biologist Kate Watts

Kate Watts monitors vegetation in the pine rockland ecosystem on Big Pine Key. Watts serves as Lead Wildlife Biologist for the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Complex, overseeing biologists, technicians and interns at the refuges in the lower Keys. “Although a scientist by trade, I find that it is extremely important to translate the technical…