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Help us reach our $401,000 goal by 12/31 so we can start 2015 strong defending them.

The national parks are yours.

Make your year-end, tax-deductible contribution to protect them today!

YOU can help protect your national parks!

Help us reach our $401,000 goal by 12/31 so we can start 2015 strong defending them.

The national parks are yours.

Make your year-end, tax-deductible contribution to protect them today!

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Photo: National Park Service

Biscayne National Park

Center for the State of the Parks: Park Assessments

Published January 2006


View Full Report
(PDF, 2.5 MB, 44 pages)

View Summary
(PDF, 632 KB, 2 pages)

Located near Miami, Florida, Biscayne National Park is the largest marine park in the National Park System. The park includes the third-largest coral reef system in the world, the longest stretch of mangrove forest remaining on Florida’s eastern seaboard, and many endangered species, including the West Indian manatee.

But these superlatives obscure the fact that NPCA’s State of the Parks assessment rates the park’s natural and cultural resources in poor condition, and in need of immediate attention.

NPCA’s assessment scored the overall condition of natural resources at Biscayne 58 out of 100, which ranks park resources in “poor” condition. The park faces a compromised coral reef framework; dramatic declines in important fish populations; the alteration and destruction of coastal wetlands; and mounting development pressure that strains the limited freshwater supply and generates excess pollution.

Insufficient funding is also a challenge. For example, although it is a leader in underwater archaeology, Biscayne needs additional capacity to study and protect the park’s many shipwrecks. For lack of funds, 93 percent of Biscayne’s 700,000 items in the park’s extensive museum collection are uncataloged and inaccessible to researchers and visitors. Overall, the condition of cultural resources at Biscayne scored 48 out of 100, which ranks these park resources in “poor” condition, as well.

Our Suncoast office is working hard to make sure decision-makers know of Biscayne’s critical needs and is advocating for more funding to ensure the long term health of the park. The public can help by participating in Biscayne’s park planning efforts,including the Fisheries Management Plan, the General Management Plan, the CERP Biscayne Bay Wetlands Project, and a Restoration Plan/Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement to address coral reef restoration activities in the park.

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