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Reef Injury Prevention and Response Program Links

Report Vessel Groundings!

To report a vessel grounding or other coral reef injury in southeast Florida (Miami-Dade to Martin County) call: (786)385-3054.

Reef Injury Prevention and Response Program

As the state's lead trustee for coral reef resources, the DEP CRCP is charged with response and recovery for coral reef injures on sovereign submerged lands. The DEP CRCP Reef Injury Prevention and Response Program is responsible for leading response to, and management of, coral reef and hard bottom injuries resulting from vessel impacts such as grounding, anchoring, and cable drag events.

What Areas Are Covered?

DEP CRCP has jurisdiction over the northern third of the Florida Reef Tract, from the northern border of Biscayne National Park in Miami-Dade County to the St. Lucie Inlet in Martin County.

The Coral Reef Protection Act

In recognition of Florida's unique coral reef systems and their importance to the economy, the Florida Legislature enacted Section 403.93345, Florida Statute entitled the Florida Coral Reef Protection Act (CRPA), effective July 1, 2009. The CRPA was created to increase protection of coral reef resources on sovereign submerged lands off the coasts of Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.

Under this law, DEP may assess civil penalties for anchoring a vessel on a coral reef or any other damage to a coral reef totaling: a) less than or equal to 1 square meter (m2), $150; b) more than 1 m2, but less than or equal to 10 m2, $300 per m2; and c) more than 10 m2, $1000 per m2.

Program Goals

A primary goal of the Reef Injury Prevention and Response Program is to develop and implement management actions that prevent coral reef injuries associated with commercial and recreational vessels using tools created through the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative and other local action strategies. Where damages to reef resources do occur, the goal is to ensure that appropriate and adequate restoration and/or mitigation is carried out on impacted coral reef resources and that those responsible for damages are held accountable.

Coral Reef Protection Act brochure
Grounded vessel

The M/V Nekton Rorqual aground just off Dania Beach, FL on October 14, 2008.
Photo: Dr. Alison Moulding, Nova Southeastern University

Grounded sailboat

The sailboat, Sea Fever, ran aground on June 6, 2008, offshore John D. MacArthur Beach State Park in Palm Beach, FL.
Photo: Erin McDevitt, FWC

Scientist assessing reef damage

A marine scientist assesses damage on Breakers Reef in Palm Beach County.
Photo: Bill Fay, ATM

In the News




Coral Reef Protection Act


Benthic Habitat Maps


Boating on our Reefs


Socioeconomic Studies


Additional Links



Last updated: August 10, 2016

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