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 Coupon Bight Aquatic Preserve Project Spotlight

"The Coupon Bight Aquatic Preserve exemplifies valuable and diverse collections of habitat in Monroe County. Unique natural areas of seagrass beds containing hard bottom with diverse shallow patch reefs that provide life support for a myriad of bio-diverse resources."

George Neugent, Monroe County Commissioner

Aerial view of Coupon Bight

Key Accomplishments

  • Enhanced participation in the Seagrass Outreach Partnership (SOP) has allowed for a greater capacity to educate people about the importance of seagrasses to the local economy and ecology. The SOP was formed in 1997 and provides information that helps boaters minimize impacts to the many shallow seagrass beds in Florida waters.
  • A strengthened relationship with DEP environmental resource permitting program has allowed for more streamlined approach when addressing projects within and adjacent to the aquatic preserve.
  • Aquatic preserve educational signs have been redesigned and replaced in the lower Florida Keys. The signs were positioned along fishing bridges and in highly visible locations near and adjacent to the aquatic preserve to ensure the information was readily available to visitors.

Mangroves along the shoreline of Coupon Bight

Partnerships for Protection

Coupon Bight Aquatic Preserve is the southernmost aquatic preserve. It is located in the lower half of the Florida Keys archipelago and lies within the boundaries of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS). Established in 1990, the FKNMS afforded a higher level of protection through both state and federal management. Due to the increasing threats to each of the habitats that comprise the sub-tropical ecosystem of the Florida Keys, this state - federal partnership provides protection to 2,900 square nautical miles surrounding the entire archipelago of the Florida Keys, including the Coupon Bight Aquatic Preserve.

Mangroves

Mangroves along the shoreline

 

 Quick Facts about Coupon Bight Aquatic Preserve
Map of Coupon Bight Aquatic Preserve

Location:

Monroe County

Acreage

4,600 acres of sovereign submerged lands

Contact:


Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
33 East Quay Road
Key West, Florida 33040
(305) 292-0311

Download a printable version of this page.

Further information about Coupon Bight Aquatic Preserve

Coupon Bight Aquatic Preserve Management Plan

Christmas worm on a coral

Christmas worm on a coral

Spiny lobster

Spiny lobster

Key deer in mangroves

Key deer in mangroves

Conch in seagrass

Conch in seagrass

  • Coupon Bight Aquatic Preserve encompasses 4,600 acres of seagrass meadows, hard bottom communities, mangrove wetlands and coral patch reefs.
  • Along the southern boundary of Coupon Bight Aquatic Preserve is a near-shore patch reef community, home to an array of sponges, soft corals, hard corals and algae.
  • Rare wading birds can often be observed foraging in the shallow waters of the tropical lagoon and amongst the mangroves.
  • The endangered Key Deer is a frequent visitor to the mangroves at the Coupon Bight Aquatic Preserve. The mangrove fringe offers excellent cover for foraging.
  • Activities within the preserve include boating, snorkeling, diving, commercial fishing, marine life collecting, charter sport fishing and recreational fishing for finfish and lobster.

Last updated: May 02, 2012

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