* DEP Home * About DEP * Programs * Contact * Site Map * Search *
Images
 Lignumvitae Key Aquatic Preserve Project Spotlight

Conch in seagrass bed

Vase sponge

Partnerships for Protection

Lignumvitae Key Aquatic Preserve is one of the southernmost aquatic preserves. 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 Lignumvitae Key Aquatic Preserve. The Florida Park Service handles much of the site management of the preserve as part of the Lignumvitae Key Botanical State Park which overlaps most of the preserve.

 Quick Facts about Lignumvitae Key Aquatic Preserve
Map of Lignumvitae Key Aquatic Preserve

Location:

Monroe County

Acreage

7,000 acres of sovereign submerged lands

Contact:

Karen Bohnsack, Manager
Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail State Park
3 LaCroix Court
Key Largo, FL 33037
(305) 453-1274
Karen.Bohnsack@dep.state.fl.us

Lignumvitae Key Aquatic Preserve Management Plan

Christmas worm on a coral

Christmas worm on a coral

Spiny lobster

Spiny lobster

Turtle grass

Turtle grass

Star coral

Star coral

  • Lignumvitae Key Aquatic Preserve encompasses 7,000 acres of seagrass meadows, deep water channels, hard bottom communities and mangrove wetlands.
     
  • Rare wading birds can often be observed foraging in the shallow waters of the tropical lagoon and amongst the mangroves.
     
  • Activities within the preserve include boating, snorkeling, diving, commercial fishing, marine life collecting, charter sport fishing and recreational fishing for finfish and lobster.
     
  • The tropical hardwood hammock that thrives on Lignumvitae Key is one of the few remaining virgin forests of its type in Florida's Upper Keys.
     
  • In 1919, William J. Matheson, a wealthy Miami chemist, bought this tiny island and built a caretaker's home with a windmill for electricity and a cistern for rainwater. This building is now the visitor center for the park and is only accessible by boat.

Last updated: December 08, 2016

  3900 Commonwealth Boulevard M.S. 235 Tallahassee, Florida 32399 850-245-2094
Contact Us 
DEP Home | About DEP  | Contact Us | Search |  Site Map