The florida keys national marine sanctuary: A case study of an innovative federal-state partnership in marine resource management

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5 Scopus citations


Since Congressional designation of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary in 1990, a close partnership between the federal government and the state of Florida has characterized sanctuary planning and development of the management plan. The management plan and interagency memoranda of agreement clearly partition governmental functions, such as permitting, enforcement, and research and education, between federal and state agencies. This article examines the division of interagency responsibilities and demonstrates the depth of this federal-state partnership. The coordination between federal, state, and local institutions is a product of many factors, including an explicit legislative mandate, inclusion of both federal and state waters in the sanctuary, two decades of successful federal-state partnerships in two small national marine sanctuaries in the Florida Keys, the state of Florida's longtime interest in management of its marine resources, and the clear acceptance of principles of ecosystem management by both federal and state natural resource agencies. Obstacles include funding uncertainties, the vagaries of local politics, and the enormity of the proposed tasks. The many levels of intergovernmental coordination in this case study suggest that the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary represents an important example of integrated coastal zone management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-324
Number of pages32
JournalCoastal Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997



  • Coral reef ecosystem
  • Federal-state relations
  • Integrated coastal zone management
  • National Marine Sanctuary
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)

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