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Protecting Marine Ecosystems
The National Park Service (NPS) has begun restoring marine ecosystems in Dry Tortugas National Park, Buck Island Reef National Monument, and Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument, in close cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the State of Florida and the Territory of the Virgin Islands. New management tools, networks of marine reserves, and research natural areas were established in these parks to restore and replenish coral reefs, kelp forests, and their diverse communities of marine life. Assessments of these reserve networks are underway to evaluate and communicate their effectiveness and to allow resource managers to learn from their design. In addition, the NPS has begun an effort to thoroughly assess watershed conditions in the coastal Parks, with the goal of restoring impaired watersheds and protecting estuaries, tidal wetlands, and other sensitive aquatic systems in these parks.
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