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National Marine Sanctuaries
Last year, the Commerce Department designated the Tortugas Ecological Reserve as the Nation's largest permanent no-take marine reserve. Located more than 70 miles west of Key West, Florida, the new reserve is part of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and encompasses more than 150 square nautical miles of spectacular deepwater and corals and critical fish spawning sites. An innovative new management plan was developed for the Department of the Interior's Dry Tortugas National Park, which together with the Ecological Reserve, forms the third largest coral reef protection area in the world. The plan enhances coral protection and improves the visitor experience in the Straits of Florida.
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