Marine reserve coming to Biscayne National Park

HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- The National Park Service has approved plans to establish a new marine reserve within Biscayne National Park.
 
The agency's regional director recently said that the need is clear for plans to restore the park's coral reefs and improve visitor experiences.
 
Ninety-five percent of the 172,000-acre park is under water.

The planned 10,500-acre "no fishing" reserve covers about 6 percent of park waters and less than 30 percent of its reefs.
 
Critics say the reserve will hurt fishing businesses reliant on the park's waters.

Park officials say the reserve will allow the reefs to recover, which will lure bigger fish and enhance the experiences of people snorkeling, diving or viewing the waters from glass-bottom boats.
 
A park spokesman says implementation of the reserve depends on funding and staffing.

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