EPA's Cruise Ship Discharge Assessment Report, sewage generation rates for cruise ships can range as high as 74,000 gallons per day, per vessel. These discharges occur near shellfish beds, public beaches, and sensitive marine ecosystems.
Like floating cities, cruise ships carry thousands of passengers at any given time and are growing both in average ship size (increasing by approximately 90 feet every five years) and consumer demand.
Thanks to You, The Sanctuary is Now Protected.
The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary supports one of the most diverse marine ecosystems in North America, but for decades it has been threatened by sewage dumped from an increasingly large fleet of cruise ships in the area. Last year, at the urging of marine biologists, citizens' groups, nonprofit organizations, and other stakeholders, the National Marine Sanctuary proposed a ban on ships dumping sewage. Thanks to Save Our Shores! Florida activists, who wrote in to support a proposal banning ship dumping in the sanctuary, the ban has finally been put into place!
The National Marine Sanctuary waters surround the entire archipelago of the Florida Keys, incorporating the waters of the Florida Bay, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Atlantic Ocean. The Sanctuary provides a safe haven for coral, numerous tropical reef fish, spiny lobsters, bottlenose dolphins, and grouper. Best known for the most extensive living coral reef in the United States, the shallow near-shore waters are rich with mangrove forests and seagrass meadows.
Thanks to a 2010 proposal by Florida Keys Sanctuary managers to ban vessel sewage discharges in the entire Sanctuary, and the thousands of Save Our Shores! Florida supporters that wrote in to support the ban, the Sanctuary has finalized the ship sewage dumping ban.
Become a Supporter:
Save Our Shores! Florida is a statewide marine research and advocacy organization. Our independent research and environmental advocacy are made possible by our contributing members. Supporters give us the resources we need to monitor government and corporate decisions, conduct marine research, and engage in advocacy and direct action on behalf of Florida's environment.
To join Save Our Shores! Florida and support our work to protect Florida's beaches and coastal environment, click here.