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Marjory Stoneman Douglas Wilderness

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Area Management

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Wilderness is part of the 110 million acre National Wilderness Preservation System. This System of lands provides clean air, water, and habitat critical for rare and endangered plants and animals. In wilderness, you can enjoy challenging recreational activities like hiking, backpacking, climbing, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, horse packing, bird watching, stargazing, and extraordinary opportunities for solitude. You play an important role in helping to "secure for the American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness" as called for by the Congress of the United States through the Wilderness Act of 1964. Please follow the requirements outlined below and use Leave No Trace techniques when visiting the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Wilderness to ensure protection of this unique area.

-- Protected Resources: Collecting or disturbing artifacts, plants, and animals (including seashells) is prohibited.

-- Pets are not permitted at backcountry campsites, beaches, or ashore anywhere in the wilderness. Pets can disrupt feeding, nesting, and mating activities of wildlife.

-- Pets: Disturbing and feeding wildlife are prohibited. Do not approach wildlife so closely that it interrupts their natural behavior.

-- Wildlife: Do not leave food unattended. Store food and trash in a secure compartment aboard a vessel or in a hard–sided cooler (not foam). Raccoons and rodents are aggressive and may chew through plastic water jugs, tents, dry bags, etc.

-- Water: There is no fresh water available anywhere along the coastal portions of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Wilderness. You must bring all of your drinking and cooking water. As a minimum, plan on bringing one gallon of water per person, per day. Hardsided containers should be used, as raccoons often chew through soft-sided containers (such as milk jugs) to get to your drinking water. When raccoons get your drinking water, it allows artificially large numbers of them to thrive and prey on sea turtle eggs.

-- Fires: Fires are not permitted at ground sites or chickees. Fires are only allowed at designated "beach" sites. Build fires below the highest tide line. Use only dead and downed wood. No cutting of standing dead trees. Remove all traces of fires before leaving site.

-- Stoves/Cooking: With the exception of fires on designated "beach" sites, all cooking, heating, etc. must be done with devices that do not produce any ash or a spark or ember that is capable of igniting vegetation. Wood, charcoal, or coal-fueled grills, stoves or devices are not permitted.

-- Weapons and Fireworks: Possession of firearms in Everglades National Park follows State of Florida regulations. Fireworks are prohibited.

-- Portable Motors: Generators, chain saws and other portable motors are prohibited at all backcountry sites.

-- Human Waste: Use toilets where provided for human waste only. Do not dispose of moist towelettes or other trash in toilets. If there is no toilet, dig a hole at least six inches deep and cover it after use. Pack out all toilet paper. At beach and coastal ground sites, urinate directly in the water. To avoid soap pollution, wash dishes (and yourself) away from waterways and sprinkle the gray water over the ground to soak in.

-- Trash: Carry out all your trash; do not bury, burn, or dispose of it in toilets. Do not throw baby wipes, disposable wet/wash cloths, or insect repellent cloths in toilets. International laws prohibit dumping trash at sea. Remember to secure everything in your boat before heading home. Valuable items including fishing poles, life vests, seat cushions, coolers, and clothing often blow out of boats and are found along the roads.

-- Fishing Regulations: Park fishing regulations are available from visitor centers or on the park's website. A state fishing license is required; purchase one before you come to the park from area bait and marine supply stores. You may also obtain a fishing license by calling 1-888-347-4356.

-- Closed Areas: All keys (islands) in Florida Bay are closed to landing, except Bradley Key (open sunrise to sunset), and those designated as campsites. In Florida Bay, the mainland from Terrapin Point to U.S. 1 is closed to landing. Other areas may close temporarily to protect wildlife.

-- Sleeping on Board: If you sleep aboard a vessel, anchor out of sight of chickees and 1/4 mile from other sites.

-- Vessels: All vessels must conform to Coast Guard regulations. Air boats and personal watercraft (jet skis) are prohibited.

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