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Biscayne National Park seeks feedback on proposed fee changes to enhance visitor services at Boca Chita and Elliott Keys



HOMESTEAD, Fla. — The National Park Service (NPS) invites public comment on proposed changes to fees on Boca Chita and Elliott Keys in Biscayne National Park, including the implementation of a docking fee and a flat camping fee. These fees would be utilized to enhance visitor services and better address common issues, such as trash pick-up and disposal, dock repair, resource damage mitigation and facilities repair and maintenance.

Under the park's proposal, a $45 docking fee would be implemented at both Boca Chita Key and Elliott Key harbors, taking effect January 1, 2024. The second proposed change is the elimination of the current "camping only" fee (camping without docking a boat), leaving a flat camping fee of $35.

"The proposed fees would enable Biscayne National Park to enhance the overall quality of the visitor experience and management of these remote islands," said Biscayne National Park Acting Superintendent Randalle Burton. "The public's feedback on this proposal is important to us and will help inform plans to provide the park experience our visitors seek and deserve."

Eighty percent of docking fee revenue stays at Biscayne National Park to fund projects related to visitor experiences. Recent examples of fee revenue improvements include improved park signage, updated comfort stations and newly replaced picnic tables and grills. The remaining twenty percent of collected fees is allocated for visitor experience improvements at non-fee parks throughout the NPS.

Comments regarding the park's proposed docking fee may be submitted electronically on the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website through October 23 at 11:59pm at: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/BISCNPIslandAmenities

Written comments may be mailed to:
National Park Service
Biscayne National Park
Attn: Superintendent
9700 SW 328 Street
Homestead, FL 33033

About Boca Chita Key and Elliott Key. Boca Chita and Elliott Keys offer unique national park experiences. Accessible only by boat, both locations feature beautiful waterfront views, grassy camping areas, docks, restrooms, picnic tables and grills. Recreational opportunities like these at Biscayne National Park contributed to boosting the local economy with visitors spending $50.9 million on hotels, gas, and restaurants in 2022. These expenditures supported a total of 659 jobs, $25.8 million in labor income, $43.6 million in value added and $74.1 million in economic output in local gateway economies surrounding Biscayne National Park.

About Biscayne National Park.  Within sight of downtown Miami, Biscayne National Park protects a rare combination of subtropical islands, mangrove shoreline, biodiverse coral reefs, and 10,000 years of human history.  The park is ninety-five percent water and encompasses the northernmost Florida Keys.  Most of the park is only accessible by boat.  Home to a vast array of species, visitors to Biscayne might encounter sea turtles, dolphins, sharks, stingrays, and the West Indian manatee.  To learn more please visit https://www.nps.gov/bisc/index.htm  For regular updates from the park follow us on https://www.facebook.com/BiscayneNPS and https://www.instagram.com/biscaynenps/
 
Comment Period: Closed        Sep 22, 2023 - Oct 23, 2023
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