The reefs in the Florida Keys could use some restoration, and it looks as though tourism in the area could be a key component in making that happen. This week the Monroe County commissioners will be meeting to discuss the option of the money from the Tourist Development Council, that comes in on taxes from accommodations in the area.
There are currently two different non-profit organizations in the Florida Keys that are requesting $300,000 for the restoration. The process would include moving thousands of small corals that have been growing in underwater nurseries, out into the ocean.
The tax money has always been used for some limited expenses, and this is the first time that a request has been made to potentially spend some of the tourist-tax money on “marine parks.” In addition to restoring coral in the reefs, they are also hoping to use some of the TDC funding to make upgrades and add new exhibits to the the Florida Keys History of Diving Museum, and the Key West Customs House.
Florida is one of the only states to have coral reefs for the tourists to see, so it makes a certain amount of sense to keep them up with the money that comes from the initial interest in them.