It is said a picture is worth a thousand words. This picture unfortunately, is one of a thousand cruise ship voyages that have called Key West port. The photo was taken of a cruise ship as it exits Key West Harbor. The long trail behind it is referred to as a“silt-plume”, as it’s prop-wash blows sediment from the sea-floor into the water column.
Florida Keys adjacent waters are part of a federal and state level protected marine sanctuary, home of the only barrier reef found in the US. Most everything within this marine sanctuary is protected, including the sea-floor. When a recreational boater damages seagrass on a far smaller scale, that person can face harsh state and federal penalties. How is the cruise ship industry finding it’s way through such preservation efforts?