US Coast Guard Station Islamorada

District Seven

183 Palermo Dr., Islamorada, FL 33036

Coast Guard Anchors

ABOUT

US Coast Guard Station Islamorada , located adjacent to Snake Creek on Plantation Key, serves the areas of Islamorada, Tavernier, Key Largo and South Miami-Dade County — a challenging area of responsibility spanning from Long Key to the South West, Biscayne Bay to the North East, and to Flamingo Florida to the North West. It is one of three small boat stations serving under Coast Guard Sector Key West.

The Islamorada station calls itself “The Guardian of the Upper Keys” a name well-deserved. The station responds to over 200 search and rescue cases annually and conducts recreational boating safety inspections to help educate boaters.

 

Station Islamorada had a humble beginning. Its first permanent facility in the Upper Keys was a floating house boat moored in a manmade canal off Snake Creek. Station Islamorada was established in June, 1965 at Venetian Shores on Islamorada, Florida. At that time it was a very modern houseboat that served as headquarters for a mid-Keys rescue station. The station consisted of a 15 enlisted crew members, three response vessels and radio communications using citizen’s band and marine VHF radios. The current shore based facility was completed in 1974.

 

As of 2010, Station Islamorada was defined as a multi mission Coast Guard Station with a large area of responsibility.On a daily basis the active duty, reservists and the volunteer men and women of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary performed missions of Search and Rescue, Enforcement of Laws and Treaties, Drug Interdiction, AMIO, Recreation Boating Safety and Environmental Protection. These missions were performed unitizing the compliment of five vessels: one 41’ Utility Boat (UTB), three 33’ Special Purpose Craft Law Enforcement (SPC-LE) and one 24’ Special Purpose Craft Shallow Water (SPC-SW).

 

Today, the Islamorada Coast Guard Station consists of four response boats and 36 active duty members whose responsibilities include ports, waterways and coastal security, search and rescue, drug interdiction, migrant interdiction, aids to navigation, living marine resources, defense readiness, marine environmental protection, marine safety and other maritime law enforcement missions.

 

The station works in cooperation and shares areas of responsibility with several local, state and federal agencies in the patrolling the waters of the Everglades National Park, the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, and 12 separate Sanctuary Preservation Areas.

 

Sector Key West can trace its history back to 1824 when a 63-foot schooner named Florida sailed into the Port of Key West, establishing a permanent station in Key West. Working for the Key West Collector of Customs, the Florida and its crew collected maritime tariffs, chased pirates, prevented smuggling and rescued those in distress at sea. The U.S. Coast Guard was established in 1915, combining the Revenue Cutter Service and the U.S. Life Saving Services. The Coast Guard increased its strength during the nine year Prohibition Era adding numerous craft and people. In 1939 the Service grew even larger when the Lighthouse Service was merged with the Coast Guard, establishing what is now known as the Captain of the Port Key West. Originally located on the water front at Mallory Square, Coast Guard offices moved to their current location at Trumbo Point in 1977. The Coast Guard base has continued to grow adding more vessels and people to keep up with the growing community and increased maritime activity.

 

In August 2004, Sector Key West officially stood up. The Sector was created from combining the resources of Group Key West and Marine Safety Detachment Marathon and authorities from Marine Safety Office Miami. This transition improved the Coast Guard’s ability to provide for the safety and security of the South Florida community.

 

Sector Key West is a unified command consisting of six Fast Response cutters, three small boat stations, an Aids to Navigation Team (ANT) and three staff departments. The Sector Commander performs the duties of Search and Rescue (SAR) Mission Coordinator (SMC), Captain of the Port (COTP), Federal Maritime Security Coordinator (FMSC), Federal On-Scene Coordinator (FOSC) and Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection (OCMI). Sector Key West has a unique area of responsibility; 55,000 square miles bordering the territorial seas of Cuba and the Bahamas.

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ARRIVAL

The nearest major airport is Miami International Airport (MIA / KMIA). This airport has international and domestic flights from Miami, Florida and is 77 miles from the center of Islamorada, FL.

Another major airport is Key West International Airport (EYW / KEYW), which has domestic flights from Key West, Florida and is 80 miles from Islamorada, FL.

 

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL / KFLL) has international and domestic flights from Fort Lauderdale, Florida and is 108 miles from Islamorada, FL.

Resources

TRICARE Information and News

 

For a full list of community health centers, visit the Health Center Program at https://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/.

 

Check the US News Health directory online at https://health.usnews.com/doctors/search to find the best doctor for your family.

 

The American Dental Association provides a list of dentists near you on their website https://findadentist.ada.org/.

FOR THE CHILDREN
 

Students must be 5 years old on or before Sept. 1 to attend kindergarten. Students must be 6 years old on or before Sept. 1 and have completed kindergarten to attend grade 1.

 

In 2010, the majority of states, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Education Activity adopted Common Core State Standards that provide a consistent set of educational expectations for students, regardless of ZIP code. When a family moves, a student’s education is often disrupted because the student may be forced to repeat material or learn at a different level at the new school. With common standards across states, this disruption will be reduced — of particular interest to military families. For more information, visit http://www.corestandards.org/.

 

Treasure Village Montessori Charter School
Island Christian School
GreatSchools.org

 

If your child is preparing to attend college, this information on scholarships may be helpful.

 
FOR THE SERVICE MEMBER

Current service members can attend college in their off-duty time and have their military branch pay the tuition. Learn about the Military Tuition Assistance Program. Use the Tuition Assistance (TA) DECIDE tool to help you make the best use of your tuition assistance dollars.

 

​If you were or are in the military, you may be eligible for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) education benefits. If you are a spouse or dependent, you may be eligible too.

 

Online course options: edX – Founded by Harvard University and MIT, offers high-quality courses from the world’s best universities and institutions to learners everywhere. Whether you are interested in computer science, languages, engineering, psychology, writing, electronics, biology, or marketing. Enroll today!

When moving to a new location, it is important to know who to call when you have an emergency or you need help. Below are some organizations you will find useful.

 

Child Care Aware:

Under the site’s “Child Care 101” tab you’ll find information related to locating quality child care, the types of child care available to you and how to evaluate the child care providers you visit. There’s also a special section for the military child on the website covering topics such as military fee assistance, payments and provider services.

 

Military Children and Teens Resource Guide

 

Florida Department of Health – Monroe County (305) 293-7500
The Florida Department of Health in Monroe County serves the residents of and visitors to the Florida Keys. DOH-Monroe maintains seven sites from Key West to Key Largo, including four clinics, three community health services offices and an administrative center.

 

Wesley House Family Services (305) 809-5000
Wesley House Family Services is a nationally accredited not-for-profit organization dedicated to protecting and nurturing children and strengthening families with services spanning Monroe County, Florida.

 

Florida Keys SPCA (305) 294-4857
The Florida Keys SPCA is dedicated to promoting the humane treatment of all animals through compassionate care, adoption, education, population control and humane law enforcement.

 

Key West Police Department (305) 809-1111

 

Base Operator (305) 664-4404

Housing

Currently, there are 6 US Coast Guard owned houses, also Coast Guard leased condo’s or BAH.
The MVR facility in Marathon is open to reservations for authorized MWR patrons.
There are 4 cottages, 2 recreational boats, 4 RV pads, and a basketball court situated on Vaca Key in the heart of the Florida Keys.
The cottages and RV Pads are located at USCG Station Marathon.
The marathon cottages are open year round and have topography similar to that of islands in the eastern Caribbean.
There are beaches and excellent fishing on both the Gulf and the Atlantic sides of the Key.
The marathon cottages are 111 miles southwest of Miami, 48 miles northeast of Key West, Florida.
Near mile marker 48 (mile markers are small green signs on right side of highway).
Authorized MWR patrons can make reservations for RV pads and Cottages in Marathon online.
Military ID/Proof of eligibility are required at check-in.

Big Coppitt Key – Monroe County, FL

Big Coppitt Key is a town in Florida with a population of 2,994. Big Coppitt Key is in Monroe County and is one of the best places to live in Florida. Living in Big Coppitt Key offers residents a suburban feel and most residents own their homes. In Big Coppitt Key there are a lot of bars, restaurants, and coffee shops. Many families live in Big Coppitt Key and residents tend to have moderate political views. The public schools in Big Coppitt Key are above average.

Marathon – Monroe County, FL

Marathon is a town in Florida with a population of 8,748. Marathon is in Monroe County. Living in Marathon offers residents a suburban feel and most residents own their homes. Many young professionals live in Marathon and residents tend to have moderate political views.

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Community

In Islamorada, the summers are long, hot, oppressive, wet, and mostly cloudy and the winters are short, comfortable, humid, windy, and mostly clear. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 64°F to 90°F and is rarely below 53°F or above 92°F.

 

The hot season lasts for 4.0 months, from May 31 to September 29, with an average daily high temperature above 87°F. The hottest day of the year is August 7, with an average high of 90°F and low of 80°F. The cool season lasts for 2.9 months, from December 7 to March 3, with an average daily high temperature below 78°F. The coldest day of the year is January 18, with an average low of 64°F and high of 75°F.

 

The wetter season lasts 4.7 months, from May 22 to October 14, with a greater than 39% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 65% on September 1. The drier season lasts 7.3 months, from October 14 to May 22. The smallest chance of a wet day is 13% on January 31.

Compared to other cities in Florida and cities across the country, the cost of living index in Islamorada, Village of Islands, FL is 147, which is 48% higher than the Florida average and 47% higher than that for the entire country. The index is comprised of the following criteria: cost of retail goods and services (33%), groceries (13%), health care (5%), housing (30%), cost of public/private transportation (9%) and utilities (10%). Everyday goods and services, along with housing account for 63 percent of the total cost of living index. Goods and services that are a necessity regardless of location provide an accurate general sense of the cost of living in one city versus another. As seen above, the cost of retail goods and services in Islamorada, Village of Islands, FL are 3% higher than the average for Florida and 1% higher than the rest of the country.

Like other vacation locales in Florida, Islamorada and the Key West area offer plenty of ways to enjoy its coastal seat, including sailing, snorkeling and kayaking tours and several clean beaches. But beyond its outdoor pursuits, Key West also lays claim to some interesting artifacts. Once the choice vacation getaway for Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams and President Harry S. Truman, the island is home to more than a few historical treasures. Museums are scattered throughout, but the most activity is concentrated on the island’s western half. Duval Street is a particularly lively area for souvenir shoppers, budget dining and nightlife.

 

For the cleanest beach and best waters in Key West, you should head for the westernmost point of the island to Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park. There, you can sunbathe, hike, bike, fish and get a dose of history all in one place. Recent visitors favor this shoreline over Smathers Beach (the water is clearer, making it an ideal snorkeling spot), but travelers also warn that the sand is not soft and that beach shoes are needed to traverse the rocky terrain safely. While the beach might not be as powdery soft as some other Florida beaches, it does offer some great snorkeling opportunities, according to recent visitors. Along with your snorkel gear, pack some grilling food and charcoal: This beach has plenty of barbecue grills and rental equipment.

 

When you’re not admiring the waters that surround Key West from the beach, enjoy them from the deck of a boat. Several companies offer sailing, snorkeling and kayaking tours, not to mention sunset cruises. Danger Charters, Classic Harbor Line and Sebago Watersports all receive favorable reviews from recent travelers. There are also several tours designed exclusively for dolphin watching (the Florida Keys are a refuge for hundreds of dolphins every year) – Wild About Dolphins and Dolphin Watch are among the most popular, according to recent travelers.

 

For a great view of the Key West sunset, head to Mallory Square at the northwest tip of the island. During the Sunset Celebration (a free, nightly arts festival that starts about two hours before sunset), this is one of the best spots on the island to catch the sun’s last moments and revel in the end of the day. But because it’s one of the best vantage points for watching a sunset, it’s also extremely crowded, especially with cruise ship passengers.

 

Key West isn’t known for its beaches. However, the most bustling one on this island is Smathers Beach, which is particularly popular during spring break. Recent travelers say the beach is clean and peaceful, with plenty of shade and amenities, including bathrooms, food trucks, and chair and umbrella rentals. Visitors also say the views are great.

 

You’ll find Smathers Beach on the southern shore of the island, about a mile from central Key West. It’s close to the airport, which can be a pro if you enjoy watching the planes take off and land, or a con if you’re not a fan of the noise.

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