Nearly thirty years ago the Florida Keys were designated as an Area of Critical State Concern. The state recognized that Monroe County contained many valuable natural, environmental, historical, and economic resources that required thoughtful management. In 1996, as a result of many years of discussion, negotiation, and litigation, the Florida Administration Commission issued an Executive Order requiring the preparation of a "carrying capacity analysis" for the Florida Keys. To fulfill this requirement, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Florida Department of Community Affairs jointly sponsored the Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Study (FKCCS). The key component of this study is a carrying capacity analysis model (CCAM) that provides a technical tool for state and local jurisdictions to "determine the ability of the Florida Keys ecosystem, and the various segments thereof, to withstand all impacts of additional land development activities."
This National Research Council (NRC) report provides a critical review of the Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Study: Test Carrying Capacity Analysis Model, First Draft, hereafter referred to as the Draft CCAM. This independent review offers critical commentary in order to assist the sponsors and contractors in making final adjustments to their report and the Carrying Capacity Analysis Model.