Origin of the Egmont Key State Park and the Alliance:
The history of Egmont Key dates back to the early 19th century when the island played a crucial role in defending the region. In 1849, the United States government established a military fort on the island, known as Fort Dade, to protect Tampa Bay from potential invaders. The fort remained active until 1923 when it was decommissioned. Throughout its history, Egmont Key has also served as a quarantine station during yellow fever outbreaks and as an anchorage for the US Navy during the Spanish-American War. Today, the island is a protected wildlife refuge and historical site, offering visitors a chance to explore its rich history and enjoy its natural beauty.
Egmont Key was designated as a state park in 1974, however, the efforts to make it a protected area started in the early 20th century. In the 1940s, conservation groups began petitioning to have Egmont Key declared a state park, but it was not until 1974 that it officially became a state park. Today, Egmont Key is managed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and is also designated as a National Wildlife Refuge by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Egmont Key Alliance was founded on June 24th, 1991, and was made up of people from several interest groups. There were individuals who loved the wildlife, and military history, lighthouse enthusiasts, beachgoers, and tourists who loved the island. Together, they believed they could work together as an “alliance” and so the Egmont Key Alliance was established as a Citizen Support Organization for the Florida Park Service. The CSO agreement was signed on March 13, 1992.