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As U.S. voters went to the polls last Tuesday to vote for their newest Commander in Chief, voters in Key West were at the polls deciding the fate of large cruise ships and the impact of tourism on the small island.
According to the Monroe County Board of Elections, approximately 63 percent of residents voted to place a ban on large cruise ships from docking in Key West.
Didn’t imagine when I arrived in Key West in January – by cruise ship – it would be the last time. Key West voted to ban most cruise ships this evening from calling on the city. pic.twitter.com/q2WisNpTot— Aaron Saunders (@deckchairblog) November 4, 2020
The ban applies to cruise ships containing more than 1,300 passengers.
61 percent of residents also voted to place a limit on the number of passengers that can disembark from cruise ships to 1,500 per day.
Key West residents also voted, by an overwhelming 81 percent, to give priority to the 1,500 slots to cruise lines with the best environmental and health records.
“The people of Key West are thrilled to finally have some common-sense restrictions in place after 30 years of unregulated cruising that has damaged our environment, hampered economic growth, and threatened public health,” Arlo Haskell from the Key West Committee for Safer Cleaner Ships told USA Today.