Sea Base’s Big Munson Island, ‘hit hard’ by Hurricane Irma, ‘will survive and bounce back’

Left and middle: Sea Base staff members inspected Big Munson Island on Monday. Right: The storm surge washed a boat ashore Big Munson Island. There were no people inside, and Sea Base staffers reported its location to the Coast Guard.

Hurricane Irma hit the BSA-owned Big Munson Island hard, toppling some trees and stripping bare others.

The 100-acre island, located off Big Pine Key in the lower Florida Keys, is used in the Out Island Program at the BSA’s Florida Sea Base. Treks depart from the Brinton Environmental Center, located on Summerland Key.

Irma brought 3 to 4 feet of sand on the beach at Big Munson, covering the area where some campsites had been located.

While Sea Base general manager Mike Johnson says the devastation “could have been worse,” significant clean-up will be required. Volunteers will be needed beginning Nov. 1; see more info in this post.

“This will likely require a relocation of campsites on the island and possibly different types of tents and coverage depending on vegetation,” Johnson says. “Big Munson Island will survive and bounce back. The topography may be different, but the spirit of Big Munson Island lives on.”

The island, gifted to the BSA’s Florida Sea Base in 1982, gives the Sea Base its own island property for Scouting activities.

In the Out Island Adventure, Scouts and Venturers leave the Brinton Environmental Center and travel 5.5 miles by Polynesian war canoe to the island. Once there, they can fish, snorkel and kayak.

Photos of Big Munson Island after Irma

Sea Base after Irma: The story so far


  1. That vegetation looks dead. Is there any greenery/shade tree left alive on the island? And, ditto the question about the Key Deer.

  2. I had spent the week on that island and it was the best time of my life. seeing this kind of thing happen to it makes me tear up. also not knowing about the key deer on the island makes me wonder if there are any left. I just hope that it fully recovers and that people will be able to enjoy the island like I did when I went.

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