Florida Bay

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Southern third of Florida, showing Florida Bay in pale green off the southern tip of the mainland

Florida Bay is the bay located between the southern end of the Florida mainland (the Florida Everglades) and the Florida Keys. Its area is variously stated to be 800 square miles (2,100 km2),[1] or 850 square miles (2,200 km2),[2] or 1,000 square miles (2,600 km2).[3] Nearly all of Florida Bay is included in Everglades National Park. The southern edge, along the Florida Keys is in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The bay muds of portions of Florida Bay have been cored to develop insights on the paleontology of previous biota.[1] It has basins with banks in between which are great fishing grounds.[citation needed] The fish caught there are mangrove snapper, mackerel, and various others.

Environmental issues are problematic. Florida Bay used to be teeming with Roseate Spoonbills nesting and other birds and even American Flamingos used to be reported nesting, and the fishing excellent. However, due to fertilizer runoff of agriculture there are expanding dead zones in the bay, creating algae blooms on which bacteria feed, grow and then consume all the oxygen in the water. further microbes thrive in this oxygen free environment, but produce toxic gases where nothing grows. Fish and crustaceans leave, and the birds leave having no food source. [4] Canals divert water to the Eastern coast that originally went to Taylor Slough that brought freshwater to the bay through Everglades National Park. Without the freshwater, the water becomes stagnant and salty with excess nitrogen from the fertilizer. [5]


  1. Everglades National Park, Park Vision
  2. Florida Bay, Encyclopædia Britannica Online
  3. The Ecology of Florida Bay, by Daniel Phirman
  4. David Biello, (2008). Oceanic Dead Zones Continue to Spread. Scientific American.
  5. Robert Mcclure And Don Melvin. (1993). The Dead Zone Once A Teeming Marine Nursery, Florida Bay Today Is Dying. SunSentinel

External links

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