Friday, August 7, 2009

Florida Bay - Florida Keys

A great area in Florida on the southern tip of the state is called Florida Bay. Florida Bay is the shallow bay located between the southern end of the Florida mainland (the Florida Everglades) and the Florida Keys. The bay, which covers about 850 square miles, is partially sheltered from the Atlantic Ocean on the south and east by the Florida Keys. The average depth is about 4 to 5 feet, and the area is scattered with small islands. Mangroves and sea grasses provide habitat for animals such as manatees and sea turtles.

Historically, the Florida Bay has served as a very productive estuary. It provides habitat for many plant and animal species including sea grasses, sponges, wading birds, fish, and many invertebrates. The bay serves as a home or nursery to 22 commercially or recreationally harvested species. While many of these species are harvested elsewhere, the bay serves as a nursery for many juvenile fish and larval invertebrates. Then as they develop, these organisms move out into the ocean to complete their life cycle. Economically important fish species including snook, tarpon, sea trout and mangrove snapper use the bay as a nursery. As adults, these fish are part of a huge guide boat fishing industry. Spiny lobsters use the bay as a nursery and it is the primary habitat for pink shrimp. Both are harvested commercially and the pink shrimp are also an important base in the bay’s food chain. The Ecology of Florida Bay- Final

Click on link below for a great article and map for the Florida Bay;
Click Here

The majority of the Florida Bay is located within the confines of the Everglades National Park and the Florida Bay, as well as the Florida Keys. The Florida Bay is called the “waterspout capital of the world” and offers nearly 1,000 square miles of exploration: the basins, grass lined mud banks, mangroves, and mangrove islands serve as a habitat for some fantastic marine and wild life. The mangrove regions of the Florida Bay contain a variety of tropical trees and shrubs, and some of the mangrove regions are covered with overhanging red mangroves or poisonwood. The natural and almost mystical habitats of the Florida Bay are breath taking.

If you are into bird watching, ecology, fishing, exploring, or just want to find some pristine beauty of nature, you need to check out the Florida Bay.
Here is a list of links to some of the outfitters in the area that can help you plan a adventure:

Florida Bay Outfitters


Florida bay kayakers

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