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Florida Keys: Habitats

There are an estimated 95,000 hectares of mangroves in Monroe County. Many of them are mangrove islands in Florida Bay and the Keys click image for more... (photo: Florida Keys NMS)

During storms and periods of high winds and waves, mangrove trees, with their entanglement of roots, provide shoreline stabilization and a haven for animal life. Mangroves are a vital component of the South click image for more... (photo: Heather Dine - Florida Keys NMS)

Mangrove islands serve as rookeries for many threatened and endangered species such as the great white click image for more... (photo: Paige Gill - Florida Keys NMS)

The red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle), the colonizing mangrove, is the largest of the mangroves and is usually the first tree found when coming ashore. The red mangrove has prop roots often characterized as "walking" click image for more... (photo: Florida Keys NMS)

The mangrove ecosystem serves as a transitional zone between land and sea and therefore has a very complex food web that depends on the click image for more... (photo: William Harrington)

The seagrass community of South Florida is the largest seagrass meadow in the world covering an area of more than 5,500 square kilometers. Of the seven species of seagrass in Florida, three are prominent in the Keys: click image for more... (photo: Heather Dine - Florida Keys NMS)

Seagrass beds, one of the most productive communities on earth, support a diverse array of organisms from algae to click image for more... (photo: Paige Gill - Florida Keys NMS)

The Florida reef tract, the third largest barrier reef in the world, extends from Fowey Rocks, near Miami, to the Tortugas, off of Key West. click image for more... (photo: Florida Keys NMS)

The majority of the reefs in the Florida reef tract are called spur-and-groove formations. They consist of finger-like ridges of coral that run click image for more... (photo: Florida Keys NMS)

There are more than 6,000 species of plants and animals in the waters of the Florida Keys, and many of these can be found on our click image for more... (photo: Mike White - Florida Keys NMS)

More than 2.5 million people visit the Keys each year, and of those, 70% visit the waters of the Sanctuary to fish, dive, click image for more... (photo: Harold Hudson - Florida Keys NMS)

The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary encompasses over 2,800 square nautical miles of ocean waters from the mangroves and beaches click image for more.. (photo:Jerry Burcham)

Many free-floating organisms, like the moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita), are washed into the reefs and shallows of the Sanctuary. On deeper dives along the reef, a variety of pelagic species can also be seen.(photo: Florida Keys NMS)

The Florida Straits, an area where the Gulf Stream closely hugs the south Florida coast, has been a popular shipping lane click image for more... (photo: Laura Urian - Florida Keys NMS)

Shipwrecks are interesting because of what they can tell us about history, who came before us, why they were here, and the click image for more...(photo: Paige Gill - Florida Keys NMS)

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Revised December 28, 2005 by Sanctuaries Web Team | Contact Us | Web Site Owner: National Ocean Service
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