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Quick Facts about the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserves Quick Links
  • The bay is unusual because it was not formed by sea level rise at a river's mouth. It is a depression between two different types of limestone.
  • Miami Beach, Virginia Key, Key Biscayne, and Key Largo are underlain by coral reef limestone formed by marine life.
  • Only a small area east of Key Biscayne is all that remains of Biscayne Bay - Cape Florida to Monroe County Line Aquatic Preserve. The rest has become part of Biscayne National Park where it remains under protection.
  • The mainland is composed of oolitic limestone, formed by the physical and chemical conditions within shallow water.
  • The bay supports Johnson's seagrass, a threatened species under federal law (the first marine plant to be listed), found only in southeast Florida.
  • Submerged habitats also include hardbottom areas of algae and sponges, soft sediments of sand or mud, and seagrasses.
  • Florida manatees inhabit the bay and are more often observed in the winter time when they gather in warm water areas during cold fronts.


A bottlenose dolphin exhaling

A bottlenose dolphin exhaling


Johnson's seagrass

A close-up of Johnson's seagrass

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Last updated: December 06, 2016

  3900 Commonwealth Boulevard M.S. 235 Tallahassee, Florida 32399 850-245-2094
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