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Environmental Postcards

The Florida Keys

Map showing location of Florida KeysAdventurers Ponce de Leon and Antonio de Herrara discovered the Florida Keys in 1513. Settlers arrived in the late 1700ís, and a highway connected Floridaís southernmost islands to the mainland in the late 1800ís.

The Keys consist of 822 islands, extending 220 miles from the southern tip of the Florida peninsula to the Dry Tortugas. About 30 islands are inhabited. The highest point is just 18 feet above sea level.

Visitors from around the world are attracted to the islandsí spectacular coral reefs and tropical fish. Beautiful and historic state parks provide educational, as well as recreational opportunities for swimming, fishing, snorkeling and boating.

The endangered Key deer live on Big Pine Key and are protected by the Endangered Species Act. These tiny deer, between 24-28 inches at the shoulder, are not found anywhere else in the world.

Each day at dusk, crowds gather for a sunset celebration on Mallory Dock, the last tip of land before the Gulf of Mexico is all that the eye can see.

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Florida Keys