Biscayne, Florida on the map. National Park Biscayne, Florida on the map of US

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Biscayne, Florida on the map. National Park Biscayne, Florida on the map of USA

Previous pages: Everglades in Florida is famous for its vast array of bird life, including the wood stork.

Far right, top: Blue herons nest seasonally in the protected refuge of Biscayne National Park.

Far right: The rare, shy manatee makes its home in the warm waters of Florida. This large animal, also called a sea cow, measures up to 15 feet (5 meters) in length. The survival of this harmless creature is threatened by motorboats and their propellers.

Right: The green sea turtle can be found in Biscayne—one of the few national parks that consists mostly of water.

Biscayne, Florida

Established: 1980   Acreage: 172,845

Within a few miles of downtown Miami lies a quiet, almost pristine wilderness —a place of brilliant sunsets, warm, clear water, colorful reefs and tropical coral islands. Biscayne National Park, located only 21 miles east of Everglades National Park, allows the visitor to see South Florida the way the Indians and pirates saw it hundreds of years ago.

The park encompasses four important and interrelated biological systems: a mature mangrove forest growing on the fringe of the mainland; shallow Biscayne Bay, a nursery for fisheries; the underdeveloped, upper Florida Keys with their native vegetation; and the living coral reefs, found exclusively in the southeastern coastal region of the continental US.

In addition to the beautiful natural resources, Biscayne has an exciting history of Indians, Spanish explorers, pirates, sunken ships, buried treasure and rum-running. More recent historical activities include mahogany logging and pineapple and lime plantations. For most visitors, however, fishing, boating, snorkeling and diving are the popular activities.

Biscayne, Florida on the map. National Park Biscayne, Florida on the map of US