This reef is called the Florida Reef, and it is the third-largest barrier reef in the world. A highway, called the Overseas Highway, later replaced the railway as the main form of transportation in the area. Key West. Snorkeler Katherine Wieland examines the "Christ of the Deep" statue in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary off Key Largo, Fla. The species has come back from near-extinction to a thriving population. There are reports of anywhere from 3,500 – 10,000 undeveloped lots in the Florida Keys. Florida Bay, triangular-shaped shallow body of water between the Gulf of Mexico and Biscayne Bay at the southern end of Florida, U.S.The bay, which covers about 850 square miles (2,200 square km), 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 (1.2 to 1.5 metres), and the area is scattered with small islands. Stay up to date on recent news, articles, and more by subscribing to e-mail alerts for one or more of our news topics. Over time, Key West began to grow into Florida's largest town due to its proximity to Cuba and the Bahamas and a trade route to New Orleans. The only thing that many people will know about the Florida Keys island of Key Largo is the film with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, it has so much more to offer. Geologically, the Florida Keys are made up of the main exposed parts of coral reefs. The total number of households is 5,483 with 2 people per household on average.The median age of the current population is 53 with 6,026 people being married and 5,743 being single. The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 blasted into Islamorada late at night on Sept. 2. Another major motivation, for some at least: the desire to be in a place without rules. quicklist: 1 title: Key Largo text: Key Largo is the northernmost of the Florida Keys connected by U.S. Highway 1, and is located just 18 miles south of … There are 6,858 male residents living in Florida Keys and 6,359 female residents. Because of its biodiversity, ecotourism is becoming a large part of the Florida Keys economy. The Florida Keys are experiencing a rise in COVID-19 cases as the island chain heads into tourist season that will have snowbirds returning. The city of Key West is located in the Lower Keys. Only 43 of the islands are connected via bridges. Many of these wrecks have tales to tell. In 1935 the Florida Keys were struck by one of the worst hurricanes ever to hit the United States. Photo by Stephen Frink/Florida Keys News Bureau, This area is reserved for members of the news media. While its quirky, … The Florida Keys are a highly biodiverse area because of the presence of coral reefs as well as undeveloped forested areas. These groups are the Upper Keys, the Middle Keys, the Lower Keys, and the Outlying Islands. All opinions are my own, thanks so much for supporting companies that make this blog possible. Many of the keys fall within the boundaries of three national parks. The hurricane killed over 500 people, and the Overseas Railway (constructed in the 1910s to connect the islands) was damaged and service stopped. On September 2, 1935, hurricane winds of over 200 miles per hour (320 kilometers/hour) hit the islands and a storm surge of over 17.5 feet (5.3 meters) quickly flooded them. Key West, the southernmost populated island in the Florida Keys, is about a 159-mile drive from Miami International Airport but lies only 90 miles north of Cuba. Many dream of quitting their jobs to move to the Florida Keys. Located in the tropical southeastern United States, the Florida Keys are a top destination for visitors of all ages—and the drive from Miami to Key West is one of America’s most iconic road trips. 8 reviews. As a result, the U.S. Border Patrol began a series of roadblocks on the bridge from the Keys to the mainland to search cars returning to Florida's mainland in 1982. Miami Airport to Key Largo and the Upper Keys is approximately 60 miles.. Miami Airport to the island of Islamorada 80 miles.. Miami Airport to Marathon 115 Miles. https://www.thoughtco.com/geography-of-the-florida-keys-1435726 For one thing, it’s one of the longest segmental bridges in the world and the centerpiece of the Florida Keys Overseas Highway that winds throughout the entire island chain. The coastal waters of the entire island chain, including its shallow-water flats, mangrove islets and coral reefs, have been designated the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, which protects the continental United States’ only living barrier coral reef. #661 of 1015 Outdoor Activities in Florida Keys. What makes the Seven Mile Bridge so fascinating? The Native people soundly defeated his attempts to colonize the region for Spain. The first inhabitants of the Florida Keys were Indigenous peoples: the Calusa and Tequesta. Despite these challenges, visitor volume fell only -0.3% in 2017 and rebounded by 1.5% in 2018 However, the Upper Keys reported minimal hurricane damage just as it did in Hurricane Andrew. Islamorada is known as the Sport Fishing Capital of the World, where backcountry sport fishing and saltwater fly-fishing were pioneered. There are an estimated 1,000 shipwrecks off the Florida Keys. Artificial Reefs. 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