Images from Biscayne National Park.

April 22 - 29, 2003

Late in April, Scott checked out Biscayne National Park. The last longest remaining mangrove forest is contained within the park's boundaries as are 40 of Florida's Keys. There are beautiful clear waters and living coral reefs in the park as well. Evidence of man's existence in the area tracks all the way back 10,000 years.

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Here is a small area of the 14 mile long mangrove forest. The mangroves are able to extract fresh water from salt water, allowing them to flourish where other plants would die. Mangrove trees act as a natural filtering system as well as providing food, shelter and breeding habitat for huge numbers of birds, fish, mammals and reptiles. Prior to man's encroachment, mangrove forests thrived all over our Florida coastline.
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This lamphouse on Boca Chita Key is one of ten historic buildings that were recently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The buildings preserve the feel of typical resort style from the 1930s. Nearby Elliot Key is the location of the earliest pioneering homestead in this area from the late 19th century.

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Another beautiful shot of the mangroves. Imagine what the first settlers in the area would have seen over a hundred years ago... you're right, they would have seen more mangroves. Unfortunately, most of the evidence of man's early life in the keys has been destroyed by residential and industrial developement. There are however sites on the keys and in the waters indicating settlements back to 1000 A.D. Five miles north of the park was a major Tequesta village occupied approximately 2000 years ago.

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