The Florida Bay is a vitally important body of water in Florida.
It’s located at the southern tip of the Florida Peninsula, south of the Florida Everglades and north of the islands of the Florida Keys and Dry Tortugas. It spans a large area; it covers more than 1,100 square miles (2,850 km).
The Florida Bay is generally shallow. It sits upon a shallow shelf, which is part of the Florida Plateau. The area is filled with large fields of seagrass and mudbanks, which constrict water flow.
The area is an important estuary. Enormous sheets of fresh water flow south from the state of Florida, through the Everglades, and meet the salty water of the Gulf of Mexico. In the past, before human intervention, the volume of fresh water ingress was much larger.
In recent decades vast quantities of water have been diverted, due to development, commercial and industrial interests. In the past 100 years, the volume of fresh water flowing through the Florida Everglades has been reduced by approximately 50%.
As water flows have diminished, many environmental problems have arisen. The Florida Bay is a vital ecological area. Like all of Florida’s waters, it is an essential part of our natural ecosystem, and it’s under assault from many directions.
The South Florida ecosystem is vital for many reasons. It supports an immensely diverse population of native wildlife, including important, rare and endangered species. The South Florida ecosystem is home to manatees, American crocodile, sea turtles and countless other species. It also supports important economic interests, including tourism, fishing, agriculture and other interests.
An informed, engaged and educated public is essential to help save and preserve areas like the Florida Bay, the Florida Everglades and other irreplaceable ecosystems!