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» National Parks List

Biscayne National Park, Florida

underwater coral

Biscayne National Park is located just south of Miami along the extreme southeastern coast of Florida. This park is an outdoor lover's paradise, where fishing, snorkeling and diving dominate. The blue waters of the bay, the fish and other marine animals, subtropical vegetation, and spectacular sunsets make this a great place to visit.

The main portion of the park on the mainland is at Convoy Point approximately 10 miles west of Homestead, Florida. Convoy Point is the site of a brand new visitor's center. Terrific untainted areas include the Florida Reef, a great band of living coral just a few miles off the coast. The protected John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is one of the most beautiful collections of living coral reef in the world.

Even from a glass bottom boat, you can spot lobsters, angelfish, eels and jellyfish along the reef. The reef itself is a delicate living thing, comprising millions of minute coral polyps extracting calcium from the seawater. Sadly, its quite easy to spot dead coral also: white patches show where a careless diver may have scraped away the protective layer and left the coral susceptible to terminal disease.

Crandon Beach is one of the finest landscaped beaches in this region, with crystal clear waters and sports facilities. Three miles of yellow-brown beach fringe the park, and give access to a sand bar enabling knee-depth wading far from shore. An excellent swimming beach lines the Atlantic-facing side of the park, and a boardwalk cuts around the wind-bitten sand dunes.

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