Biscayne National Park is located 20 miles south of Miami.  The park protects the northernmost group of living coral reefs in the United States with its ecosystem.  Its reefs and islands are accessible only by boat. 

Biscayne National Park consists of four distinct ecosystems: the shoreline mangrove swamp, the shallow waters of Biscayne Bay, the coral limestone keys and the offshore Florida Reef. It is home to one of the largest coral reefs in the world (behind the Great Barrier Reef and the Messamerican Barrier Reef system off of Belize).


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The view from the Visitor’s Center

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A pelican hanging out in the water.

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We took a boat tour out to Boco Chito Key, one of the northern most of the Florida Keys. We walked around the key and climbed to top of the Boco Key lighthouse. Boco Chito Key was once one of the most elaborate retreats in the keys, but none of the opulent buildings remain.

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View from the top of the lighthouse

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We walked around the perimeter of the island which was almost one mile.

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Tom can always find a place to take a short nap.

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There are thousands of mangroves along the shoreline in the park.  The roots of the mangroves provide a nursery for larval and juvenile fish, molluscs and crustaceans. The bay waters harbor immature and adult fish, seagrass beds, sponges, soft corals, and manatees.