The limestone that eroded from the reef formed oolites in the shallow sea behind the reef, and together with the skeletal remains of bryozoans , formed the Miami limestone that is the current surface bedrock of the lower Florida peninsula and the lower keys from Big Pine Key to Key West. More than people were killed, though some estimates place the number of deaths at more than The other storms were Hurricane Camille and Hurricane Andrew Starting about , years ago the Wisconsin glaciation began lowering sea levels, exposing the coral reef and surrounding marine sediments. Some of the dissolved limestone redeposited as a denser cap rock, which can be seen as outcrops overlying the Key Largo and Miami limestones throughout the Keys.
Several parallel lines of reef formed along the edge of the submerged Florida plateau , stretching south and then west from the present Miami area to what is now the Dry Tortugas. The types of coral that formed Key Largo limestone can be identified on the exposed surface of these keys. The limestone that eroded from the reef formed oolites in the shallow sea behind the reef, and together with the skeletal remains of bryozoans , formed the Miami limestone that is the current surface bedrock of the lower Florida peninsula and the lower keys from Big Pine Key to Key West. Some of the dissolved limestone redeposited as a denser cap rock, which can be seen as outcrops overlying the Key Largo and Miami limestones throughout the Keys. Starting about , years ago the Wisconsin glaciation began lowering sea levels, exposing the coral reef and surrounding marine sediments. The Key West City Council repeatedly complained about the roadblocks, which were a major inconvenience for people traveling from Key West, and hurt the Keys' important tourism industry. Their deaths caused anger and charges of mismanagement that led to a Congressional investigation. While still open to pedestrians — walking, biking and jogging — if the bridge were closed altogether, only a ferry subsidized by FDOT and managed by the county would transport visitors to the island. North of Elliott Key are several small transitional keys, composed of sand built up around small areas of exposed ancient reef. The Lower Keys are the remnants of large coral reefs, which became fossilized and exposed as sea level declined. After various unsuccessful complaints and attempts to get a legal injunction against the blockade failed in federal court in Miami , on April 23, , Key West mayor Dennis Wardlow and the city council declared the independence of the city of Key West , calling it the " Conch Republic ". The climate also allows many imported plants to thrive. Conch Republic In , the United States Border Patrol had established a roadblock and inspection points on US Highway 1, stopping all northbound traffic returning to the mainland at Florida City , to search vehicles for illegal drugs and undocumented peoples. The Keys still attract Cubans leaving their home country, and stories of "rafters" coming ashore are not uncommon. In some places, "caprock" the eroded surface of coral formations covers the ground. Soil ranges from sand to marl to rich, decomposed leaf litter. Flora and fauna[ edit ] A male Key Deer on No Name Key in the lower Keys The Florida Keys have distinctive plant and animals species, some found nowhere else in the United States, as the Keys define the northern extent of their ranges. For many years, Key West was the largest town in Florida, and it grew prosperous on wrecking revenues. The natural habitats of the Keys are upland forests, inland wetlands and shoreline zones. The Labor Day Hurricane is one of only three hurricanes to make landfall at Category 5 strength on the U. It also provided a new source of revenue for the Keys, and the Conch Republic has participated in later protests. Key Lime is endemic to the Florida Keys, growing vigorously and producing golf-ball-size yellow fruit which is particularly and uniquely fragrant. Flagler, a major developer of Florida's Atlantic coast, extended his Florida East Coast Railway down to Key West with an ambitious series of oversea railroad trestles. Some exotic species which arrived as landscape plants now invade and threaten natural areas. Bougainvillea , hibiscus , and papaya flourish across the Keys reaching massive size unequaled anywhere on the US mainland.
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Florida Keys: Key Largo and Islamorada, South Florida - Traveling Robert
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