• Purple, yellow, gold and orange sponges and soft corals wave against a turquioise sea.


    National Park Florida

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  • Boat Tours, Paddle-craft Rentals and Select Conveniences Temporarily Unavailable

    Glass-bottom, snorkel, diving and island boat tours, and rentals for canoes and other paddle-craft, are temporarily unavailable. The park is working to resolve the issue as soon as possible and regrets the inconvenience. Limited snack items are available.

Natural Features & Ecosystems

Nature and Science

The creeks and islands of Biscayne National Park offer clues to the area's geologic history.

Biscayne National Park consists of four primary ecosystems:

  • a narrow fringe of mangrove forest along the mainland shoreline;
  • the southern expanse of Biscayne Bay;
  • the northernmost islands of the Florida Keys; and
  • the beginning of the third-largest coral reef in the world.

Each of these ecosystems is comprised of a variety of smaller communities like seagrass meadows, hardbottom areas and hardwood hammocks. The geology of the area has been influenced by changing sea levels, currents, hurricanes, and reef-building organisms like corals. South Florida's subtropical climate produces forest types that are more typical of the Caribbean than of mainland North America. Click on the topics at the top of the page to learn more about some of the many natural features found in the park.

Did You Know?

Mangrove Snapper

Mangrove snapper (also known as gray snapper) must be at least 10 inches long to keep. Following fishing regulations will ensure healthy fisheries in and outside of Biscayne National Park for generations to come. More...