The sandy keys of Dry Tortugas National Park are in a state of constant change, subject to the influences of a full suite of environmental processes. Geology, tides and currents, water and air quality, weather, and climate are but a few of the many natural factors that help shape the development of land and waterscapes in the Dry Tortugas. The actions of humans also have had, and still have, a strong influence. Construction of Fort Jefferson and the structures on Loggerhead Key, the disturbance of natural processes, climate change, the introduction of nonnative species, and air, water, light, and noise pollution have all worked to undermine the integrity of the natural ecosystem.
Learn about specific environmental factors at the links below.
The seven islands of Dry Tortugas National Park are just a tiny fraction of the park's geologic resources, most of which are submerged beneath the surrounding waters.
Dry Tortugas National Park is dedicated to protecting and sharing its nighttime skies for the enjoyment of current and future generations.
In national parks, the symphony of sounds is treated as a natural resource that is accorded the same level of protection as any other resource.
The characteristic four seasons of the continental United States give way in the Dry Tortugas to only two seasons: wet summers and dry winters.
Did You Know?
Fort Jefferson served for a time as a remote prison facility. One of its most famous inmates was none other than Dr. Samuel Mudd, who set the leg of John Wilkes Booth following the assassination of President Lincoln. Mudd was incarcerated on the Dry Tortugas for only four years, from 1865 to 1869.