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YOU'VE JOURNEYED TO WHERE HEAVEN MEETS EARTH.

TO A PLACE ENVELOPED BY SEA AND SKY.

HERE, BROAD STROKES OF COLOR SATURATE YOUR SENSES.

SOMETIMES BOLD...

SOMETIMES SUBTLE...

THE COLORS REPRESENT EVERY HUE IMAGINABLE.

A FULL SPECTRUM OF LIFE THAT IS BISCAYNE NATIONAL PARK.

IN THIS KALEIDOSCOPE OF SCENERY,

THE SPECTRUM CHANGES MINUTE BY MINUTE.

AS THE SUN MOVES ACROSS THE SKY,

THE WATERS APPEAR A DEEP EMERALD...

THEN JADE...

THEN AN INVITING AQUAMARINE.

IRIDESCENT TROPICAL FISH DART JUST BELOW THE WATER'S SURFACE.

A FLICKER OF GOLD...

THEN CRIMSON...

THEN SILVER...

COLORS LINGER FOR A MOMENT, THEN DISAPPEAR.

LIGHT ALSO CHANGES QUICKLY HERE.

IT CAN REFLECT OFF THE BAY WITH A WHITE HOT INTENSITY...

AND YET JUST BELOW THE WATER'S SURFACE,

COOL TRANQUILITY AWAITS.

AS THE COLORS AND LIGHT VARY IN THE PARK,

SO DO ITS MANY CHARMS.

SECLUDED ISLANDS GIVE WAY TO OCEAN VISTAS.

RESIDENTS RANGE FROM THE SMALLEST OF CREATURES...

TO GENTLE GIANTS.

DELICATE AND GRACEFUL...

TO PREHISTORIC.

LOCATED ON THE SOUTHEASTERN EDGE OF THE NORTH AMERICAN CONTINENT,

BISCAYNE NATIONAL PARK IS UNIQUE

AMONG ALL THE SITES IN THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM.

ENCOMPASSING NEARLY 300 SQUARE MILES

OF ISLANDS, WATER AND CORAL REEFS,

THE PARK PROTECTS A RARE COMBINATION

OF LAND AND MARINE LIFE...

SOME TRACING BACK TO THE BEGINNINGS

OF LIFE ON THIS PLANET.

LIKE THE COLOR BANDS IN A SPECTRUM,

THE FOUR DIFFERENT ENVIRONMENTS OF THE PARK ARE DISTINCT,

YET BLEND INTO ONE ANOTHER.

STRETCHING NORTH TO SOUTH,

A CHAIN OF ANCIENT, EXPOSED CORAL REEFS

FORM THE BARRIER ISLANDS KNOWN AS KEYS.

LIKE EMERALD SENTINELS,

THE KEYS PROTECT THE MAINLAND FROM HURRICANES AND EROSION.

LINING THE COASTLINE AND ISLANDS ARE DENSE MANGROVE FORESTS.

WITH THEIR UNIQUE FORM, THE RED MANGROVE TREES

PROTECT THE SHORES AND FILTER THE WATER IN THE BAY.

THEIR BRANCHES AND ROOTS ALSO SERVE AS A NURSERY,

SHELTERING AN ABUNDANCE OF WILDLIFE.

WITH 95% OF THE PARK COVERED BY WATER,

ITS OTHER TWO DISTINCTIVE ENVIRONMENTS

ARE HIDDEN FROM VIEW.

BUT FOR THOSE INTRIGUED ENOUGH TO EXPEND THE EFFORT,

A SPECTRUM OF THE MOST DAZZLING KIND AWAITS.

IN THIS UNDERWATER FANTASY,

NATURE LET LOOSE HER INHIBITIONS.

A PRESENTATION OF HER MOST IMAGINATIVE CREATIONS,

THESE ARE THE CORAL REEFS OF BISCAYNE NATIONAL PARK.

LYING ON THE EASTERN FRINGE OF THE PARK,

THESE VIVID UNDERSEA GARDENS

FORM PART OF THE ONLY LIVING CORAL REEF

IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES.

BURSTING FORTH WITH A GARISH DISPLAY OF COLOR,

THE REEF IS COMPRISED OF BILLIONS OF TINY ANIMALS

CALLED POLYPS.

TOGETHER, THEY CREATE A WONDROUS VARIETY

OF SHAPES AND DESIGNS,

FORMING A CORAL REEF...

AN UNDERWATER CITY THAT IS HOME

TO A BREATHTAKING ARRAY OF MARINE LIFE.

THE COLORFUL CORAL REEFS

CONTRAST WITH THE PARK'S OTHER UNDERWATER ENVIRONMENT,

THE GRASSY UNDERSEA MEADOWS FOUND IN THE BAY.

MORE SUBDUED THAN THE OUTLYING REEFS,

THE GRASSY BOTTOMS NONETHELESS HARBOR

THEIR OWN DIVERSE VARIETY OF LIVING CREATURES.

TOGETHER, THE UNDERSEA MEADOWS AND CORAL REEFS

CREATE A PAINTBOX WONDERLAND,

ONE THAT SEEMS TO EXIST

PURELY TO LURE US BACK TO THE SEA.

IN ADDITION TO SAFEGUARDING THE AREA'S NATURAL RESOURCES,

THE PARK ALSO PRESERVES THE COLORFUL HISTORY

OF ITS TWO-LEGGED INHABITANTS.

CULTURAL ARTIFACTS FOUND HERE SPAN THOUSANDS OF YEARS.

LIKE WHISPERED SECRETS, THEY GIVE US CLUES

ABOUT THE AREA'S EARLIEST KNOWN RESIDENTS,

FROM CRYPTIC EVIDENCE OF PREHISTORIC PEOPLE

TO THE TEQUESTA INDIANS,

WHO WERE THE FIRST TO CALL THESE ISLANDS HOME.

THEN CAME SPANISH EXPLORERS LED BY PONCE DE LEON.

NOTORIOUS PIRATES ALSO PROWLED THESE WATERS--

MANY TALES ARE TOLD OF THE INFAMOUS BLACK CAESAR.

SUNKEN VESSELS AND LOST TREASURES

ALSO LURED WRECKERS TO SEEK THEIR FORTUNE HERE,

WHILE THE KEYS HOSTED EARLY SETTLERS,

FARMING PINEAPPLES AND LIMES.

TODAY, BISCAYNE NATIONAL PARK SITS IN THE BACKYARD

OF ONE OF THE MOST POPULATED AREAS,

CAREFULLY PRESERVED INTACT.

THE PARK SERVES AS A NATURAL PLAYGROUND

FOR THOUSANDS OF GUESTS.

THOUGH PROTECTED FROM ENCROACHING DEVELOPMENT,

THE PARK'S FRAGILE ENVIRONMENT CAN STILL BE AFFECTED

BY OUTSIDE THREATS.

THE IMPACT OF CARELESS VISITORS...

POLLUTANTS...

AND INVASIVE EXOTIC PLANTS AND ANIMALS...

CAN EASILY UPSET THE BALANCE OF THIS DELICATE ECOSYSTEM.

AND HERE, THE LOSS OF ANY SPECIES

CAN HAVE TREMENDOUS, FAR-REACHING EFFECTS.

TREAD GENTLY IN THIS OCEANFRONT PARADISE.

IT'S A LIVING, BREATHING WORK OF ART...

AND IT'S YOURS TO MARVEL AND EXPLORE.

LIKE ALL OF OUR NATURAL RESOURCES,

TREAT IT WITH CARE.

IT'LL REWARD YOU WITH WONDER...

THIS DAZZLING SPECTRUM OF LIFE.

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Duration:
10 minutes, 55 seconds

View the 11-minute introductory video in English. This video is closed captioned.

 
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Duration:
10 minutes, 53 seconds

Vea el vídeo introductorio de 11 minutos en español.

Last updated: November 7, 2016

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

9700 SW 328th Street
Sir Lancelot Jones Way

Homestead, FL 33033

Phone:

(305) 230-1144

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