The Florida Keys And The Coral Reefs Of Biscayne Bay Essay

The Florida Keys And The Coral Reefs Of Biscayne Bay Essay

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The Florida Keys is one of the most famous and most visited archipelagos in the world. Contrary to what many people think, though, the Florida Keys do not begin at Key Largo. To the north lie nearly 50 more keys (ancient coral reef islands) that are mostly undeveloped pieces of land. Great adventures await you as you venture from the mangrove shoreline out to the coral reefs of Biscayne Bay. Biscayne Bay is a shallow estuary, managed by the National Park Services along with Florida Wildlife Commission and many others. The bay serves as a nursery for many infant and juvenile marine life species that need protection until big enough to survive in the open ocean. Large healthy seagrass beds provide hiding places and food for many of the animals living on the reef. Protected by a chain of islands or keys off shore and the mainland to the west, the bay is one of the most productive ecosystems in the park. It is comprised of four different ecosystems; the two major ecosystems are beneath the bay 's clear waters: hardbottom and seagrass.
The hardbottom is where sediments are thin, plants can 't take root, and could be described as an underwater desert. Although the hardbottom areas may appear barren and lifeless, this is far from the truth. They are the home to all the ecosystems soft corals, sponges, and other invertebrates that use the area for shelter. They hide inside the sponges or beneath the sediments, these animals include the spiny lobster, sea cucumbers, Pillar Coral, Elkhorn Coral, Small tooth Sawfish, American alligators/ crocodiles, West Indian Manatee’s, and many species of birds like the American white pelican, Brown pelican, many species of Ibis and marine birds. In the areas where sediments are more than just a few inche...


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... our coastal environments. Given how important coral reefs are, the increasingly disappearance of our coral reef ecosystems will continue to have a detrimental impact on marine biodiversity with in these ecosystems. In addition to the decline of the animal species, job opportunities for many staff members that keep our parks open and healthy for everyone to enjoy, revenue be lost due to the decline in coral reefs. To help ensure this downward spiral in eliminated before it is too late, park officials and scientist conduct continuous research on the effects of ocean acidification and global warming on marine organisms and overall health and longevity of these ecosystems. Ultimately, the goal is to develop ways to intervene before it is to late in hopes that we can reverse the damage already inflicted on our coral reefs and allow these ecosystems to re grow once again.

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