Natural History

     Our home, South Florida, is surrounded by the warm waters of the southern Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf Stream.  This gives us an abundant amount of moisture.  We are close enough to the equator to receive lots of sun, even in the winter.  These factors combine to give us a subtropical climate.

     South Florida is also a fairly new member of the North American continent, having been formed out of the ocean within the past 100,000 years.  During that time, different types of biotic communities have formed.

     If we take an imaginary trip across South Florida, from the east coast to the west coast, we can see each of the different communities that have formed.  In the waters of the Atlantic ocean, coral reefs formed and flourished.  Along the coastline, mangrove trees grew.  Farther inland, pinelands and hardwood hammocks took over.  The tropical hardwood hammock is the climax community for South Florida.  Moving farther inland, a unique flat and wet area that we call the Everglades was formed.  The Everglades now stretches from Lake Okeechobee to the tip of the Florida peninsula.
 

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