Key Biscayne a family and nature wonderland
Key Biscayne is a barrier island located next to Miami, Florida in the Atlantic Ocean and bordering to Biscayne Bay. It also lies south of Miami Beach. Key Biscayne is connected to Miami via the Rickenbacker Causeway, originally built in 1947.
Key Biscayne, while named a 'key', is not part of the Florida Keys. It is a barrier island composed of sand coming from the north by coastal currents. There is no hard bedrock close to the surface of the island, only layers of weak shelly sandstone to depths of 100 feet. Key Biscayne is elongated in the north-south direction, tapering to a point at each end. It is approximately seven miles long and one to two miles wide. The northern end of the island is separated from another barrier island, Virginia Key, by Bear Cut.
The southern end of the island is Cape Florida. The Cape Florida Channel separates the island from the Safety Valve, an expanse of shallow flats cut by tidal channels that extends southward about nine miles to the Ragged Keys, at the northern end of the Florida Keys. Only Soldier Key, just three acres in area lies between Key Biscayne and the Ragged Keys. The Cape Florida Channel ten to eleven feet deep and Bear Cut four feet deep are the deepest natural channels into Biscayne Bay, and provided the only access for ocean-going vessels to Biscayne Bay until artificial channels were dredged. The island has a fine sandy beach on the east side, and mangroves and lagoons on the west side. The average elevation of the island is less than five feet above sea level.
Within sight of downtown Miami, yet worlds away, Biscayne protects a rare combination of aquamarine waters, emerald islands, and fish-bejeweled coral reefs. Here too is evidence of 10,000 years of human history, from pirates and shipwrecks to pineapple farmers and presidents. Outdoors enthusiasts can boat, snorkel, camp, watch wildlife…or simply relax in a rocking chair gazing out over the bay.
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