Sailing Guide

Florida Bay

Florida Bay



Florida Bay is an estuary covering approximately 1,100 square miles (2,850 square km) between the southern tip of Florida and the Florida Keys,from Barnes Sound to cape Sable. It is located on a shallow shelf lagoon where freshwater from the Everglades mixes with the saltwater from the Gulf of Mexico. Inflow of fresh water into Florida Bay occurs through sheet flow across the southern Everglades. However, water management practices have drastically altered the flow through the construction of canals, resulting in a 50% reduction of freshwater input over the past century.
However, during the rainy season, freshwater enters Florida Bay from rainfall, surface runoff, and groundwater. This results in a salinity gradient across the bay, increasing in salinity from north to south. Portions of the bay often become hypersaline, with salinities reaching over 35 parts per thousand.

Dominant habitats in the Florida Bay include seagrass meadows, mangrove islands, and hard bottom areas.

Depths are shallow and irregular; the bottom is mostly mud. From April to October the waters of the bay are clear and the shoals plainly discernible, but during the winter the water frequently turns milky and renders the shoals indistinguishable.

Only small craft can navigate this part of the bay which is frequented by small motor yachts, crab and lobster fishermen, and other fishing craft.

A protected area of the Everglades National Park is in the northern part of Florida Bay. Landing on the beaches or keys of this area without the authorization of the Superintendent of the Everglades National Park is prohibited, except on those beaches or keys marked by a sign denoting the area as being open. Everglades National Park is a Marine Protected Area.

In the E part of the bay are small keys and numerous mudflats which bare, or nearly bare, at low water.
The W part of the bay has depths ranging from 7 to 13 feet, and the bottom is covered with loggerhead sponges and turtle grass.

For the protection of wildlife, all keys in the Florida Bay portion of Everglades National Park are closed to landing except those marked as designated camping areas.

The killing, collecting, or molesting of animals, the collecting of plants, and waterskiing are prohibited by Federal Regulation.

Florida Bay
Florida Bay
La Baie de Floride est un estuaire couvrant environ 1.100 miles carrés (2.850 kilomètres carrés) entre la pointe sud de la Floride et les Keys de Floride, entre Barnes Sound et Cape Sable. Elle est située sur un lagon peu profond, plateau où l'eau douce des Everglades se mélange à l'eau salée du golfe du Mexique. L'afflux d'eau douce dans la
Baie de Floride se fait par un écoulement en nappe dans les Everglades sud. Toutefois, les pratiques de gestion de l'eau ont radicalement modifié le débit à travers la construction de canaux, ce qui entraîne une réduction de 50% de l'apport d'eau douce au cours du siècle passé. Toutefois, pendant la saison des pluies, l'eau douce entre dans la Baie de Floride (pluie, eaux de ruissellement, et eaux souterraines). Il en résulte un gradient de salinité à travers la baie, l'augmentation de la salinité du nord au sud. Des portions de la baie deviennent souvent hypersalines, (la salinité atteint plus de 35 par mille).
Les habitats dominants dans la baie de Floride sont les herbiers, les îles de mangrove et les zones difficiles bas.

Les profondeurs sont peu profondes et irrégulières; le fond est surtout boueux. D'avril à Octobre les eaux de la baie sont claires et les écueils sont clairement visibles, mais pendant l'hiver l'eau se transforme, elle est souvent laiteuse et rend les bancs indiscernables.

Seules les petites embarcations peuvent naviguer dans cette partie de la baie qui est fréquentée par des
petits yachts à moteur, les pêcheurs de homard, et les bateaux de pêche.
Beaucoup de hauts fonds avec des profondeurs moindres sont dispersés dans toute cette partie de la baie; Le fond est recouvert d'éponges panier et de petites têtes de corail.

La partie nord de la baie de Floride est une zone protégée du Parc national des Everglades. L'atterrissage sur les plages ou des clefs de ce domaine sans l'autorisation du surintendant du Parc national des Everglades est interdite, sauf sur celles des plages ou des touches marquées par un panneau indiquant la zone comme étant ouvertes. Everglades National
Park est une zone de protection marine.
La partie
Ouest de la baie a des profondeurs allant de 2,1 m à 4,8 m, et le fond est recouvert de caouanne, d'éponges et d'herbes à tortue.
Pour la protection de la faune, toutes les touches dans la partie de la baie de Floride du Parc national des Everglades sont fermées à l'atterrissage, sauf celles marquées comme des aires de camping désignés.
Le meurtre, la collecte, ou la maltraitance des animaux, la cueillette de plantes, et le ski nautique sont interdits par la réglementation fédérale.

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Sites around Florida Bay
Flying distances - Direct line

Long Key (ou Rattlesnake key) (Florida Keys)

Long Key was called Cayo Vivora (Rattlesnake Key) by early Spanish explorers, a reference to the shape of the island, which resembles a snake with its jaws open, rather than to its denizens.
In the early 20th century, Long
Key was the site of a luxurious fishing resort that ...
5 Apr 10

Lower Matecumbe Key (Florida Keys)

The island lies to the southwest of Upper Matecumbe Key, and to the northeast of Craig
All of the key is within the Village of Islamorada as of November 4, 1997, when it was incorporated.
This key is the site of a number of Indian mounds and middens, most of which were ...
22 Mar 10

Key Vaca (Florida Keys)

Key Vaca is an island in the middle Florida
Keys, located entirely within the borders of the city of Marathon, Florida. It is often incorrectly identified as
"Marathon Key."Key Vaca is located between Fat
Deer Key and Knight's Key. Key Vaca is also connected via bridge to ...
22 Mar 10

Lignumvitae Key (Florida Keys)

Lignumvitae Key is an island in the upper Florida
Keys. It is located due north of, and less than one mile from the easternmost tip of Lower Matecumbe Key.
The island has the Keys' highest point above sea level of 19 feet (5.8 m), which beats the island of Key West's
Solares ...
23 Mar 10

Long Key bight anchorage (Long Key)

  We anchore on the central waters of Long Key Bight, which lies west of Channel Five's flashing daybeacon #2.
Don't think about approaching any of the bight's shore-lines. They are uniformly shoal.
Clearly, this is not an anchorage for deep-draft vessels, it's not for ...
16 Apr 12

Lignumvitae anchorage (Florida Keys)

Between the waterway and the northern entrance to the channel, the mooring field off the northwestern shores of lignumvitae Key will be passed to the East. As observed above, this is a great spot, with easterly winds in the offing, to spend a few hours or even an evening.Protected ...
16 Apr 12

Channel Five (Florida Keys)

Channel Five is the second of the two marked passages spanned by the Lower Matecumbe Key-Long Key Bridge. It is an important route, not the least reason for wich is the full 65 feet of vertical clearance afforded by the fixed bridge that spans its width. This is the first ICW to Hawk ...
25 Mar 10

Shell Key (Florida Keys)

Shell Key is a large, all-natual body of land that is found S of the ICW's unlighted daybeacon #91. It also lies near the Northerly head various passages.
Shell Key is owned by the state of Florida and is fully protected. landings are not allowed.
16 Apr 12

Lignumvitae Key Channel (Florida Keys)

The entrance to the 6 foot minimum depth Lignumvitae Channel lies just west of the like-named Key. Cruiserheaded for this cut from the ICW can leave the Waterway's track, 6
M SW of unlighted daybeacon #91A.
The Northernmost aids to navigation on the Lignumvitae Channel are unlighted ...
16 Apr 12

Shell Key anchorage (Florida Keys)

On the plus side the state maintains a series of five mooring buoys off the key's NW shoreline. There is also plenty of room to anchor.
Good depths of 6 feet or better are maintened to within 100 yards of the isle's NW banks.
This anchorage field affords good shelter to the ...
16 Apr 12

Caloosa Cove Marina (Lower Matecumbe Key)

Caloosa Cove Marina is located in Florida Keys, USA S. The facility combines slips and boat yard. L'installation combine glisse et chantier naval. It is popular with anglers, limited depths preclude large deep draught vessels.Caloosa
Cove Marina lies on the SW tip of Lower Matecumbe ...
16 Apr 12

Matecumbe Bight anchorage (Florida Keys)

Anchorage located at South/southeast of the ICW's unlighted daybeacon #97.To avoid the 1 foot shallows of Peterson Bank, westbound cruisers must follow the waterway's track for another 6 M or so southwest of #97 before turning to southeast and heading for the bight.
Minimum depth: ...
22 Mar 10
Local Area

The Keys ( Florida)

The Florida Keys are a chain-like cluster of about 1700 islands in the southeast United States. They begin at the southeastern tip of the Florida peninsula, about 15 miles (24 km) south of Miami, and extend in a gentle arc south-southwest and then westward to Key West, the ...
7 Apr 12

West Florida

The coast, for nearly 115 miles, from Key West to San Carlos Bay is low, sandy, and generally wooded. Innumerable small islands and keys, interlaced by many small rivers and bayous, make up Everglades National Park and the Ten Thousand Islands. From San Carlos Bay N to Tampa Bay the ...
6 Apr 12

Gulf of Mexico

The Gulf of Mexico is the ninth largest body of water in the world. The shape of its basin is roughly oval and approximately 810 nautical miles (1,500 km) wide and filled with sedimentary rocks and debris. Tidal ranges are extremely small due to the narrow connection with the ocean. Considered ...
6 Apr 12

NW Atlantic Ocean

Entre le Groenland et la mer du Nord, l'Atlantique est séparé de l'Océan Arctique par le seuil de Wyville-, zone relativement peu profonde (entre 300 et 1250 m) et de laquelle émerge l'Islande.
Au Nord, c'est-à-dire déjà dans l'océan Arctique, on trouve le bassin de Norvège, ...
19 Mar 15

Lower Matecumbe Key (Florida Keys)

The island lies to the southwest of Upper Matecumbe Key, and to the northeast of Craig
All of the key is within the Village of Islamorada as of November 4, 1997, when it was incorporated.
This key is the site of a number of Indian mounds and middens, most of which were ...
22 Mar 10

Upper matecumbe Key (Florida Keys)

The island lies to the southwest of Windley
Key, and to the northeast of Lower Matecumbe Key.
All of the key is within the Village of Islamorada as of November 4, 1997, when it was incorporated.
22 Mar 10
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