Dry Tortugas National Park, which includes Bush, Long, Loggerhead, Garden, and Bird Keys, is a cluster of islands and coral reefs approximately 112.9 km (70 miles) west of Key West, Florida (fig. 1). These islands were explored in 1513 by Ponce de Leon, who named them for the abundance of sea turtles, ?tortugas,? and the lack of fresh water in the area. Historically, the Tortugas shoals have been valued as a military outpost, and the area is now additionally recognized as nesting grounds for diverse seabirds. The Dry Tortugas were declared a national treasure and bird sanctuary as early as 1908 and were incorporated into the National Park Service in 1935. These islands have been the setting for the U.S. Geological Survey?s National Wetlands Research Center (NWRC) research into mangroves and their relationship to bird life.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
History and Ecology of Mangroves in the Dry Tortugas