Biscayne Bay

Biscayne Bay (Bahía Vizcaína in Spanish) is a lagoon that is approximately 35 miles (56 km) long and up to 8 miles (13 km) wide located on the Atlantic coast of South Florida, United States. It is usually divided for purposes of discussion and analysis into three parts: North Bay, Central Bay, and South Bay. Its area is 428 square miles (1,110 km2). The drainage basin covers 938 square miles (2,430 km2).

The North Bay of the "Biscayne Bay" lies between Miami Beach barrier island from Miami on the mainland. It has been severely affected over the last century by raw sewage releases, urban runoff, shoreline bulkheading, dredging, the creation of artificial islands and the loss of natural fresh water flow into the bay. However, water quality has steadily improved since regular monitoring began in 1979. North Bay accounts for only 10% of the water area of the bay.

Central Bay is the largest part of the bay. It is separated from the Atlantic Ocean by the Safety Valve. It has been adversely affected primarily by bulkheading, urban runoff discharged by canals, and the loss of natural fresh water flow.

South Bay is nearly as large as Central Bay, and is the least affected by human activities, although it also suffers from the loss of natural fresh water flow. South Bay is separated from the Straits of Florida by the northernmost of the Florida Keys, and includes Card sound and Barnes Sound. It is connected to Florida Bay through a few small channels.

The first bridge across Biscayne Bay was the 2.5 mile wooden Collins Bridge built by John S. Collins and Carl G. Fisher. The toll bridge was "the longest wooden bridge in the world" when it was completed in 1913 at the southern terminus of the Dixie Highway. The bridge was replaced in 1925 and renamed the Venetian Causeway. The MacArthur, Julia Tuttle, John F. Kennedy (79th Street) and Broad causeways connect the Miami mainland to the barrier islands of Miami Beach, and the Rickenbacker Causeway connects Miami to Key Biscayne. The Card Sound Bridge connects the mainland in the Homestead, Florida area to the northern part of Key Largo.

In 1975, the bay was designated as a state aquatic preserve. The aquatic preserve spans the entirety of Biscayne Bay from Oleta River in the north to Card Sound in the south, with the exception of the central part of the bay, which is Biscayne National Park. A second preserve was soon added off of Cape Florida on Key Biscayne, which became known as the Cape Florida to Monroe County Line Preserve. These two preserves are now managed by the state of Florida under the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserves. Seven remaining houses of Biscayne Bay's Stiltsville settlement are now within the boundaries of this National Park which was established in 1980. Much of Biscayne National Park was designated as a National Monument in 1967. Barnes Sound lie within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. In regards to wildlife, Bottlenose Dolphins and Florida Manatees can be observed in the bay.

The bay has been known by several names. Juan Ponce de León called it Chequescha in 1513. Pedro Menéndez de Avilés called it Tequesta in 1565. The British, during their occupation of Florida, called the bay Cape River, Dartmouth Sound, and Sandwich gulph. Hernando de Escalante Fontaneda related that a sailor from the Bay of Biscay called the Viscayno or Biscayno had lived on the lower east coast of Florida for a while after being shipwrecked, and a 17th century map shows a Cayo de Biscainhos, the probable origin of Key Biscayne. The bay was known as Key Biscayne Bay in the 19th century, finally shrinking to Biscayne Bay late in the 19th century.

The bay is also home to the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science in Virginia Key (founded in 1947) and Florida International University's Biscayne Bay Campus (founded in 1977) in North Miami. It was seen in the music video for The Lonely Island's "I'm on a Boat".

Read more about Biscayne Bay:  Safety Valve

Other articles related to "biscayne bay, biscayne, bay":

Murano At Portofino
... It is located directly on Biscayne Bay on the Miami Beach Marina ... The building has 3 tiers on a 4.5-acre (18,000 m2) site, and has over 600 linear ft along Biscayne Bay ... Murano at Portofino faces west and has views of the Biscayne Bay, Government Cut, and partial view of the Atlantic Ocean ...
Biscayne Bay - Safety Valve
... separated by tidal flow channels, stretching about 8 miles (13 km) from the south end of Key Biscayne to the Ragged Keys at the north end of the Florida Keys ... Ralph Munroe, who argued against building a causeway and bridges connecting Key Biscayne to the Ragged Keys and beyond on the grounds that such construction would block the ... It is believed that it does moderate the effects of storm surges on the bay ...
Biscayne National Park - Human History - Park Establishment
... The earliest proposals for the protection of Biscayne Bay were included in proposals by Everglades National Park advocate Ernest F ... Coe, whose proposed Everglades park boundaries included Biscayne Bay, its keys, interior country including what are now Homestead and Florida City, and Key ... Biscayne Bay, Key Largo and the adjoining inland extensions were cut from Everglades National Park before its establishment in 1947 ...
USCGC Biscayne Bay (WTGB-104)
... USCGC Biscayne Bay (WTGB-104) is a United States Coast Guard Cutter and an icebreaking tug ... Beyond her role as an icebreaker, Biscayne Bay performs search and rescue and law enforcement functions ...
Murano Grande At Portofino
... It is located directly on Biscayne Bay on the Miami Beach Marina ... It has 700 linear ft along Biscayne Bay Murano Grande is located on the southwestern-most edge of Miami Beach facing the Biscayne Bay to the west and Atlantic Ocean to the East ...

Famous quotes containing the word bay:

    Baltimore lay very near the immense protein factory of Chesapeake Bay, and out of the bay it ate divinely. I well recall the time when prime hard crabs of the channel species, blue in color, at least eight inches in length along the shell, and with snow-white meat almost as firm as soap, were hawked in Hollins Street of Summer mornings at ten cents a dozen.
    —H.L. (Henry Lewis)