Bahia Honda Key

Bahia Honda Key

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Bahia Honda Key

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Description:
Bahia Honda (meaning deep bay, in Spanish, locally pronounced: BAY-ah HON-da , also pronounced (in Spanish): Bah-EE-ah OWN-dah ), is an island in the lower Florida Keys.

U.S. 1 (the Overseas Highway) crosses the key at approximately mile markers 36-38.5, between Ohio Key and Spanish Harbor Key west of Marathon, close to the west end of the Seven Mile Bridge.

The island is virtually uninhabited, being home to the Bahia Honda State Park. Founded in 1961, the park occupies most of the island. The channel at the island's west end is one of the deepest natural channels in the Florida Keys.

Fauna

Marine life is quite plentiful in the waters surrounding the island. Just off the beach snorkelers can spot many species of small reef fish, as well as rays, barracuda, and even the occasional small nurse shark.

The only known natural colony of the now rare Miami blue butterfly was discovered in the park in 1999. The butterfly had been thought to have become extinct as a result of Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

Flora

Several rare plants, including Yellow Satinwood (Zanthoxylum flavum), Florida Silver Palm (Coccothrinax argentata), Key Thatch Palm (Leucothrinax morrisii), and the endangered Small-flowered Lily-thorn (Catesbaea parviflora) are found in the park.

History

Henry Flagler's Florida East Coast Railway once ran through the present parkland to Key West. Built between 1905 and 1912, it was destroyed by the severe Labor Day Hurricane of 1935. Later, the railroad bridge foundations...
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