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Key Largo

Key Largo

Overview


Key Largo is an island in the upper Florida Keys
Florida Keys
The Florida Keys are a coral archipelago in southeast United States. They begin at the southeastern tip of the Florida peninsula, about south of Miami, and extend in a gentle arc south-southwest and then westward to Key West, the westernmost of the inhabited islands, and on to the uninhabited Dry...

 archipelago and, at 33 miles (53 km) long, the largest of the Keys. It is also the northernmost of the Florida Keys in Monroe County
Monroe County, Florida
Monroe County is a county located in the state of Florida. As of 2000, the population was 79,589. The U.S. Census Bureau 2006 estimate for the county was 74,737....

, and the northernmost of the Keys connected by U.S. Highway 1
U.S. Route 1 in Florida
U.S. Route 1 in Florida runs along the state's east coast from Key West to its crossing of the St. Marys River into Georgia north of Boulogne, and south of Folkston. US 1 was designated through Florida when the U.S. Highway System was established in 1926.US 1 runs in the state of Florida, and...

 (the Overseas Highway
Overseas Highway
The Overseas Highway is a highway carrying U.S. Route 1 through the Florida Keys. Large parts of it were built on the former right-of-way of the Overseas Railroad, the Key West Extension of the Florida East Coast Railway. Completed in 1912, the Overseas Railroad was heavily damaged and partially...

). Its earlier Spanish name was Cayo Largo, meaning Long Key.

Key Largo is connected to the mainland in Miami-Dade County
Miami-Dade County, Florida
Miami-Dade County is a county located in the southeastern part of the state of Florida. As of 2010 U.S. Census, the county had a population of 2,496,435, making it the most populous county in Florida and the eighth-most populous county in the United States...

 by two routes. The Overseas Highway, which is U.S. Highway 1
U.S. Route 1 in Florida
U.S. Route 1 in Florida runs along the state's east coast from Key West to its crossing of the St. Marys River into Georgia north of Boulogne, and south of Folkston. US 1 was designated through Florida when the U.S. Highway System was established in 1926.US 1 runs in the state of Florida, and...

, enters Key Largo at Jewfish Creek near the middle of the island and turns southwest.
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Quotations

You don't like it, do you Rocco, the storm? Show it your gun, why don't you? If it doesn't stop, shoot it.

When your head says one thing and your whole life says another, your head always loses.

One Rocco more or less isn't worth dying for!

After living in the USA for more than thirty-five years they called me an undesirable alien. Me. Johnny Rocco. Like I was a dirty Red or something!

You'd give your left arm to nail me wouldn't you? I could see the headlines now, 'Local Deputy Captures Johnny Rocco'. Your picture'd be in all the papers. You might even get to tell on the newsreels how you pulled if off, yeah. Listen hick, I was too much for any big city police force to handle. It took the United States Government to pin a rap on me. And they won't make it stick. You hick, I'll be back pulling strings to get guys elected mayor and governor before you get a ten buck raise.

Encyclopedia


Key Largo is an island in the upper Florida Keys
Florida Keys
The Florida Keys are a coral archipelago in southeast United States. They begin at the southeastern tip of the Florida peninsula, about south of Miami, and extend in a gentle arc south-southwest and then westward to Key West, the westernmost of the inhabited islands, and on to the uninhabited Dry...

 archipelago and, at 33 miles (53 km) long, the largest of the Keys. It is also the northernmost of the Florida Keys in Monroe County
Monroe County, Florida
Monroe County is a county located in the state of Florida. As of 2000, the population was 79,589. The U.S. Census Bureau 2006 estimate for the county was 74,737....

, and the northernmost of the Keys connected by U.S. Highway 1
U.S. Route 1 in Florida
U.S. Route 1 in Florida runs along the state's east coast from Key West to its crossing of the St. Marys River into Georgia north of Boulogne, and south of Folkston. US 1 was designated through Florida when the U.S. Highway System was established in 1926.US 1 runs in the state of Florida, and...

 (the Overseas Highway
Overseas Highway
The Overseas Highway is a highway carrying U.S. Route 1 through the Florida Keys. Large parts of it were built on the former right-of-way of the Overseas Railroad, the Key West Extension of the Florida East Coast Railway. Completed in 1912, the Overseas Railroad was heavily damaged and partially...

). Its earlier Spanish name was Cayo Largo, meaning Long Key.

Key Largo is connected to the mainland in Miami-Dade County
Miami-Dade County, Florida
Miami-Dade County is a county located in the southeastern part of the state of Florida. As of 2010 U.S. Census, the county had a population of 2,496,435, making it the most populous county in Florida and the eighth-most populous county in the United States...

 by two routes. The Overseas Highway, which is U.S. Highway 1
U.S. Route 1 in Florida
U.S. Route 1 in Florida runs along the state's east coast from Key West to its crossing of the St. Marys River into Georgia north of Boulogne, and south of Folkston. US 1 was designated through Florida when the U.S. Highway System was established in 1926.US 1 runs in the state of Florida, and...

, enters Key Largo at Jewfish Creek near the middle of the island and turns southwest. Card Sound Road connects to the northern part of Key Largo at Card Sound Bridge
Card Sound Bridge
Card Sound Bridge is a high-rise toll causeway connecting southern Miami-Dade County and northern Monroe County. It is one of only two ways that motorists can leave or enter the Florida Keys . Toll for two-axle automobiles is USD $1.00 , and SunPass is not accepted at this toll plaza...

 and runs southeastward to connect with County Road 905, which runs southwest and joins U.S. 1 at about mile marker 106. These routes originate at Florida City
Florida City, Florida
Florida City is a city in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States and is the southernmost municipality in the South Florida metropolitan area, which had an estimated population of 5,413,212 in 2007. The population was 7,843 at the 2000 census. As of 2004, the population estimated by the U.S....

 on the mainland.

Key Largo is a popular tourist destination and calls itself the "Diving Capital of the World" because the living coral reef a few miles offshore attracts thousands of scuba divers
Scuba diving
Scuba diving is a form of underwater diving in which a diver uses a scuba set to breathe underwater....

 and sport-fishing
Fishing
Fishing is the activity of trying to catch wild fish. Fish are normally caught in the wild. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping....

 enthusiasts.

Key Largo's proximity to the Everglades
Everglades
The Everglades are subtropical wetlands in the southern portion of the U.S. state of Florida, comprising the southern half of a large watershed. The system begins near Orlando with the Kissimmee River, which discharges into the vast but shallow Lake Okeechobee...

 also makes it a premier destination for kayak
Kayak
A kayak is a small, relatively narrow, human-powered boat primarily designed to be manually propelled by means of a double blade paddle.The traditional kayak has a covered deck and one or more cockpits, each seating one paddler...

ers and ecotourist
Ecotourism
Ecotourism is a form of tourism visiting fragile, pristine, and usually protected areas, intended as a low impact and often small scale alternative to standard commercial tourism...

s. Automotive and highway pioneer and Miami Beach
Miami Beach, Florida
Miami Beach is a coastal resort city in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States, incorporated on March 26, 1915. The municipality is located on a barrier island between the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay, the latter which separates the Beach from Miami city proper...

 developer Carl G. Fisher
Carl G. Fisher
Carl Graham Fisher was an American entrepreneur. Despite having severe astigmatism, he became a seemingly tireless pioneer and promoter of the automotive, auto racing, and real estate development industries...

 built Key Largo's famous Caribbean Club
Caribbean Club
Caribbean Club on Key Largo, northernmost of the Florida Keys, was developed and built by auto parts and real estate promoter Carl Graham Fisher in 1938....

 in 1938 as his last project.

The island gained fame as the setting for the 1948 film Key Largo
Key Largo (film)
Key Largo is a 1948 film noir directed by John Huston and starring Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, Lauren Bacall, Lionel Barrymore, and Claire Trevor...

, although it was filmed entirely on a Warner Brothers sound stage in Hollywood except for background location filming used for establishing shots. The island's post office in Rock Harbor, which had been named after a nearby cove, changed its name to Key Largo after the film's success and pressure from local businessmen. It did this so that everyone living north of Tavernier
Tavernier, Florida
Tavernier is a census-designated place in Monroe County, Florida, on an island named Key Largo in the upper Florida Keys. The population was 2,173 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Tavernier is located at ....

 would have a Key Largo address and the cancellation would say Key Largo instead of Rock Harbor.

There are three census-designated place
Census-designated place
A census-designated place is a concentration of population identified by the United States Census Bureau for statistical purposes. CDPs are delineated for each decennial census as the statistical counterparts of incorporated places such as cities, towns and villages...

s on the island of Key Largo: North Key Largo, near the Card Sound Bridge, Key Largo, eight or nine miles from the southern end of the island, and Tavernier, at the southern end of the island. Ocean Reef Club is a private gated community
Gated community
In its modern form, a gated community is a form of residential community or housing estate containing strictly-controlled entrances for pedestrians, bicycles, and automobiles, and often characterized by a closed perimeter of walls and fences. Gated communities usually consist of small residential...

 and club at the northern end of the island. None of Key Largo is an incorporated municipality, so it is governed at the local level by Monroe County
Monroe County, Florida
Monroe County is a county located in the state of Florida. As of 2000, the population was 79,589. The U.S. Census Bureau 2006 estimate for the county was 74,737....

.

Key Largo is situated between Everglades National Park
Everglades National Park
Everglades National Park is a national park in the U.S. state of Florida that protects the southern 25 percent of the original Everglades. It is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, and is visited on average by one million people each year. It is the third-largest...

 to the north-west and John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is a Florida State Park located on Key Largo in Florida, and includes approximately 70 nautical square miles of adjacent Atlantic Ocean waters. It was the first underwater park in the United States. The park was added to the National Register of Historic Places...

 to the east, the first underwater park in the United States and the site of the only living coral barrier reef in the continental United States.

Geology and geography


The island of Key Largo is an exposed, fossilized remnant of a coral reef
Coral reef
Coral reefs are underwater structures made from calcium carbonate secreted by corals. Coral reefs are colonies of tiny living animals found in marine waters that contain few nutrients. Most coral reefs are built from stony corals, which in turn consist of polyps that cluster in groups. The polyps...

 that was formed during a period of higher sea level and then uncovered and eroded during a subsequent ice age
Ice age
An ice age or, more precisely, glacial age, is a generic geological period of long-term reduction in the temperature of the Earth's surface and atmosphere, resulting in the presence or expansion of continental ice sheets, polar ice sheets and alpine glaciers...

. The highest elevation is a slight ridge forming the spine of the island, which rises to as high as about 15 feet. The land slopes from the spine down to sea level on the oceanside and bayside.

The island's substrate
Substrate (marine biology)
Stream substrate is the material that rests at the bottom of a stream. There are several classification guides. One is:*Mud – silt and clay.*Sand – Particles between 0.06 and 2 mm in diameter.*Granule – Between 2 and 4 mm in diameter....

 is called Key Largo Limestone
Limestone
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate . Many limestones are composed from skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral or foraminifera....

; in many places, fossil
Fossil
Fossils are the preserved remains or traces of animals , plants, and other organisms from the remote past...

ized corals and smooth, eroded limestone "caprock" are visible at the surface. Solution holes, which are pockets dissolved in the limestone by acidic rainwater, form shallow depressions in the land. The natural shoreline of the island is generally rocky. A slippery, gray, limestone-based clay called "marl
Marl
Marl or marlstone is a calcium carbonate or lime-rich mud or mudstone which contains variable amounts of clays and aragonite. Marl was originally an old term loosely applied to a variety of materials, most of which occur as loose, earthy deposits consisting chiefly of an intimate mixture of clay...

" is the shoreline and near-shore soil. There are no natural sand beaches on the island. Inland, decomposed vegetation forms a rich, acidic humus soil up to about six inches thick, topped by "leaf litter." The soil supports a diverse flora of herbaceous plants and woody shrubs and hardwood trees.

Key Largo's climate is considered tropical. Frost has never been recorded in the island.

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