Dry Tortugas

From Academic Kids

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Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas

The Dry Tortugas are a small group of islands, located at the end of the Florida Keys, USA, about 70 miles or 110 kilometers west of Key West which were discovered in 1513 by Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon. The islands get their name from their distinctive characteristics: Dry because none of the islands has fresh water and Tortugas because their low mound shape resembles tortoises (Spanish tortugas) sunning themselves. The islands are home to Dry Tortugas National Park, and are only accessible by boat or seaplane. They are not related to the Caribbean island of Tortuga, near Hispaniola.

In 1861, the United States government completed Fort Jefferson on Garden Key, and this bastion remained in Union hands throughout the Civil War. It later was used as a prison until abandoned in 1874. During the 1880s, the Navy established a base at Tortuga; and it subsequently set up a coaling and a wireless station there as well. During World War I, a seaplane base was established on the islet; but it was abandoned soon thereafter.

In August 2004, the Dry Tortugas were directly struck by Hurricane Charley. The following day, a Cessna airplane crashed into the water near the islands, killing cinematographer Neal Fredericks while he was filming scenery for Cross Bones.

External links

  • Dry Tortugas (http://www.keywesttravelguide.com/dry_tortugas.html) Description of Ft. Jefferson trips and booking information.

Template:US-south-geo-stub

Edit (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/wiki.phtml?title=Template:Florida_Keys&action=edit) Florida Keys
Upper keys Key Largo, Islamorada, Tavernier, Plantation Key, Matecumbe Key
Middle keys Craig Key, Fiesta Key, Long Key, Conch Key, Duck Key, Grassy Key, Deer Key, Vaca Key, Marathon Key, Boot Key
Lower keys Bahia Honda, West Summerland Key, No Name Key, Big Pine Key, Torch Key, Little Torch Key, Ramrod Key, Summerland Key, Cudjoe Key, Sugarloaf Key, Saddlebunch Keys, Big Coppitt Key, Boca Chica, Key West
Outlying islands Dry Tortugas, Marquesas Keys
Areas Florida Bay, Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, National Key Deer Sanctuary, Biscayne Bay, Biscayne National Park
Other topics Overseas Highway, Overseas Railway, Seven Mile Bridge, Key Deer, Conch Republic, Monroe County, Hurricane Georges, 1935 Hurricane, Theater of the Sea
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