Southern Florida and the Florida Keys represent the closest thing to a tropical environment in the United States outside of Hawaii. This is shown by the plant communities on land and by the coral reef communities below the sea surface. On land, communities called hardwood hammocks support more species of trees and shrubs than any other forest type in the United States. Coral reefs are also one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. Many state and federal lands and waters have been set aside as parks and preserves along the keys. The Museum of Natural History of the Florida Keys can be found in Marathon.
Playlist of videos about the Keys.
Image: Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary