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The Everglades is a natural region of tropical wetlands in the southern portion of the U.S. state of Florida, comprising the southern half of a large drainage basin within the Neotropical realm. The ecosystem it forms is not presently found anywhere else on earth. The system begins near Orlando with the Kissimmee River, which discharges into the vast but shallow Lake Okeechobee. Water leaving the lake in the wet season forms a slow-moving river 60 miles (97 km) wide and over 100 miles (160 km) long, flowing southward across a limestone shelf to Florida Bay at the southern end of the state. The Everglades experience a wide range of weather patterns, from frequent flooding in the wet season to drought in the dry season. Throughout the 20th century, the Everglades suffered significant loss of habitat and environmental degradation. Human habitation in the southern portion of the Florida peninsula dates to 15,000 years ago. Before European colonization, the region was dominated by the native Calusa and Tequesta tribes. With Spanish colonization, both tribes declined gradually during the following two centuries. The Seminole, formed from mostly Creek people who had been warring to the North, assimilated other peoples and created a new culture after being forced from northern Florida into the Everglades during the Seminole Wars of the early 19th century. After adapting to the region, they were able to resist removal by the United States Army. Migrants to the region who wanted to develop plantations first proposed draining the Everglades in 1848, but no work of this type was attempted until 1882. Canals were constructed throughout the first half of the 20th century, and spurred the South Florida economy, prompting land development. In 1947, Congress formed the Central and Southern Florida Flood Control Project, which built 1,400 miles (2,300 km) of canals, levees, and water control devices. The Miami metropolitan area grew substantially at this time and Everglades water was diverted to cities. Portions of the Everglades were transformed into farmland, where the primary crop was sugarcane. Approximately 50 percent of the original Everglades has been developed as agricultural or urban areas.Following this period of rapid development and environmental degradation, the ecosystem began to receive notable attention from conservation groups in the 1970s. Internationally, UNESCO and the Ramsar Convention designated the Everglades a Wetland Area of Global Importance. The construction of a large airport 6 miles (10 km) north of Everglades National Park was blocked when an environmental study found that it would severely damage the South Florida ecosystem. With heightened awareness and appreciation of the region, restoration began in the 1980s with the removal of a canal that had straightened the Kissimmee River. However, development and sustainability concerns have remained pertinent in the region. The deterioration of the Everglades, including poor water quality in Lake Okeechobee, was linked to the diminishing quality of life in South Florida's urban areas. In 2000 the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan was approved by Congress to combat these problems, which at that time was considered the most expensive and comprehensive environmental restoration attempt in history; however, implementation faced political complications.
Miami (), officially the City of Miami, is a coastal metropolis located in Miami-Dade County in southeastern Florida, United States. With a population of 442,241 as of the 2020 census, it is the 44th-largest city in the United States and the core of the nation's eighth-largest metropolitan area. The city has the third-largest skyline in the U.S. with over 300 high-rises, 58 of which exceed 491 ft (150 m).Miami is a major center and leader in finance, commerce, culture, arts, and international trade. The metro area is by far the largest urban economy in Florida and the 12th largest in the United States, with a GDP of $344.9 billion as of 2017. In 2020, Miami was classified as a Beta + level global city by the GaWC. In 2019, Miami ranked seventh in the United States and 31st among global cities in business activity, human capital, information exchange, cultural experience, and political engagement. According to a 2018 UBS study of 77 world cities, the city was ranked as the third-richest in the world and the second-richest in the United States in purchasing power. Miami is nicknamed the "Capital of Latin America" and is one of the largest majority-minority cities in the United States with over 72.7% of the population being of Hispanic and Latino descent.Greater Downtown Miami has one of the largest concentrations of international banks in the United States, and is home to many large national and international companies. The Health District, home to Jackson Memorial Hospital and the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami among others, is a major center for hospitals, clinics, and the biotechnology and medical research industries. PortMiami is the busiest cruise port in the world in both passenger traffic and cruise lines, and refers to itself as the "Cruise Capital of the World". Miami is also a major tourism hub for international visitors, ranking second in the country after New York City.Miami continues to contend with a range of challenges affecting the metropolitan area, including significant and rising levels of traffic, continued rapid commercial development and urban sprawl as well as rising levels of crime. A significant risk to Miami as well as the state of Florida arises from environmental factors including hurricanes and other tropical storms, rising sea levels and the ongoing impact of climate change on the coastal areas of the city.
Key West (Spanish: Cayo Hueso) is an island in the Straits of Florida, within the U.S. state of Florida. Together with all or parts of the separate islands of Dredgers Key, Fleming Key, Sunset Key, and the northern part of Stock Island, it constitutes the City of Key West. The Island of Key West is about 4 miles (6 kilometers) long and 1 mile (2 km) wide, with a total land area of 4.2 square miles (11 km2). It lies at the southernmost end of U.S. Route 1, the longest north–south road in the United States. Key West is about 95 miles (153 km) north of Cuba at their closest points. It is also 130 miles (210 km) southwest of Miami by air, about 165 miles (266 km) by road, and 106 miles (171 km) north-northeast of Havana.The City of Key West is the county seat of Monroe County, which includes all of the Florida Keys and part of the Everglades. The total land area of the city is 5.6 square miles (14.5 km2). The official city motto is "One Human Family". Key West is the southernmost city in the contiguous United States and the westernmost island connected by highway in the Florida Keys. Duval Street, its main street, is 1.1 miles (1.8 km) in length in its 14-block-long crossing from the Gulf of Mexico to the Straits of Florida and the Atlantic Ocean. Key West is the southern terminus of U.S. Route 1, State Road A1A, the East Coast Greenway and, before 1935, the Florida East Coast Railway. Key West is a port of call for many passenger cruise ships. The Key West International Airport provides airline service. Naval Air Station Key West is an important year-round training site for naval aviation due to the tropical weather, which is also the reason Key West was chosen as the site of President Harry S. Truman's Winter White House. The central business district is located along Duval Street and includes much of the northwestern corner of the island.
Sunny Isles Beach
Sunny Isles Beach (SIB, officially the City of Sunny Isles Beach) is a city located on a barrier island in northeast Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. The city is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east and the Intracoastal Waterway on the west. Sunny Isles Beach is an area of cultural diversity with stores lining Collins Avenue, the main thoroughfare through the city. It is renowned for having the 14th tallest skyline in America despite its relatively low population. It is a growing resort area and developers like Michael Dezer have invested heavily in construction of high-rise hotels and condominiums while licensing the Donald Trump name for some of the buildings for promotional purposes. Sunny Isles Beach has a central location, minutes from Bal Harbour to the south, and Aventura to the north and west. Sunny Isles Beach was also the 2008 site of MTV's annual Spring Break celebration, with headquarters at the local Newport Beachside Resort.