Earth Sciences
The Florida Keys

Why is the water transparency high in the Florida Keys?



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* Because there is only 90 miles between the Keys and Cuba, the Ocean currents (Gulf current and tidal currents) move more quickly (much water through a narrow gap) thus preventing a buildup of algae and phytoplankton.

* There is very little (near zero) river runoff to cloud the waters around the Keys.

* The vast coral reef system is home for sea creatures that eat the algae and phytoplankton that would, otherwise, cloud the water.

* Water and ocean conservation is practiced in the Florida Keys-- limited fishing, no dumping, etc.-- so the waters around the Keys, especially Key Largo, is less polluted by chemicals that would kill those aforementioned sea creatures that eat algae and plankton.