A dry dock is a narrow basin or vessel that can be flooded to allow a load to be floated in drained to allow that load to come to rest on a dry platform. Dry docks are used for the construction and repair of ships and other watercraft; the use of dry docks in China goes at least as far back the 10th century A. D. In 1088, Song Dynasty scientist and statesman Shen Kuo wrote in his Dream Pool Essays: At the beginning of the dynasty the two Che provinces presented two dragon ships each more than 200 ft. in length. The upper works included several decks with palatial cabins and saloons, containing thrones and couches all ready for imperial tours of inspection. After many years, their hulls decayed and needed repairs, but the work was impossible as long as they were afloat. So in the Hsi-Ning reign period a palace official Huang Huai-Hsin suggested a plan. A large basin was excavated at the north end of the Chin-ming Lake capable of containing the dragon ships, in it heavy crosswise beams were laid down upon a foundation of pillars.
So that the basin filled with water, after which the ships were towed in above the beams. The water was pumped out by wheels so that the ships rested quite in the air; when the repairs were complete, the water was let in again. The beams and pillars were taken away, the whole basin covered over with a great roof so as to form a hangar in which the ships could be protected from the elements and avoid the damage caused by undue exposure; the first English and oldest surviving dry dock still in use was commissioned by Henry VII of England at HMNB Portsmouth in 1495. This dry dock holds the world's oldest commissioned warship, HMS Victory; the earliest description of a floating dock comes from a small Italian book printed in Venice in 1560, called Descrittione dell'artifitiosa machina. In the booklet, an unknown author asks for the privilege of using a new method for the salvaging of a grounded ship and proceeds to describe and illustrate his approach; the included woodcut shows a ship flanked by two large floating trestles, forming a roof above the vessel.
The ship is pulled in an upright position by a number of ropes attached to the superstructure. The Saint-Nazaire's Chantiers de l'Atlantique owns one of the biggest in the world: 1,200 by 60 metres; the largest graving dock of the Mediterranean as of 2009 is at the Hellenic Shipyards S. A.. The Alfredo da Silva Dry Dock in Almada, was closed in 2000; the largest roofed dry dock is at the German Meyer Werft Shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, it is 504 m long, 125 m wide and stands 75 m tall. Harland and Wolff Heavy Industries in Belfast, Northern Ireland, is the site of a large dry dock 556 by 93 metres; the massive cranes are named after the Biblical figures Goliath. Dry Dock 12 at Newport News Shipbuilding at 662 by 76 metres is the largest dry dock in the USA; the largest floating-dock in North America is named The Vigorous. It is operated by Vigor Industries in Portland, OR, in the Swan Island industrial area along the Willamette River. A graving dock is the traditional form of dry dock, it is narrow basin made of earthen berms and concrete, closed by gates or by a caisson.
When open, a vessel is floated in and the water pumped out, leaving the craft supported on blocks. The keel blocks as well as the bilge block are placed on the floor of the dock in accordance with the "docking plan" of the ship. Routine use of dry docks is for the "graving" i.e. the cleaning, removal of barnacles and rust, re-painting of ships' hulls. Some fine-tuning of the ship's position can be done by divers while there is still some water left to manoeuvre it about, it is important that supporting blocks conform to the structural members so that the ship is not damaged when its weight is supported by the blocks. Some anti-submarine warfare warships have protruding sonar domes, requiring that the hull of the ship be supported several metres from the bottom of the drydock. Once the remainder of the water is pumped out, the ship can be inspected or serviced; when work on the ship is finished, water is allowed to re-enter the dry dock and the ship is refloated. Modern graving docks are box-shaped, to accommodate the newer, boxier ship designs, whereas old dry docks are shaped like the ships that are planned to be docked there.
This shaping was advantageous because such a dock was easier to build, it was easier to side-support the ships, less water had to be pumped away. Dry docks used for building Navy vessels may be built with a roof; this is done to prevent spy satellites from taking pictures of the dry dock and any ships or submarines that may be in it. During World War II, fortified dry docks were used by the Germans to protect their submarines from Allied air raids. Today, covered dry docks are used only when servicing or repairing a fleet ballistic missile submarine. Another advantage of covered dry docks is. A floating dry dock is a type of pontoon for dry docking ships, possessing floodable buoyancy chambers and a "U"-shaped cross-section; the walls are used to give the dry dock stability when the floor or deck is below the surface of the water. When valves are opened, the
The Saint Johns River Ferry known as the Mayport Ferry, is an automobile ferry between Mayport and Fort George Island, two areas within Jacksonville, Florida. The 0.9 miles voyage crosses the Saint Johns River about 2.5 miles inland of the river's mouth and travels in an east-west direction for 2,000 feet on State Road A1A. It departs every half-hour; the alternate driving route is 28 miles long. The ferry has been operating since 1874; these vessels operated in the ferry fleet: primary: Jean Ribault, built 1996, 40 vehicles, 206 passengers. Stand-by: Blackbeard, built 1956, 42 vehicles, 207 passengers. Additional ferries which were in service included the Jean LaFitte, a 26-car ferry, the Reliance, the Sirus. U. S. Coast Guard documents these vessels; the history of the ferry dates back to 1874 according to the New York Times and the Library of Congress. The Florida Department of Transportation, which had always operated the service, had the Mayport Ferry line item budget vetoed by Governor Charlie Crist for 2007-2008.
The City of Jacksonville had been contributing $200,000-300,000 for several years, so instead of allowing the service to end, the City of Jacksonville assumed full responsibility. However, they lost over $1 million in one year, Mayor John Peyton announced that there was insufficient money available in the new budget; the Jacksonville Port Authority took over operation of the ferry for 2007 and lost $500,000 each year, but uses port revenue, not tax money, to underwrite the operation. After taking over, the JPA decided to cut costs and sell the Blackbeard, the backup vessel built in 1956; that meant. On February 5, 2009 the ferry was put into dry dock for routine maintenance, but hull corrosion required an extra week of repairs, there was no service for a month. On March 31, 2016, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority took over permanent ownership and operation of the ferry; the ferry helps connect segments the East Coast Greenway, a 3000 mile long system of trails connecting Maine to Florida.
The United States Merchant Marine Memorial stands on the ferry grounds on the Mayport side. The Memorial was erected on September 14, 1999. Official website
Charles Joseph Crist Jr. is an American attorney and politician serving as the U. S. Representative from Florida's 13th congressional district since 2017, he served as the 44th Governor of Florida, from 2007 to 2011. Crist began his political career as a Republican, serving in the Florida Senate from 1993 to 1999, running unsuccessfully for the U. S. Senate in 1998 when he challenged incumbent Bob Graham and serving as Florida Education Commissioner from 2001 to 2003 and Florida Attorney General from 2003 to 2007, before being elected governor in 2006. Crist decided not to run for re-election as governor in 2010, instead announcing on May 12, 2009 that he was running for the U. S. Senate seat being vacated by Republican Senator Mel Martinez. After leading in the race for the Republican nomination, he was overtaken in the polls by Marco Rubio, in April 2010, Crist left the Republican Party and ran as an Independent. In the general election, he lost to Rubio in a three-way race, taking 30% of the vote to Rubio's 49% and Democratic nominee Kendrick Meek's 20%.
Crist's term as Florida Governor ended in January 2011. On December 7, 2012, he joined the Democratic Party, having endorsed President Barack Obama for re-election in 2012. On November 1, 2013, he announced. However, he was defeated by incumbent Governor Rick Scott, his own successor, losing by a 1% margin. In 2016 Crist was elected to the United States House of Representatives from Florida's 13th congressional district, defeating incumbent David Jolly by a margin of 52%-48%. Crist was born in Altoona, Pennsylvania, on July 24, 1956, to Charles Joseph Crist, Sr. an American physician of Greek Cypriot and Lebanese descent, Nancy, of Scots-Irish and Welsh descent. His family name is adapted from the original Greek name "Christodoulou."In his childhood, Crist moved to St. Petersburg, where he attended Riviera Middle School, Shorecrest Preparatory School, St. Petersburg High School, from which he graduated in 1974, he is the second of four children and has three sisters: Margaret Crist Wood, Elizabeth Crist Hyden, Catherine Crist Kennedy.
He attended Wake Forest University for two years. Crist earned his undergraduate degree from Florida State University, where he was elected vice president of the student body and became a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, he received his J. D. from Samford University Cumberland School of Law. After graduating from the Cumberland School of Law in 1981, having passed the bar on his third attempt, Crist was hired as general counsel to Minor League Baseball, headquartered in St. Petersburg. Drawn to politics, Crist was a candidate for public office for the first time in 1986, as a Republican, in the primary race for a state Senate seat in Pinellas County. After losing in a runoff, Crist joined his brother-in-law in private practice in St. Petersburg, but soon returned to politics as an aide in the successful 1988 United States Senate campaign of Connie Mack III, whom he has since described as his political mentor. Crist was elected to a two-year term to the Florida Senate in 1992 from the 20th District, which encompassed parts of St. Petersburg and south Tampa.
Crist defeated longtime incumbent Democratic State Senator Helen Gordon Davis of Tampa, 58.3 to 41.7%. Crist was able to unseat Gordon Davis following the 1992 decennial redistricting process, which reconfigured the districts in the Tampa Bay area, his victory was credited with helping to end the 128-year control of the Florida Senate by the Democratic Party, as the Republicans netted three Senate seats in 1992, resulting in a 20-20 tie between the two parties. He was known as a law-and-order senator, sponsoring legislation requiring inmates to serve at least 85% of their sentences before becoming eligible for parole, he supported teacher salary increases, charter schools, a specialty license plate for Everglades conservation. With Crist as chairman, the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee investigated actions of then-governor Lawton Chiles amid allegations that Chiles's campaign had made "scare calls" to senior citizens days before the 1994 gubernatorial election. Chiles admitted that his campaign had made the calls.
Crist was reelected to the Senate in 1994 to a four-year term, defeating Democrat Dana Lynn Maley with 63.3% of the vote. Crist gained recognition in 1998 as the Republican challenger to the incumbent Democratic U. S. Senator Bob Graham, he lost to Graham by 26 percentage points. He was elected Education Commissioner of Florida in 2000 – a position he held until it became an appointive office in 2003, as the result of a 1998 constitutional amendment. Crist left his position. In 2002 Crist was elected as the Attorney General in Florida, his candidacy was supported by the host of John Walsh. Walsh and other supporters cited his work with the Center for Exploited Children. Crist was praised by civil rights and consumer groups for expanding the powers of the Attorney General during his time in office; these powers enabled him and future Attorneys General to have greater powers when prosecuting in civil rights and fraud cases. He worked at combating spam e-mail and froze utility rates, he sought to protect the environment.
Having won the 2006 election, Crist was inaugurated as Governor of Florida on January 2, 2007. He was involved in the state's purchase of sugar plantations, he worked on education, with Florida rising into the top 10 states for K12 education under his control. Crist supported President Barack Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, a stimulus package in response to the Great Re
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is a joint city-county law enforcement agency, which has primary responsibility for law enforcement and corrections within the consolidated City of Jacksonville and Duval County, United States. Duval County includes the incorporated cities of Jacksonville, Atlantic Beach, Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach; the sheriff's office performs the corrections duties for the county. The current sheriff is Michael Williams, in office since July 1, 2015. Sheriff John T. Rutherford retired on June 30, 2015 and had been Sheriff since July 1, 2003; the JSO is one of the largest departments in the Southeastern United States, with 3,832 employees. Its headquarters is 501 E. Bay Street Jacksonville, Florida 32202. According to the Sheriff's Office, its Mission is "To serve and protect in partnership with our community." The Vision of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is "A crime-free environment, driven by partnerships with empowered citizens, fostering a vibrant community and the success of all individuals."
The Core Values of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office are: "Always Improving. The first sheriff to be appointed in Jacksonville was James Dell in 1822 when Duval County was incorporated. A town ordinance in 1845 required all free males living in Jacksonville to participate in evening patrol duty. From 1865 to 1869 law enforcement was enforced by the continued occupation of the Union Army and their provost marshal and guard. A civilian Marshal was appointed as head of the department in 1871 along with the creation of the Captain of Police rank; the mayor appointed the captain who would be confirmed by the city council. In 1887 the captain of police became known as chief of police. A new charter was established in 1887 creating a board of police commissioners; the department was composed of African Americans. House Bill No. 4 was passed by the Florida State Legislature allowing the Governor to abolish all offices in Jacksonville and to make new appointments to fill the vacancies. The police force in 1889 consisted of three officers and 24 patrolmen.
The first patrol wagon, pulled by two horses, was used in 1895. In 1904, as the automobile became more popular, the speed limit was set at 6 miles per hour; the first automobile patrol car was established in 1911. In 1967 a mandate was given by residents of Jacksonville and Duval County with 65 percent of the votes cast in favor of consolidating the city and county governments. On October 1, 1968, the two governmental bodies were replaced with "a single unified government", the new organization, the Office of the Sheriff - Jacksonville Police, paralleled the name of the new jurisdiction; the four other municipalities within Duval County retained their own police departments. However, the Baldwin city council voted to disband their police department by 2007. Starting in the late 1980's, the agency adopted the Glock 17 9x19mm pistol as the new sidearm. Police Officer's now carry the Glock 22.40 caliber. 1903-1904 John Price 1913-1915 W. H. "Ham" Dowling 1924-1928 W. B. Cahoon 1932-1957 Rex Sweat 1957-1958 William Alpheus "Al" Cahill 1958-1986 Dale George Carson 1986-1996 Jim McMillan 1996-2004 Nat Glover 2004–2015 John Rutherford 2015–Present Mike Williams The JSO is headed by the sheriff, a Florida constitutional officer elected to a four-year term.
The sheriff appoints his own senior staff from Undersheriff to Assistant Chiefs. All sworn members of the JSO are sworn in by the sheriff and are considered under the Florida constitution as his/her deputies. All sworn members of the JSO are Law Enforcement Officers or Correctional Officers with all powers allowed by state law to carry firearms and make arrest. JSO employs Community Service Officers, who are unsworn personnel that respond to traffic-related incidents not requiring the full police powers of a sworn officer; the Sheriff's Office is divided into five departments, each sub-divided into divisions, units and squads. Each department is commanded by a director with the rank director of a department; each division is commanded by a chief. The department and its sections are as follows. There are three divisions in this department, is headed by the director of patrol and enforcement Commanded by the chief of Patrol East. Zone 1-assistant chief/zone commander Zone 2-assistant chief/zone commander Zone 3-assistant chief/zone commander Commanded by the chief of Patrol West.
Zone 4-assistant chief/zone commander Zone 5-assistant chief/zone commander Zone 6-assistant chief/zone commander Commanded by the chief. Community Affairs-assistant chief Special Events-assistant chief There are three divisions in this department, the director holds the title of director of the Department of Investigations & Homeland Security; the Detective Division is under the direction of the chief of detectives, responsible for the overall operation of the division. The Detective Division comprises a Crimes Against Property Section and a Crimes Against Persons Section, both under the command of an assistant chief. Crimes against property Burglary Unit - The Burglary Unit investigates all business and residential burglaries as well as thefts over a certain dollar amount; these squads are assigned to the geographic patrol zones. Polygraph Unit - The Polygraph Unit is staffed by polygraphists who administer polygraph examinations to suspects and witnesses involved in criminal investigations.
They administer polygraph examinat
A water taxi or a water bus known as a sightseeing boat, is a watercraft used to provide public or private transport but not always, in an urban environment. Service may be scheduled with multiple stops, operating in a similar manner to a bus, or on demand to many locations, operating in a similar manner to a taxi. A boat service shuttling between two points would be described as a ferry rather than a water bus or taxi; the term water taxi is confined to a boat operating on demand, water bus to a boat operating on a schedule. In North American usage, the terms are synonymous; the earliest water taxi service was recorded as operating around the area that became Manchester, United Kingdom. Cities and other places operating water buses and/or taxis include: Alexandria, Virginia Amsterdam Astana Auckland Baltimore Baltimore Water Taxi Bangkok Chao Phraya Express Boat Khlong Saen Saep boat service Bordeaux Boats BatCub Boston Bratislava Bratislava Propeler Bremen Brisbane CityCat CityFerry Bristol Bristol Ferry Boats Brunei Bucharest Budapest Buenos Aires, Tigre Bydgoszcz, Poland Cardiff Cardiff Waterbus Cap-Haïtien, Haiti Cape Town Caye Caulker Charleston Chicago Copenhagen Copenhagen Harbour Buses Davao City Davao water taxi service Dhaka Buriganga River water bus Hatirjheel water taxi Dubai Abras RTA water taxis Erie, Pennsylvania Presque Isle Water Taxi Fort Lauderdale Galápagos Islands Gothenburg Älvsnabben ferry Paddan Guangzhou, China Halifax Regional Municipality Hamburg HADAG Helsinki Ho Chi Minh City Hong Kong: Cheung Chau, Chi Ma Wan, Peng Chau, Silvermine Bay New World First Ferry Istanbul Jacksonville, Florida Jacksonville Water Taxi Karachi Kobe Kochi Kragerø and surrounding area, Norway Kristiansund, Norway Lake Ozark, Missouri Laughlin and Bullhead City, Arizona Leeds Lisbon London London River Services Thames Clippers Long Beach, California Long Beach Transit Malta Dghajsa Manila Pasig River Ferry Service Moscow Mumbai Nantes Navibus National Harbor, Maryland New York City Liberty Water Taxi New York Water Taxi NYC Ferry New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Louisiana Mississippi River from mouth to Baton Rouge, Louisiana Belle Chasse Marine, Port Ship Service, Crescent Ship Service and Weber Marine.
New Zealand Niigata Oklahoma City Orlando, Florida Osaka Osaka Suijō Bus Oslo NBDS Oslo-Fergene Panama Paris Voguéo Pittsburgh Plymouth Portland, Maine Potsdam, Germany Quad Cities, Illinois/Iowa Rotterdam/Dordrecht Sacramento Saint Petersburg Aquabus Seattle King County Water Taxi Seoul Sha Lo Wan, Tai O, Tuen Mun, Tung Chung Shizuoka Singapore Spalding Stockholm Sydney Tallinn Tampa The Woodlands, Texas Timișoara Tokyo Tokyo Cruise Ship Tokyo Mizube Line Toronto Toronto water taxis Trinidad Water Taxi Service, Port of Spain to San Fernando – service implemented in December 2008 Vancouver The Aquabus Coastal Link Ferries English Bay Launch False Creek Ferries Granville Island Water Taxi Services SeaBus Venice Gondola Vaporetto Victoria, British Columbia Victoria Harbour Walt Disney World Wellington Ferries in Wellington Winnipeg Xochimilco, Mexico City Chalupa Yokohama Keihin Ferry Boat The Port ServiceOn demand water taxis are commonly found in marinas and cottage areas, providing access to boats and waterfront properties that are not directly accessible by land.
On March 6, 2004, a water taxi on the Seaport Taxi service operated by the Living Classrooms Foundation capsized during a storm on the Patapsco River, near Baltimore's Inner Harbor. A total of five passengers died in the accident, which the National Transportation Safety Board determined was caused by insufficient stability when the small pontoon-style vessel encountered strong winds and waves; the company no longer operates water taxi vessels in Baltimore harbor. Duffy-Herreshoff watertaxi Ferry, including hydrofoil and hovercraft Klotok Moskvitch-class motorship - Soviet "water tramway" Pleasure barge Rower woman Ship's tender Media related to Water taxis at Wikimedia Commons
In economics, cargo or freight refers to goods or produce being conveyed – for commercial gain – by water, air or land. Cargo was a shipload. Cargo now covers all types of freight, including that carried by train, truck, or intermodal container; the term cargo is used in case of goods in the cold-chain, because the perishable inventory is always in transit towards a final end-use when it is held in cold storage or other similar climate-controlled facility. Multi-modal container units, designed as reusable carriers to facilitate unit load handling of the goods contained, are referred to as cargo, specially by shipping lines and logistics operators. Aircraft ULD boxes are documented as cargo, with associated packing list of the items contained within; when empty containers are shipped each unit is documented as a cargo and when goods are stored within, the contents are termed as containerised cargo. Seaport terminals handle a wide range of maritime cargo. Automobiles are handled at many ports and are carried on specialized roll-on/roll-off ships.
Break bulk cargo is material stacked on pallets and lifted into and out of the hold of a vessel by cranes on the dock or aboard the ship itself. The volume of break bulk cargo has declined worldwide as containerization has grown. One way to secure break bulk and freight in intermodal containers is by using Dunnage Bags. Bulk cargo, such as salt, oil and scrap metal, is defined as commodities that are neither on pallets nor in containers. Bulk cargoes are not handled as individual pieces, the way heavy-lift and project cargoes are. Alumina, gypsum and wood chips, for instance, are bulk cargoes. Neo-bulk cargo comprises individual units that are counted as they are loaded and unloaded, in contrast to bulk cargo, not counted, but that are not containerized. Containers are the fastest growing cargo category at most ports worldwide. Containerized cargo includes everything from auto parts and manufacturing components to shoes and toys to frozen meat and seafood. Project cargo and the heavy lift cargo include items like manufacturing equipment, air conditioners, factory components, wind turbines, military equipment, any other oversized or overweight cargo, too big or too heavy to fit into a container.
Air cargo known as air freight, is collected by firms from shippers and delivered to customers. Aircraft were first used for carrying mail as cargo in 1911. Manufacturers started designing aircraft for other types of freight as well. There are many commercial aircraft suitable for carrying cargo such as the Boeing 747 and the bigger An‑124, purposely built for easy conversion into a cargo aircraft; such large aircraft employ quick-loading containers known as unit load devices, much like containerized cargo ships. The ULDs are located in the front section of the aircraft. Most nations own and utilize large numbers of military cargo aircraft such as the C‑17 Globemaster III for logistical needs. Popular commercial aircraft transformed to a cargo aircraft such as Saab 340A is designed for high revenue and profitability in short / medium haul operations. Trains are capable of transporting a large number of containers. Trains are used for the transportation of water, grain, steel and coal, they are used because they can carry a large amount and have a direct route to the destination.
Under the right circumstances, freight transport by rail is more economic and energy efficient than by road when carried in bulk or over long distances. The main disadvantage of rail freight is its lack of flexibility. For this reason, rail has lost much of the freight business to road transport. Rail freight is subject to transshipment costs, since it must be transferred from one mode of transportation to another. Practices such as containerization aim at minimizing these costs; when transporting point-to-point bulk loads such as cement or grain, with specialised bulk handling facilities at the rail sidings, rail mode of transport remains the most convenient and preferred option. Many governments are trying to encourage shippers to use trains more because of the environmental benefits. Many firms, like Parcelforce, R+L Carriers transport all types of cargo by road. Delivering everything from letters to houses to cargo containers, these firms offer fast, sometimes same-day, delivery. A good example of road cargo is food, as supermarkets require deliveries daily to replenish their shelves with goods.
Retailers and manufacturers of all kinds rely upon delivery trucks, be they full size semi trucks or smaller delivery vans. These smaller road haulage companies strive for the best routes and prices to ship out their products. Indeed, the level of commercial freight transported by smaller businesses is a good barometer of healthy economic development as it is these types of vehicles that move and transport anything, including couriers transporting parcel and mail. You can see the different weights of vehicles that are used to move cargo around. Freight is organized into various shipment categories before it is transported. An item's category is determined by: the type of item being carried. For example, a kettle could fit into the category'household goods'. How large the shipment is, in terms of both item size and quantity. How long the item for delivery will be in transit. Shipments are categorized as household goods, express and freight shipments: Household goods include furniture and similar items.
Small business or personal items like envelopes are considered overnight expres
Florida is the southernmost contiguous state in the United States. The state is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the northwest by Alabama, to the north by Georgia, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by the Straits of Florida. Florida is the 22nd-most extensive, the 3rd-most populous, the 8th-most densely populated of the U. S. states. Jacksonville is the most populous municipality in the state and the largest city by area in the contiguous United States; the Miami metropolitan area is Florida's most populous urban area. Tallahassee is the state's capital. Florida's $1.0 trillion economy is the fourth largest in the United States. If it were a country, Florida would be the 16th largest economy in the world, the 58th most populous as of 2018. In 2017, Florida's per capita personal income was ranking 26th in the nation; the unemployment rate in September 2018 was 3.5% and ranked as the 18th in the United States. Florida exports nearly $55 billion in goods made in the 8th highest among all states.
The Miami Metropolitan 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. This is more than twice the number of the next metro area, the Tampa Bay Area, which has a GDP of $145.3 billion. Florida is home to 51 of the world's billionaires with most of them residing in South Florida; the first European contact was made in 1513 by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, who called it la Florida upon landing there in the Easter season, known in Spanish as Pascua Florida. Florida was a challenge for the European colonial powers before it gained statehood in the United States in 1845, it was a principal location of the Seminole Wars against the Native Americans, racial segregation after the American Civil War. Today, Florida is distinctive for its large Cuban expatriate community and high population growth, as well as for its increasing environmental issues; the state's economy relies on tourism and transportation, which developed in the late 19th century.
Florida is renowned for amusement parks, orange crops, winter vegetables, the Kennedy Space Center, as a popular destination for retirees. Florida is the flattest state in the United States. Lake Okeechobee is the largest freshwater lake in the U. S. state of Florida. Florida's close proximity to the ocean influences many aspects of daily life. Florida is a reflection of multiple inheritance. Florida has attracted many writers such as Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams, continues to attract celebrities and athletes, it is internationally known for golf, auto racing, water sports. Several beaches in Florida have emerald-colored coastal waters. About two-thirds of Florida occupies a peninsula between the Gulf of the Atlantic Ocean. Florida has the longest coastline in the contiguous United States 1,350 miles, not including the contribution of the many barrier islands. Florida has a total of 4,510 islands; this is the second-highest number of islands of any state of the United States.
It is the only state that borders both the Gulf of the Atlantic Ocean. Much of the state is characterized by sedimentary soil. Florida has the lowest high point of any U. S. state. The climate varies from subtropical in the north to tropical in the south; the American alligator, American crocodile, American flamingo, Roseate spoonbill, Florida panther, bottlenose dolphin, manatee can be found in Everglades National Park in the southern part of the state. Along with Hawaii, Florida is one of only two states that has a tropical climate, is the only continental state with either a tropical climate or a coral reef; the Florida Reef is the only living coral barrier reef in the continental United States, the third-largest coral barrier reef system in the world. By the 16th century, the earliest time for which there is a historical record, major Native American groups included the Apalachee of the Florida Panhandle, the Timucua of northern and central Florida, the Ais of the central Atlantic coast, the Tocobaga of the Tampa Bay area, the Calusa of southwest Florida and the Tequesta of the southeastern coast.
Florida was the first region of the continental United States to be visited and settled by Europeans. The earliest known European explorers came with the Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León. Ponce de León spotted and landed on the peninsula on April 2, 1513, he named the region Florida. The story that he was searching for the Fountain of Youth is mythical and only appeared long after his death. In May 1539, Conquistador Hernando de Soto skirted the coast of Florida, searching for a deep harbor to land, he described seeing a thick wall of red mangroves spread mile after mile, some reaching as high as 70 feet, with intertwined and elevated roots making landing difficult. The Spanish introduced Christianity, horses, the Castilian language, more to Florida. Spain established several settlements with varying degrees of success. In 1559, Don Tristán de Luna y Arellano established a settlement at present-day Pensacola, making it the first attempted settlement in Florida, but it was abandoned by 1561.
In 1565, the settlement of St. Augustine was established under the leadership of admiral and