The Caribbean is a region of The Americas that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands and the surrounding coasts. The region is southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and the North American mainland, east of Central America, north of South America. Situated on the Caribbean Plate, the region comprises more than 700 islands, islets and cays; these islands form island arcs that delineate the eastern and northern edges of the Caribbean Sea. The Caribbean islands, consisting of the Greater Antilles on the north and the Lesser Antilles on the south and east, are part of the somewhat larger West Indies grouping, which includes the Lucayan Archipelago; the Lucayans and, less Bermuda, are sometimes considered Caribbean despite the fact that none of these islands border the Caribbean Sea. In a wider sense, the mainland countries and territories of Belize, the Caribbean region of Colombia, the Yucatán Peninsula, Margarita Island, the Guyanas, are included due to their political and cultural ties with the region.
Geopolitically, the Caribbean islands are regarded as a subregion of North America and are organized into 30 territories including sovereign states, overseas departments, dependencies. From December 15, 1954, to October 10, 2010, there was a country known as the Netherlands Antilles composed of five states, all of which were Dutch dependencies. From January 3, 1958, to May 31, 1962, there was a short-lived political union called the West Indies Federation composed of ten English-speaking Caribbean territories, all of which were British dependencies; the West Indies cricket team continues to represent many of those nations. The region takes its name from that of the Caribs, an ethnic group present in the Lesser Antilles and parts of adjacent South America at the time of the Spanish conquest of the Americas; the two most prevalent pronunciations of "Caribbean" outside the Caribbean are, with the primary stress on the third syllable, with the stress on the second. Most authorities of the last century preferred the stress on the third syllable.
This is the older of the two pronunciations, but the stressed-second-syllable variant has been established for over 75 years. It has been suggested that speakers of British English prefer while North American speakers more use, but major American dictionaries and other sources list the stress on the third syllable as more common in American English too. According to the American version of Oxford Online Dictionaries, the stress on the second syllable is becoming more common in UK English and is considered "by some" to be more up to date and more "correct"; the Oxford Online Dictionaries claim that the stress on the second syllable is the most common pronunciation in the Caribbean itself, but according to the Dictionary of Caribbean English Usage, the most common pronunciation in Caribbean English stresses the first syllable instead. The word "Caribbean" has multiple uses, its principal ones are political. The Caribbean can be expanded to include territories with strong cultural and historical connections to slavery, European colonisation and the plantation system.
The United Nations geoscheme for the Americas presents the Caribbean as a distinct region within the Americas. Physiographically, the Caribbean region is a chain of islands surrounding the Caribbean Sea. To the north, the region is bordered by the Gulf of Mexico, the Straits of Florida and the Northern Atlantic Ocean, which lies to the east and northeast. To the south lies the coastline of the continent of South America. Politically, the "Caribbean" may be centred on socio-economic groupings found in the region. For example, the bloc known as the Caribbean Community contains the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, the Republic of Suriname in South America and Belize in Central America as full members. Bermuda and the Turks and Caicos Islands, which are in the Atlantic Ocean, are associate members of the Caribbean Community; the Commonwealth of the Bahamas is in the Atlantic and is a full member of the Caribbean Community. Alternatively, the organisation called the Association of Caribbean States consists of every nation in the surrounding regions that lie on the Caribbean, plus El Salvador, which lies on the Pacific Ocean.
According to the ACS, the total population of its member states is 227 million people. The geography and climate in the Caribbean region varies: Some islands in the region have flat terrain of non-volcanic origin; these islands include Aruba, Curaçao, Bonaire, the Cayman Islands, Saint Croix, the Bahamas, Antigua. Others possess rugged towering mountain-ranges like the islands of Saint Martin, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Dominica, Saba, Sint Eustatius, Saint Kitts, Saint Lucia, Saint Thomas, Saint John, Grenada, Saint Vincent, Guadeloupe and Trinidad and Tobago. Definitions of the terms Greater Antilles and Lesser Antilles vary; the Virgin Islands as part of the Puerto Rican bank are sometimes included with the Greater Antilles. The term Lesser Antilles is used to define an island arc that includes Grenada but excludes Trinidad and Tobago and the Leeward Antilles; the waters of the Caribbean Sea host large, migratory schools of fish and coral reef
A cargo ship or freighter ship is a merchant ship that carries cargo and materials from one port to another. Thousands of cargo carriers ply the world's seas and oceans each year, handling the bulk of international trade. Cargo ships are specially designed for the task being equipped with cranes and other mechanisms to load and unload, come in all sizes. Today, they are always built by welded steel, with some exceptions have a life expectancy of 25 to 30 years before being scrapped. Cargo ships/freighters can be divided into six groups, according to the type of cargo they carry; these groups are: General cargo vessels Container ships Tankers Dry bulk carriers Multi-purpose vessels Reefer shipsGeneral cargo vessels carry packaged items like chemicals, furniture, motor- and military vehicles, garments, etc. Tankers carry other liquid cargo. Dry bulk carriers carry coal, grain and other similar products in loose form. Multi-purpose vessels, as the name suggests, carry different classes of cargo – e.g. liquid and general cargo – at the same time.
A Reefer ship is designed and used for shipping perishable commodities which require temperature-controlled fruits, fish, dairy products and other foodstuffs. Specialized types of cargo vessels include container ships and bulk carriers. Cargo ships fall into two further categories that reflect the services they offer to industry: liner and tramp services; those on a fixed published schedule and fixed tariff rates are cargo liners. Tramp ships do not have fixed schedules. Users charter them to haul loads; the smaller shipping companies and private individuals operate tramp ships. Cargo liners run on fixed schedules published by the shipping companies; each trip a liner takes is called a voyage. Liners carry general cargo. However, some cargo liners may carry passengers also. A cargo liner that carries 12 or more passengers is called a combination or passenger-run-cargo line; the earliest records of waterborne activity mention the carriage of items for trade. The desire to operate trade routes over longer distances, throughout more seasons of the year, motivated improvements in ship design during the Middle Ages.
Before the middle of the 19th century, the incidence of piracy resulted in most cargo ships being armed, sometimes quite as in the case of the Manila galleons and East Indiamen. They were sometimes escorted by warships. Piracy is still quite common in some waters in the Malacca Straits, a narrow channel between Indonesia and Singapore / Malaysia, cargo ships are still targeted. In 2004, the governments of those three nations agreed to provide better protection for the ships passing through the Straits; the waters off Somalia and Nigeria are prone to piracy, while smaller vessels are in danger along parts of the South American, Southeast Asian coasts and near the Caribbean Sea. The words cargo and freight have become interchangeable in casual usage. Technically, "cargo" refers to the goods carried aboard the ship for hire, while "freight" refers to the compensation the ship or charterer receives for carrying the cargo; the modern ocean shipping business is divided into two classes: Liner business: container vessels, operating as "common carriers", calling a published schedule of ports.
A common carrier refers to a regulated service where any member of the public may book cargo for shipment, according to long-established and internationally agreed rules. Tramp-tanker business: this is private business arranged between the shipper and receiver and facilitated by the vessel owners or operators, who offer their vessels for hire to carry bulk or break bulk to any suitable port in the world, according to a drawn contract, called a charter party. Larger cargo ships are operated by shipping lines: companies that specialize in the handling of cargo in general. Smaller vessels, such as coasters, are owned by their operators. A category designation appears before the vessel's name. A few examples of prefixes for naval ships are "USS", "HMS", "HMCS" and "HTMS", while a few examples for prefixes for merchant ships are "RMS", "MV", "MT" "FV" Fishing Vessel and "SS". "TS", sometimes found in first position before a merchant ship's prefix, denotes that it is a Turbine Steamer. Famous cargo ships include the Liberty ships of World War II based on a British design.
Liberty ship sections were prefabricated in locations across the United States and assembled by shipbuilders in an average of six weeks, with the record being just over four days. These ships allowed the Allies to replace sunken cargo vessels at a rate gr
AIDA Cruises is an American/British-owned German cruise line based in Rostock, Germany. The company was founded as Deutsche Seereederei with a ship called Völkerfreundschaft, entered the cruise industry in the 1960s. After the reunification of Germany in the early 1990's Deutsche Seereederei was privatised and became DSR. DSR acquired Seetours of Bremen and cruises were marketed under the Seetours brand; the company was acquired by P&O Princess Cruises in 2000. In 2003, P&O Princess merged with Carnival Corporation, to form Carnival Corporation & plc, the worlds largest cruise holiday company. Seetours was rebranded as AIDA Cruises in 2004. Following the merger, executive control of AIDA Cruises transferred to Costa Cruises Group, one of the main operating companies of the Carnival Group, with responsibility for the group's European brands. AIDA Cruises is now one of ten brands owned by Carnival Corp, based at Miami, accounting for 6.5% of its share of revenue and has its own executive team, led by company President Felix Eichhorn.
AIDA ships cater to the German-speaking market. As seagoing "club resorts", AIDA ships have on-board amenities and facilities designed to attract younger, more active vacationers. In October 2017, AIDAcara departed from Hamburg on the company's first round-the-world cruise. After a 116-day sailing, the ship returned to Hamburg on 10 February 2018; the ship visited Southampton, Madeira, Rio de Janeiro, Easter Island, Singapore, the Maldives, many other destinations. AIDAaura took the company's second World Cruise in fall 2018. On 8 October 2018, the ship departed from Hamburg on a 117-day voyage visiting 41 ports in 20 countries on four continents. During this voyage, AIDAaura became the company's first ship to visit several destinations including South Africa, Melbourne, Fiji and New Caledonia. Aida Company Site Aida Cruises Official Site Company Facts and Figures Cruise Critic Review Carnival Corporation – AIDA
Hillsborough River (Florida)
The Hillsborough River is a river located in the state of Florida in the United States. It arises in the Green Swamp near the juncture of Hillsborough and Polk counties, flows 60 miles through Pasco and Hillsborough Counties to an outlet in the city of Tampa on Tampa Bay, it includes 4 nature trails extending for over seven miles. The name Hillsborough River first appeared on a British map in 1769. At the time, the Earl of Hillsborough was the British Secretary of State for the Colonies, thus controlled the pensions of the surveyors working in the American colonies, which included East Florida. Geological data suggests. Humans first made their way to this area 12,000 - 15,000 years ago. In the late 18th century the watershed of the Hillsborough River was a land covered by a rich, old growth forest. Majestic bald cypress, longleaf pine, sand live oak were hundreds of years old. In the mid to late 19th century to about 1913 the watershed of this old growth forest began to be logged; as a result of this lumbering activity, most of the trees within the Hillsborough River basin are now less than one hundred years in age.
The harvesting of the old growth trees altered the ecosystems. Trees such as water ash and water locust were able to grow in the sun-lit spaces created when bigger trees were removed; the riverine swamp forest as it exists today has a much different ecology than the ecosystem that had existed along the Hillsborough for the previous ten to fifteen thousand years. Tocobaga Native American culture. Pánfilo de Narváez, a Spanish explorer, lands near Tampa Bay, he and the four hundred men with him find the Tocobaga culture established in the area. Hernando de Soto, another Spaniard, comes to Tampa Bay and lands at what was the Hillsborough River. By the early 18th century the Tocobaga people, through slavery, are nearly exterminated. A survey of the Hillsborough River is done by Don Francisco Maria Celi, pilot of the Spanish Royal Fleet, he ventures up to the Temple Terrace area in search of longleaf pine to use as masts for his ships. He names the pine forest of the area "El Pinal de la Cruz de Santa Teresa" or "The Pines of the Cross of Saint Teresa".
There is a plaque commemorating his exploration at Riverhills Park in Temple Terrace. A map drawn and sent to the Earl of Hillsborough, English Governor of West Florida, shows the river named as the Hillsborough. During the mid and late 18th century, Native Americans from the north Creek, begin to migrate to Florida; these immigrants become known as Seminoles. Florida becomes a United States territory. Construction of Fort Brooke begins at the mouth of the Hillsborough River; the Fort King Military Road is built to connect Fort King in Ocala with Fort Brooke in what was the settlement of Tampa. A bridge is built to cross the Hillsborough. Congress passes the Indian Removal Act; the American government begins efforts to remove the Seminole from Tampa Bay and relocate them to a reservation west of the Mississippi. Tensions between Seminole and Americans continue. Seminoles burn the bridge at the Fort King Road’s river crossing. Conflict continues. Fort Foster is established at the Hillsborough River crossing to protect this strategically advantageous position.
The Armed Occupation Act promises one hundred 60 acres of land to any man who can bear arms, build a house and cultivate 5 acres for five years. The Jean Street Shipyard is founded on the Hillsborough River in what will be the neighborhood of Seminole Heights; the first ferry crossing on the Hillsborough River is established. This widens the growth of Tampa to both sides of the river. During the American Civil War, Tampa Bay is blockaded by federal troops to prevent goods from leaving Tampa or from coming into Tampa. Federal troops march upriver to a location near the present day site of Lowry Park Zoo. There they discover a blockade-running sloop loaded with cotton; the ships are burned. The skirmish that follows is the only Civil War action on the Hillsborough River; the Tampa Bay Hotel, now the Henry B. Plant Museum, opens with a grand ball. At a cost of $150,000 an electrical dam is built on the river by Consumers Electric Light and Street Railway Company; the dam was located halfway between present-day 40th Street and 56th Street on the Hillsborough River On December 13, 1898 the dam is dynamited by cattle barons angry at the loss of grazing land.
They tried three times. The first on January 8, 1897,shortly after construction was completed; when the water is low, remnants of the dynamited dam can be seen. TECO buys the Consumers Electric Light and Street Railway Company and builds a new electric generating dam downstream of the current site north of Sulphur Springs. Tampa's first water plant is built by the private Tampa Waterworks Company, it pumped well water to supply the City of Tampa until March 6, 1923, when the people voted to purchase the Waterworks plant. The Sulphur Springs property is open to the public. Hillsborough Bay is channelized to the mouth of the Hillsborough River with the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899. Up to 1913 the Hillsborough River watershed is logged for its valuable cypress, longleaf pine and oak. Bertha Potter Palmer completes purchases of 19,000 acres border
A bulk carrier, bulk freighter, or colloquially, bulker is a merchant ship specially designed to transport unpackaged bulk cargo, such as grains, coal and cement, in its cargo holds. Since the first specialized bulk carrier was built in 1852, economic forces have led to continued development of these ships, resulting in increased size and sophistication. Today's bulk carriers are specially designed to maximize capacity, safety and durability. Today, bulk carriers make up 21% of the world's merchant fleets and range in size from single-hold mini-bulk carriers to mammoth ore ships able to carry 400,000 metric tons of deadweight. A number of specialized designs exist: some can unload their own cargo, some depend on port facilities for unloading, some package the cargo as it is loaded. Over half of all bulk carriers have Greek, Japanese, or Chinese owners and more than a quarter are registered in Panama. South Korea is the largest single builder of bulk carriers, 82% of these ships were built in Asia.
On bulk carriers, crew are involved in operation management and maintenance of the vessel taking care of safety, navigation and cargo care, in accordance with international maritime legislation. Cargo loading operations vary in complexity and loading and discharging of cargo can take several days. Bulk carriers can be gearless or geared. Crews can range in size from three people on the smallest ships to over 30 on the largest. Bulk cargo can be dense, corrosive, or abrasive; this can present safety problems: cargo shifting, spontaneous combustion, cargo saturation can threaten a ship. The use of ships that are old and have corrosion problems has been linked to a spate of bulk carrier sinkings in the 1990s, as have the bulk carrier's large hatchways. While important for efficient cargo handling, these allow the entry of large volumes of water in storms or if a ship is endangered by sinking. New international regulations have since been introduced to improve ship design and inspection, to streamline the process of a crew's abandoning ship.
The term bulk carrier has been defined in varying ways. As of 1999, the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea defines a bulk carrier as "a ship constructed with a single deck, top side tanks and hopper side tanks in cargo spaces and intended to carry dry cargo in bulk. Most classification societies use a broader definition, by which a bulk carrier is any ship that carries dry unpackaged goods. Multipurpose cargo ships can carry bulk cargo, but can carry other cargoes and are not designed for bulk carriage; the term "dry bulk carrier" is used to distinguish bulk carriers from bulk liquid carriers such as oil, chemical, or liquefied petroleum gas carriers. Small bulk carriers are indistinguishable from general cargo ships, they are classified based more on the ship's use than its design. A number of abbreviations are used to describe bulk carriers. "OBO" describes a bulk carrier that carries a combination of ore and oil, "O/O" is used for combination oil and ore carriers. The terms "VLOC", "VLBC", "ULOC", "ULBC" for large and ultra-large ore and bulk carriers were adapted from the supertanker designations large crude carrier and ultra-large crude carrier.
Before specialized bulk carriers were developed, shippers had two methods to move bulk goods by ship. In the first method, longshoremen loaded the cargo into sacks, stacked the sacks onto pallets, put the pallets into the cargo hold with a crane; the second method required the shipper to charter an entire ship and spend time and money to build plywood bins into the holds. To guide the cargo through the small hatches, wooden feeders and shifting boards had to be constructed; these methods were labor-intensive. As with the container ship, the problem of efficient loading and unloading has driven the evolution of the bulk carrier. Specialized bulk carriers began to appear; the first steam ship recognized as a bulk carrier was the British coal carrier SS John Bowes in 1852. She featured a metal hull, a steam engine, a ballasting system which used seawater instead of sandbags; these features helped. The first self-unloader was the lake freighter Hennepin in 1902 on the Great Lakes; this decreased the unloading time of bulk carriers by using conveyor belt to move the cargo.
The first bulk carriers with diesel propulsion began to appear in 1911. Before World War II, the international shipping demand for bulk products was low—about 25 million tons for metal ores—and most of this trade was coastal. However, on the Great Lakes, bulk carriers hauled vast amounts of ore from the northern mines to the steel mills. In 1929, 73 million tons of iron ore was transported on the Lakes, an equal amount of coal and other products were moved. Two defining characteristics of bulk carriers were emerging: the double bottom, adopted in 1890, the triangular structure of the ballast tanks, introduced in 1905. After World War II, an international bulk trade began to develop among industrialized nations between the European countries, the United States and Japan. Due to the economics of this trade, ocean bulk carriers became more specialized. In this period, Great Lakes freighters increased in size, to maximize economies of scale, self-unloaders became more common to cut turnaround time.
The thousand-footers of the Great Lakes fleets, built in the 1970s, were among the longest ships afloat and in 1979, a record 214 million ton of bulk cargo were moved on the Gre
Tampa is a major city in, the county seat of, Hillsborough County, United States. It is on the west coast of Florida on Tampa Bay, near the Gulf of Mexico, is the largest city in the Tampa Bay Area; the bay's port is the largest in near downtown's Channel District. Bayshore Boulevard runs along the bay, is east of the historic Hyde Park neighborhood. Today, Tampa is part of the metropolitan area most referred to as the "Tampa Bay Area". For U. S. Census purposes, Tampa is part of the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area; the four-county area is composed of 3.1 million residents, making it the second largest metropolitan statistical area in the state, the fourth largest in the Southeastern United States, behind Washington, D. C. Miami, Atlanta; the Greater Tampa Bay area has over 4 million residents and includes the Tampa and Sarasota metro areas. The city had a population of 335,709 at the 2010 census, an estimated population of 385,430 in 2017; the Tampa Bay Partnership and U.
S. Census data showed an average annual growth of 2.47 percent, or a gain of 97,000 residents per year. Between 2000 and 2006, the Greater Tampa Bay Market experienced a combined growth rate of 14.8 percent, growing from 3.4 million to 3.9 million and hitting the 4 million population mark on April 1, 2007. A 2012 estimate shows the Tampa Bay area population to have 4,310,524 people and a 2017 projection of 4,536,854 people. Public Transportation in the area includes. There is the TECO Line Streetcar System; when the pioneer community living near the US Army outpost of Fort Brooke was incorporated in 1849, it was called "Tampa Town", the name was shortened to "Tampa" in 1855. The earliest instance of the name "Tampa", in the form "Tanpa", appears in the memoirs of Hernando de Escalante Fontaneda, who spent 17 years as a captive of the Calusa and traveled through much of peninsular Florida, he described Tanpa as an important Calusa town to the north of the Calusa domain under another chief. Archaeologist Jerald Milanich places the town of Tanpa at the mouth of Charlotte Harbor.
The entrances to Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor are obscured by barrier islands, their locations, the names applied to them, were a source of confusion to explorers and map-makers from the 16th century though the 18th century. Bahía Tampa and Bahía de Espíritu Santo were each used, at one time or another, for the modern Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor. Tampa Bay was labeled Bahía de Espíritu Santo in the earliest Spanish maps of Florida, but became known as Bahía Tampa as early as 1695. "B. Tampa", corresponding to Tampa Bay, appeared on a British map of 1705, with "Carlos Bay" for Charlotte Harbor to the south, while a 1748 British map had "B. del Spirito Santo" for Tampa Bay, again, "Carlos Bay" to the south. A Spanish map of 1757 renamed Tampa Bay as "San Fernando"; as late as 1774, Bernard Romans called Tampa Bay "Bay of Espiritu Santo", with "Tampa Bay" restricted to the Northwest arm, the northeast arm named "Hillsborough Bay". The name may have come from the Calusa language, or the Timucua language.
Some scholars have compared "Tampa" to "itimpi", which means "close to or nearby" in the Creek language, but its meaning is not known. People from Tampa are known as "Tampans" or "Tampanians". Local authorities consulted by Michael Kruse of the Tampa Bay Times suggest that "Tampan" was more common, while "Tampanian" became popular when the former term came to be seen as a potential insult. A mix of Cuban and Spanish immigrants began arriving in the late 1800s to found and work in the new communities of Ybor City and West Tampa. By about 1900, these newcomers came to be known as "Tampeños", a term, still sometimes used to refer to their descendants living in the area, to all residents of Tampa inconsiderate of their ethnic background; the shores of Tampa Bay have been inhabited for thousands of years. A variant of the Weeden Island culture developed in the area by about 2000 years ago, with archeological evidence suggesting that these residents relied on the sea for most of their resources, as a vast majority of inhabited sites have been found on or near the shoreline and there is little evidence of farming.
At the time of European contact in the early 16th century, the Safety Harbor culture dominated the area, with indigenous peoples organized into three or four chiefdoms around the shores of the bay. Early Spanish explorers to visit the area interacted extensively with the Tocobaga, whose principal town was located at the northern end of Old Tampa Bay near today's Safety Harbor in Pinellas County. While there is a substantial historical record of the Tocobaga, there is less surviving documentation describing the Pohoy chiefdom, which controlled the area near the mouth of the Hillsborough River near today's downtown Tampa. However, brief mentions by explorers along with surviving artifacts suggest that the Pohoy and other groups that once lived on Tampa Bay had similar cultures and lifestyles as the better-documented Tocobaga. Expeditions led by Pánfilo de Narváez and Hernando de Soto landed near Tampa, but neither conquistador stayed long. There is no natural gold or silver in Florida, the native inhabitants repulsed Spanish attempts to establish a permanent settlement or convert them to Catholicism.
The fighting resulted in a few deaths, but the many more deaths were caused by infectious diseases brought from Europe, which devastated the population of Native Americans across Florida and the entir
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