Freshwater Wetlands

Ecosystem
dragonfly wetlands
Freshwater wetlands are found throughout the lower Florida Keys as a result of our unique limestone geology. In fact, these wetlands are the reason we have such a high diversity of plants and animals. Key deer, alligators, raccoons, Lower Keys mud turtle, and other species would not be here were it not for these freshwater resources. The wetlands come in many forms, including solution holes, ponds, surface wetlands and even man-made mosquito ditches, and are filled solely by rainwater.

Wetland plant species include sawgrass (Cladium sp.), spikerushes, buttonwood, white-top sedge, and leather fern. Freshwater wetlands reach their greatest extent and distribution on Big Pine Key, but refuge lands on Cudjoe, No Name, Upper Sugarloaf, Big Torch, Little Pine, and Howe Keys also contain freshwater wetlands year-round. Freshwater wetlands are important for the survival of the majority of wildlife in the Lower Keys.

Facts About Freshwater Wetlands

Occur as a result of unique geology.

Pine rocklands exist because of underlying freshwater.