Dry Tortugas National Park, located in the Gulf of Mexico, southwest of Key West, Florida, has a history steeped in exploration and military significance. The park comprises a cluster of seven small islands, the most notable being Garden Key, which houses the historic Fort Jefferson.
In 1947, the United States government set aside 1.5 million acres of subtropical wilderness in southern Florida to create Everglades National Park. Its origins are entwined with campaigns for environmental protection and preservation. In the early 20th century, the area was subjected to extensive drainage and building plans, which threw