Dry Tortugas

Dry Tortugas
/tawr tooh"geuhz/
a group of ten small islands at the entrance to the Gulf of Mexico W of Key West: a part of Florida; the site of Fort Jefferson.

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▪ islands, Florida, United States
 the last seven in a long string of coral islands (keys) and sandbars that extend westward from Key West (Monroe county), at the tip of southern Florida, U.S., into the Gulf of Mexico (Mexico, Gulf of). The islands—Bush, East, Garden, Hospital, Loggerhead, Long, and Middle keys—and the unfinished Fort Jefferson (1846–76) on Garden Key were proclaimed Fort Jefferson National Monument in 1935 and became established as Dry Tortugas National Park in 1992. The park, which is within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, has a land and water area of 101 square miles (262 square km).

      The Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León (Ponce de León, Juan) discovered the islands in 1513 and named them for the tortoises (Spanish tortugas) that abounded there. Later mariners added the accurate adjective dry. A lighthouse was constructed on Garden Key in 1825, and another was built on the largest key, Loggerhead, in 1856. Fort Jefferson is the largest all-masonry fortification in the Americas. It remained in Union hands during the American Civil War and served as a prison until 1873. Among the prisoners was Samuel A. Mudd, the doctor sentenced for conspiracy in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln because he had set John Wilkes Booth's broken leg.

      The park can be reached only by boat or seaplane. Its waters contain abundant and varied marine life, including three species of sea turtles. Thousands of migrating birds stop at or nest on the islands. Of note is a large flock of sooty terns that nests on Bush Key each spring and summer.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dry Tortugas — National Park Service map of the Dry Tortugas …   Wikipedia

  • Dry Tortugas — NASA Aufnahme der Florida Keys, die Dry Tortugas am äußersten westlichen Ende Gewässer Golf von Mexiko …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Dry Tortugas — [tôr to͞o′gəz] group of small islands of Fla. in the Gulf of Mexico, west of Key West …   English World dictionary

  • Dry Tortugas — Parc national de Dry Tortugas Parc national de Dry Tortugas Catégorie II de la CMAP (Parc national) [1] Fort Jefferson Pays …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Dry Tortugas — geographical name island group S Florida W of Key West; site of Dry Tortugas National Park …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Dry Tortugas — Dry′ Tor•tu′gas [[t]tɔrˈtu gəz[/t]] n. pl. geg a group of ten small islands at the entrance to the Gulf of Mexico W of Key West: a part of Florida …   From formal English to slang

  • Dry Tortugas — /draɪ tɔˈtugəz/ (say druy taw toohguhz) plural noun a group of ten small islands at the northern entrance to the Gulf of Mexico; a part of Florida; the site of Fort Jefferson …   Australian-English dictionary

  • Dry Tortugas — /tawr tooh geuhz/ a group of ten small islands at the entrance to the Gulf of Mexico W of Key West: a part of Florida; the site of Fort Jefferson …   Useful english dictionary

  • Dry Tortugas National Park — Dry Tortugas Nationalpark Fort Jefferson auf einer Insel im Park …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Dry-Tortugas-Nationalpark — Fort Jefferson auf einer Insel im Park …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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