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The archipelago known as the Florida Keys is a geological formation which extends
southwest from Florida's east coast for over 190 miles penetrating the open waters
of the Straits of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. It is this proximity to Gulf of
Mexico and the Straits of Florida which allows the Keys to be the direct beneficiary
of the dynamic effects of the tides and currents associated with these immense
bodies of water. One of the most dominating features of the Gulf of Mexico and the
Straits of Florida is the Gulf Stream, which is considered to be one of the strongest
ocean currents on the planet. The Gulf Stream is also one of the key factors
contributing to the unprecedented biodiversity of the Florida Keys. Another key
factor is Florida Bay.