Dry Tortugas National Park preserves Fort Jefferson and the Dry Tortugas section of the Florida Keys. The park covers 101 mi, mostly water, about 68 statute miles west of Key West in the Gulf of Mexico. It is famous for abundant sea life, colorful coral reefs and legends of shipwrecks and sunken treasures. The park's centerpiece is Fort Jefferson and is accessible only by seaplane or boat. Activities include snorkeling, picnicking, scuba diving, saltwater fishing and birdwatching. Fort Jefferson was begun on Garden Key in 1846 so that the existing Garden Key lighthouse and the lighthouse keeper's cottage would be contained within its walls
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