Scenic USA - Florida

Black Point Drive

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Black Point Drive - Titusville, Florida

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

     Florida is all about retirement living, so it's not uncommon to see the coastal shores lined with condominiums and beachfront homes. But dune crossovers and beach parks are spaced out along the shoreline so Florida Alligator- Merritt Island NWR the public can enjoy the sun, sand and ocean recreation. Here along the central east coast the beach is scattered with a different type of structure. This 60 mile stretch of coastline is dotted with huge steel and concrete launch pads, seeing 60 years of rocket launches. Although much of the this area lies in the restricted zone of Kennedy Space Center and Canaveral Air Force Station, the area makes great use of the uninhabited beaches and coastal pine forests of the Canaveral National Seashore and Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. Not far from where the Space Shuttle once landed, North Merritt Islandís Black Point Drive offers visitors a unique perspective of Florida wildlife and a way to explore its salt marshes, mud flats, island hammocks, coastal dunes and flat woods.
     In this view recent rains have covered over the coal-black mudflats, creating a peaceful reflective scene. Little egret - Merritt Island NWR, Florida Itís a rare day when the air is completely still and the tiny islets and mangrove trees cast their shadow on the water. This broad expanse of salt marsh is divided up by earthen dikes constructed for mosquito control. These dikes make a perfect roadbed to drive in and around the shallow water impoundments. Black Point Drive creates a seven mile route through one of the nation's premier birding sites. Here, eagles nest among the tall slash pine forests, and herons are commonly seen wading in the shallow pools. During the winter months thousands of migratory waterfowl and songbirds sweep into the refuge, some traveling nearly 6000 miles from their summer haunts. The refuge supports thousands and thousands of ducks, coots, terns and raptors. The mud flats and shallow marshes team with life, ranging from microorganisms, to shrimp, small fish and crabs. Located on a migratory route, the wildlife refuge provides an important rest stop for large increases of bird populations.

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