Florida Waterways, Lakes, Backwater, Ocean and Gulf Water

Sunset from the Intracoastal Waterway in Hobe ...
Sunset from the Intracoastal Waterway in Hobe Sound, Florida. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Florida is not only surrounded by water, it is full of water.  There is literally water everywhere in this state that sits barely above sea level in many places.   That little lake in your backyard may dry up and become a shallow hole when a drought hits, but it will fill up again nicely when the rains come.

Florida is a very touristy place.  The state lives off it’s tourism and has no problem getting vacationers to visit.  There are plenty of things to do, both indoors and out, and many revolve around water, or include water.   Tanning, swimming and (awesome) fishing can be done just about everywhere.  Even Disney World has a fireworks show that takes place on the water.

But the different types of water are something to be familiar with, especially if you are planning to buy a home “on the water”.  Small lakes or ponds are generally very shallow and can completely dry up at certain times.  Larger lakes and rivers can hold unwanted, nasty creatures such as alligators and poisonous water snakes.  I would never want to live on a lake or river in that state after seeing the news stories I have over the years.  (By the way, the small ponds can contain these things too!)

The Atlantic Ocean side of the state has beautiful beaches, many of which can be driven onto with your vehicles, and the water has waves and occasionally rip currents.  In certain places surfing is allowed.  Some beaches have lifeguards and some don’t.  The water is not very clear most of the time, but some days are better than others, and the temperature is quite nice in summer months being in the 80’s.

The eastern side of the state has calmer gulf waters that are also warm.  The waves tend to lap at the shore rather than crash, and the water is clear and beautiful for the most part.

All around the edge of the state the islands and outer land areas that separate the mainland from the ocean contain shallow waterways and canals that are brackish and are known as “backwater“.  Brackish water is part saltwater and part freshwater.  It is the water between the land and the sea, and Florida has a lot of that.  Part of the east coast Intracoastal Waterway runs along this inner area.  And yes, you can find seashells there.

When talking about Florida’s abundance of water and it’s variety, lets not forget the thunderstorms.  Water will pour as if from buckets from the sky, flood roads in an instant and shoot lightning bolts like you have never seen.  If the sky looks dark anywhere near you, get inside.  It’s not called the lightening capital of the world for nothing!

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