The Gulf of Mexico and the Intracoastal Waterway
The Gulf of Mexico is a 600,000 square mile ocean basin bounded on the north by the United States, which includes the Florida Gulf Coast. Reaching depths of more than 12,000 feet, the Gulf is the drainage basin for 60 percent of the Continental United States’ waterways, including rivers and estuaries. It is home to a variety of sea life such as dolphins, sea turtles, and stingrays.
Along the coast of the Gulf runs the Intracoastal Waterway — a federally maintained series of inlets, rivers, bays, sounds, and artificial canals that create a navigable route for barges, ships, and recreational vehicles.