Facts and Figures
Ponce de León named the region
for the many flowers he saw here. Florida is a
Spanish word that means full of flowers.
Symbols of Florida
In recognition of the fact that the Apollo 11 mission,
which landed the first men on the Moon was launched from
Florida, as were all other U.S. manned missions, the
Florida Legislature named Moonstone as the official state
GEM in 1970. Ironically, the moonstone is not found
naturally in Florida, nor on the Moon for that matter.
are one of the largest and most
interesting swamp areas in the world. They cover over
2,700 square miles in the southern part of Florida,
stretching south from Lake Okeechobee and merging into
saltwater marshes and mangrove swamps near the Bay of
Florida and the Gulf of Mexico.
is the fourth largest lake completely
within the United States, and the largest in the Southern
United States. Covering about 730 square miles of
south-central Florida, it has an average depth of only