SURFACE AND HYDROGRAPHY. The coastal lands are low, monotonously level, and often marshy. The grassy Everglades and the Big Cypress Swamp cover a large portion of the peninsula south of Lake Okeechobee, and there are large areas of swampland in the northern part, espe cially along the lower course of the Apalachicola River, and west of Saint Maty's River where the Oketinokee Swamp extends just south of the Georgia State line. Toward the interior of the peninsula the surface rises very gradually to an altitude of more than 100 feet, the central ridge in places reaching nearly 300 feet. Western Flori da resembles southern Alabama in its surface fea tures and is generally hilly and well wooded. The Florida Keys, stretching in a curved line 200 miles long from Biscayne Bay southwestward into the Gulf, are remarkable examples of the work of coral organisms. They form a continu ous reef. the upper portions of which have been extended both vertically and laterally by accre tions of sand and floating materials, and by the growth of vegetation until now there are many habitahle islands. The surface of the keys is generally less than 10 feet above sea-level. .The coast-line of Florida measures about 470 miles on the Atlantic and 675 miles on the Gulf of Mexico. The eastern coast has remarkably even shore-lines, being much more regular than the western (-oast, which is broadly indented by the Gulf, and intersected by the inlets of several rivers. Almost the entire length of the eastern coast is bordered by sand reefs, inclosing long lagoons that tend to fill up with sand and organic matter and to become land. On this side there are
few gond harbors. Extensive improvements have been made at the months of Saint Ma ry's and Saint, John's rivers, and these waters are navigable by ocean vessels as far as Fernandina and Jaek so»ville: the harbors of Saint Augustine and ltis (nyne Bay me also used t sumo extent by merchant craft. There are numerous good harbors among the Florida Keys, the most important comfier eially being that at Key West. On the western side Charlotte Harbor and the bays of Tampa and Pensacola can be entered by large vessels.
Florida has an extensive river system which in cludes over 1000 miles of navigable waters. Three large rivers, the Apalachicola, Suwanee. and Choctawhatchee, enter the State from the north and cross western Florida to the Gulf. Within the peninsula the 11104 important streams are the Saint John's River on the Atlantic side, navi gable for over 200 miles, the Withlacooehee and Peace rivers draining into the Gulf, and the Kis simmee. which flows southward through the mid dle of the peninsula, and is a feeder of Lake Okeechobee. Most of the lakes occur in central Florida, along the drainage basins of the Saint John's and Kissimmee rivers. Here there are a great number, including lakes George, Harris, Apopka, Tohopekaliga, Kissimmee, and Okeecho bee. The last mlled, with an area of 1200 square miles, is the largest in the State.