Big Bend (Florida)
The Big Bend region of Florida, United States, is an informal region of the state. Different definitions of the region include counties stretching across northern Florida from the Apalachicola River to the St. Johns River. The Big Bend Coast, however, is the marshy coast without barrier islands that extends along the Gulf of Mexico coast of Florida from the Ocklockonee River (Wakulla County) to Anclote Key (Pasco County).
Visit Florida, the state's official tourism marketing corporation, uses varying definitions of the region, including just four counties, Jefferson, Taylor, Dixie and Levy counties, in one definition, and 12 counties, including Levy, Dixie, Gilchrist, Lafayette, Suwannee, Columbia, Hamilton, Baker, Union, Bradford, Clay, and Putnam counties, in another. The Big Bend Scenic Byway is a marked route through Franklin, Leon, and Wakulla counties.
Private agencies that self-identify as serving the Big Bend region often include Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Taylor and Wakulla counties in their service areas. The principal city in the region is Tallahassee. Big Bend is known for its vast woodlands and marshlands, including portions of the Apalachicola National Forest, and its low population density relative to much of the state, with some of the most sparsely populated counties in Florida being part of the region.
The Big Bend Coast is the marshy coast extending about 350 kilometres (220 mi) from the mouth of the Ocklockonee River around Apalachee Bay and down the west coast of peninsular Florida to Anclote Key. This stretch of coast includes the coasts of Wakulla, Jefferson, Taylor, Dixie, Levy, Citrus, Hernando and Pasco counties. The Big Bend Coast is a drowned karst region, covered with salt marsh. It includes freshwater springs, oyster reefs, and the delta of the Suwannee River. There are barrier islands west of the Oklockonee River and south starting with Anclote Key, but there are no barrier islands between those places. The Big Bend Coast has little or no sand or mud. The karst topography has produced an irregular, frequently exposed, bedrock surface. Due to the width of the adjacent continental shelf (over 150 kilometres (93 mi)), low gradient slope of the coast (1:5000), and shelter from the usual wind direction of storms, the Big Bend Coast is generally subject to low wave energy. The coast is subject to storm surges.
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