It was the first underwater park in the United States. The park was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 14, 1972. The primary attractions of the park are the coral reefs (such as Molasses Reef) and their associated marine life.In Fiscal Year 2004 the park had more than a million visitors, making it the most popular park in the Florida State Parks system. The Florida Keys and the Flower Garden Banks in the Gulf of Mexico off the Texas coast are the only living coral reef formations in the continental United States.HistoryPlans to designate the reefs off Key Largo for a park started in the 1930s. The state-sanctioned, Everglades National Park Commission proposed a national park for the Everglades, including the reefs off Key Largo. Opposition from property owners, outdoors men, and Monroe County Commissioners stopped the plan. When Everglades National Park was created in 1947, the boundaries did not include Key Largo or any of the reefs.
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John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is a Florida State Park located on Key Largo in Florida, and includes approximately 70 nautical square miles (240 km²) of adjacent Atlantic Ocean waters.
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