John D. MacArthur Beach State Park: an ecological pearl amidst the urban sea of southeast Florida
Since planting roots in southeast Florida, I hunt for pockets of natural coastline interspersed throughout the urban-dominated landscape. One such place is situated near the northern tip of the regional conurbation. A swim, paddle, or stroll about the grounds of John D. MacArthur Beach State Park – located on an almost unspoiled slice of coast in northern Palm Beach County – offers glimpses of what southeast Florida’s tropical coastal habitat resembled prior to the arrival of Spanish ships in the sixteenth century when Jeaga Indians paddled local waters using dugout canoes. In the concrete jungle that is present-day southeast Florida, this protected area is bursting with vegetation and wildlife.