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The Florida Keys

Mule Keys

Mule Keys
The Mule Keys is a group of scattered islets between 3 and 12 miles (5-20 km) west of Key West, separated from it by Northwest Channel. On the west, they are separated from the Marquesas Keys by 6 mile (10 km) wide Boca Grande Channel. They belong to the outlying islands of the Florida Keys. Administratively, they are unincorporated area of Monroe County, Florida. The islets all part of Key West National Wildlife Refuge. The area of the islets totals 1.07 mi² (2.77 km²), of which 1.02 mi² (2.63 km²) are land area and 0.05 mi² (0.14 km²) inland water bodies (on three of the keys). The islets are uninhabited except Mule Key, for which the census of 2000 lists one housing unit with a population of two (park rangers or coast guard).

The easternmost islet, Mule Key, is 2.7 miles (4.4 km) west of Sunset Key which is part of Key West city. The westernmost (and largest) islet, Boca Grande Key, is 6 miles (10 km) east of the Marquesas Keys.

12 individual islets are named on detailed topographical maps:

1) of Block Group 3, Census tract 9725, Monroe County, Florida [1]
2) Because Barracouta Key and Joe Ingram Key together from one census block,
no exact separate area figures are available. Joe Ingram Key is estimated at 10,000 m².

On nautical maps, the Mule Keys appear like an atoll of 11 miles (18 km) length east-west, and 6 miles (10 km) width north-south (covering a sea area of roughly 58 mi² (150 km²)), with Mule Key, Crawfish Key, Man Key, Ballast Key, Woman Key and Boca Grande Key along the southern rim (from east to west), and Cottrell Key in the north.

7 miles (11 km) south of Mule Key, separated from the Mule Keys by West Channel, are three notable submerged reefs, from east to west:

Eastern Dry Rocks, at 24°27′42.6″ N 81°50′38.1″ W (24.4618333333, -81.8439166667)
Rock Key, at 24°27′21.3″ N 81°51′26.3″ W (24.4559166667, -81.8573055556)
Sand Key, at 24°27′18.3″ N 81°52′37.5″ W (24.4550833333, -81.8770833333)

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