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Ocean Ridge Natural Area
Palm Beach County
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mangroves ocean ridge natural area
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1 Corrine Street
Ocean Ridge


Ocean Ridge Natural Area is all about mangroves — reds, whites, blacks. They are the keystone species here. And that's the point. Ocean Ridge sits on 27 acres of the Lake Worth Lagoon. It's essentially a man-made refuge, part of an attempt to restore the lagoon to the what nature intended. Once upon a time, mangroves were everywhere, creating habitat and a protective nursery for all sorts of creatures. Moreover, they protected the land itself from the ravages of hurricanes and tropical storms. Developers came along and mangroves all but disappeared, and the quality of the lagoon diminished. Now they're protected by law throughout Florida.

The birds are back — ospreys, blue herons, night herons, ibis, egrets, cardinals and mockingbirds are some that we've spotted during our visits to Ocean Ridge. Blue and fiddler crabs dart along the ground; mangrove tree crabs are back, too. There are gumbo limbo, figs, cabbage palms and other trees. In the understory there is coral bean, coastal dune sunflower, necklace pod, beautyberry and more.

Ocean Ridge is reachable by boat. It has a dock, but no parking lot. The nearest public parking is at the Boynton Beach Municipal Park on A1A just north of Ocean Boulevard. The preserve is a 5-10 minute walk south to Corrine Street. Note: Ocean Ridge is just off A1A but there is no signs on the road indicating its presence.

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