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Florida: Treasure Coast (Boca Raton-Vero Beach)

99 Coastal Destinations Rated: Facing Trouble

Score: 54

This stretch of Florida's southern Atlantic coast is still less built up than super-developed Miami and Fort Lauderdale, but it is hardly pristine wilderness. "Pockets of preservation" and well-managed state and county parks occasionally interrupt a "wall of concrete that faces the beach almost everywhere."

Here is a representative sampling of additional anonymous comments from the panelists. They are not necessarily the views of the National Geographic Society:

“Area is overdeveloped and has begun to lose its historical appeal. The environment is under great stress, and water issues are likely to get worse.”

"Destruction of mangroves on the beach has lead to the disappearance of offshore reefs. The dunes are also in serious trouble. Many of the small communities are falling into general shabbiness. Few vestiges of Old Florida remain."

“Wall-to-wall development.”

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