A 1,000-acre barrier island containing a variety of upland, and wetland plant communities including sea-grass beds and inter-tidal sand/mud flats, mangrove and herbaceous wetlands, beach dune communities and a coastal maritime hammock. North of Key Biscayne, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and by Biscayne Bay to the west. The island is owned jointly by the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County and contains more than three hundred (300) acres of mangroves, approximately sixteen (16) acres of maritime hammock—one of the rarest and most endangered plant communities in the County due to coastal development, and eighteen (18) acres of beach and dune communities.
The northern and eastern portion of the North Point contains beach dune communities including typical dune vegetation such as Sea Oats (Uniola paniculata), Inkberry (Scaevola plumieri), Railroad vine (lpomoea pes-caprae), and Burrowing four o'clock (Okenia hypogaea). Burrowing four o'clock is listed as a State endangered species by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services via Chapter 5B-40, F.A.C. The beach areas particularly those along the northern portion of the North Point, support a significant amount of sea turtle nesting activity. It should be noted that significant beach erosion is occurring along the eastern portion of this area.
Seagrass and macroalgae communities are present in the shallow waters adjacent to the shoreline. The seagrass beds are comprised mainly of turtle grass (Thalassia testudium), manatee grass (Syringodium filiforme) and shoal grass (Halodule wrightii). These seagrass beds are dense and healthy and are relatively diverse in faunal Community including various species of sponges, invertebrates, and algae.
The beach and dune community in this area is an essential sea-turtle nesting beach, possess several threatened and endangered plant species and comprise a significant amount of this type of community in Miami-Dade County. The dunes within this area are small to non-existent and the beach area is relatively narrow. This can be attributed to human disturbance and because the beach receives low surf energy. Ocean surf energy is absorbed from a sandbar that extends from Fisher Island across Norris and Bear Cuts to Key Biscayne. This serves as a natural wave brake to Virginia Key.