Fort Lauderdale skyline
The Fort Lauderdale Skyline

Broward County is located in southeastern Florida along the Atlantic coast. Broward County contains 1,205 square miles of land and 114 square miles of water surface. The county seat is Fort Lauderdale. Broward County was named for former Florida Governor Napoleon Bonaparte Broward when it was created by the Florida Legislature on April 30, 1915. The county was carved out of almost equal portions of Palm Beach County to the north and Dade County to the south. About 2/3 of the land area of Broward County is contained within either the Everglades conservation area or state wildlife conservation areas.

For many years, Broward County was a major Florida producer of agricultural products and services but the massive influx of people to the area beginning in the mid-1950's changed that. In 2004, the last major agricultural center in the county (Waldrep Dairy Farm near Cooper City) went out of business and that land was turned over to developers. This will be interesting in the future because the average elevation of Broward County is 6' above mean sea level... Of course, the majority of Florida residents appear to vote Republican and for Republicans climate change is a figment of someone's bad imagination.

In the 1970's, Broward County approved the construction of the Osborne Reef, an artificial reef off the coast of Fort Lauderdale to be built of old rubber car and truck tires held in place by a series of concrete jacks. The objective was two-fold: to get rid of discarded tires and to build an offshore sanctuary for game fish. More than 2 million old tires, bound into bundles with bands of nylon held together with steel clips were dumped into the site. As no attention was paid to the potential lifetime of the steel clips used, they shortly corroded and failed, loosening those bundles of tires and allowing them to wash around freely in the ocean currents. Hurricane Opal moved through the area in 1995 and spread more than 1,000 of those tires across beaches in the Pensacola region. Hurricane Bonnie moved thousands more of those tires onto North Carolina beaches in 1998. Beyond that, there is some amount of toxic chemical being leached from the man-made rubber. However, more damage is being done by the tires actually rubbing up against natural coral reefs in the area and slowly destroying them. In 2007, the US Navy and Coast Guard got involved and they are presently using the "reef" in training exercises for dive teams as they slowly remove tires from the area.

50 years ago, Broward County could be counted on to vote overwhelmingly for Republican political candidates. That changed with first election of President Clinton in 1992 and Broward County is now primarily a Democratic Party stalwart. A lot of that change is blamed on the huge influx of residents from the more liberal northeastern states, although some of that blame is also laid at the feet of the county's large communities of newly naturalized citizens from Asia, Latin America, Europe, the Caribbean and Canada.