In the late 1800's and early 1900's, Florida saw an influx of tourists who sought refuge in its warm embrace. Many of those tourists decided to make their new homes there and start new businesses. One of those enterprises was diving for sponges. The sponge industry put Florida on the map; it flourished for half a decade before mother nature stepped in, delivering a red tide that killed most of the sponges and left spongers looking for new avenues of employment. The sponge has made a slow but positive recovery since then. It has always seemed to me a fascinating creature. Do a little research and I think you'll be surprised by these interesting ocean dwellers.