In 1905, Greek spongers came to Tarpon Springs, Florida, to develop the world's largest sponge industry. By the mid-1930s, there were 200 boats working the Gulf of Mexico from as far north as the Appalachicola and as far south as Key West. They were harvesting $3 million worth of sponges.
Beginning in the late 1930s and lasting through the mid-1940s, a bacterial blight killed the sponges and the industry was destroyed. Today, Tarpon Springs enjoys a rebirth of the sponge beds, making it the world's largest sponge producing industry.
The St. Nicholas Boat Line was established in 1924 by Michael Billiris and continues to be operated by the Billiris family. It is the second oldest attraction in the State of Florida. The St.Nicholas VII is a US Coast Guard Certified Vessel. Background information was dervied from: http://www.stnicholasboatline.com/ Tarpon Sprngs is one of my personal favorite places to visit when the the Tampa Bay Area!
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