The Miami River is a river in the United States state of Florida that drains out of the Everglades and runs through the city of Miami, including Downtown. The 5.5mi long river flows from the terminus of the Miami Canal at Miami International Airport to Biscayne Bay. It was originally a natural river inhabited at its mouth by the Tequesta Indians, but it was dredged and is now polluted because of its route through Miami-Dade County. The mouth of the river is now home to the Port of Miami and many other businesses whose pressure to maintain it has helped to improve the river's condition.EtymologyAlthough it is widely believed that the name is derived from a Native American word that means "sweet water", the earliest mention of the name comes from Hernando de Escalante Fontaneda, a captive of Indians in southern Florida for 17 years, when he referred to what is now Lake Okeechobee as the "Lake of Mayaimi, which is called Mayaimi because it is very large". The Mayaimi Indians were named after the lake, beside which they lived. Spanish records include the cacique of 'Maimi' in a group of 280 Florida Indians that arrived in Cuba in 1710. Reports on a Spanish Mission to the Biscayne Bay area in 1743 mention 'Maymies' or 'Maimíes' living nearby. The river has also been known as the Garband River, Rio Ratones, Fresh Water River, Sweetwater River, and Lemon River. It has been known as the Miami River since the Second Seminole War of 1835–42.
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