Ponce de Leon first discovered these small islands in 1513. He found plenty of turtles but nada agua. Hence the name Dry Tortugas appeared on early maps of the Florida Straits. Sea turtles and bird eggs were hunted until the area was first protected in the early 1900s by the formation of a national wildlife refuge. In 1935 Franklin Roosevelt set aside the seven islands comprising the Dry Tortugas as a National Monument. In 1992 it was redesignated as a National Park.