Florida declared itself an independent nation rather than join the Confederacy

....why would they do that? The republics of east and west Florida were the actions filibusters attempting to """liberate""" territory from other countries, Spain in Florida's case, to advance the interests of (white, protestant, slave owning) Americans in the area, and to ultimately be annexed into the US.

Texas, Florida, and Hawaii as successful examples of this. Less successful were the attempts to do the same in other circum-Caribbean nations like Cuba, Nicaragua, Baja California, etc.
Florida had a population of a little over 140,000 according to the 1860 Census, so the result is that they fail to achieve independence - somebody is going to seize the ports (if only to deny them to the enemy) and there's little else in the state worth caring about.