"Fragility v politics" Everglades National Park by smirnofforiginal
Everglades National Park Travel Guide: 370 reviews and 910 photos
The Everglades National Park is the 2nd largest national park in the US and apparently the largest subtropical wilderness in continental USA. Made up of swamps and marshes the Everglades are a delicate ecosystem.
With crocodiles and alligators, bottle nosed dolphins, manatees, osperys, bald eagles & egrets, mangroves, cypress swamps, hardwood hammocks & sea-grass flats - the Everglades are a very unique place.
Once called "Pa-hay-okee" (Calusa Indians) which means "grassy water", then River Glades (a surveyor named Gerard de Brahm) the English became Ever Galdes.
They begin at the Kissimmee River which then empties into Lake Okeechobee. Okeechobee would then spill over through the Everglades before reaching the Golf of Mexico. Man then interferred, mainly for business purposes, diverting waters - hundreds of canals were dug to "reclaim" the land. Dikes then restricted the water flow & farmland dotted what once previously untouched and uninhabited by man.
The farming diverted the freshwater and produced fertiliser rich wastewater generating growth of foliage which in turn blocks and clogs waterways. Chemicals spill into the waters and autopsies on animals, such as the panther, show that mecury levels are very high. Industry pollution is killing the foliage and with the freshwater being diverted the salty waters from the Gulf of Mexico are encroaching. There are now 16 endangered and 5 threatened animals within this park.
It isn't necessarily all doom and gloom for the Everglades though.
As early as the 1920's there was realisation. 1947 saw the Everglades declared as a national park and there is the desire to restore this beautiful area. The Everglades Coalition are the primary environmentalists who want to restore the glades to conditions prior to the developmental impacts. This is easier said than done and there is much politics involved....watch this space...
Highly recommend this - it takes 2 hours. Your guide will have well trained, keen eyes and will be quick to spot, stop &... more travel advice
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