"Everglades National Park" Top 5 Page for this destination Everglades National Park Favorite Tip by Basaic
Everglades National Park Favorites: 80 reviews and 114 photos
Favorite thing: At almost 1.4 million acres, Everglades National Park is the third largest national park in the lower 48 states after Death Valley and Yellowstone. It is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States and is home to 36 rare and endangered species including the Florida Panther, the West Indian Manatee, and the American Crocodile. The everglades has been designated a World Heritage Site, an International Biosphere Reserve, and a Wetland of International Importance.
The first known human habitation of this area began thousands of years ago.
As early as 1882, parts of the swamp were drained for agricultural and residential use. Beginning in the eary 20th century the water flow from Lake Okeechobee was controlled and diverted because of the explosive growth in Southern Florida. In 1934 the Everglades National Park was established to protect the quickly vanishing Everglades. Establishing a happy balance between people’s desire to live in the area and preserving this important and unique habitat is a complex and emotion-charged issue.
Today Everglades National Park endeavors to protect this fragile ecosystem. The everglades is actually a slow-moving river originating in Lake Okeechobee and fed by the Kissimmee River. This “River of Grass” flows southwest at about .25 miles (0.40 km) per day into Florida Bay. This flow is disrupted, however, by things like the St. Lucie, Miami, and Hillsboro Canals. The park is the most significant breeding ground for tropical wading birds in North America, and contains the largest mangrove ecosystem in the western hemisphere. More than 350 species of birds, 300 species of fresh and saltwater fish, 40 species of mammals, and 50 species of reptiles live within Everglades National Park. All of South Florida's fresh water, stored in the Biscayne Aquifer, is recharged by the park.
Fondest memory: Watching the Wildlife.
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