Everglades


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See also: National Parks and Monuments (table)National Parks and Monuments

National Parks
Name Type1 Location Year authorized Size
acres (hectares)
Description
Acadia NP SE Maine 1919 48,419 (19,603) Mountain and coast scenery.
..... Click the link for more information.

Everglades,

marshy, low-lying subtropical savanna area, c.4,000 sq mi (10,000 sq km), S Fla., extending from Lake Okeechobee S to Florida Bay. Characterized by water, sawgrass, hammocks (islandlike masses of vegetation), palms, pine and mangrove forests, and solidly packed black muck (resulting from millions of years of vegetation decay in near-stagnant water), the Everglades receives an annual average rainfall of more than 60 in. (152 cm), mainly in the summer. Big Cypress Swamp, to the northwest, and Lake Okeechobee are the chief sources of its water. Low limestone rises rim the area, acting as a natural retaining wall. The wildlife-rich area is home to such endangered species as the Florida panther, American crocodile, and manatee, and also home to a sizable, non-native Burmese python population.

Colonial expeditions in the 1500s found Native Americans living in the Everglades; in the late 1830s the Everglades was the scene of military operations against the SeminoleSeminole,
Native North Americans whose language belongs to the Muskogean branch of the Hokan-Siouan linguistic stock (see Native American languages). They separated (their name means "separatist") from the Creek in the early 18th cent.
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. Large tracts of land were drained in the late 19th and early 20th cent., when the area was considered rich in agricultural potential, but only lands immediately bordering Lake Okeechobee were farmed. Winter vegetables and sugarcane are now the main crops; some cattle are raised. After great fires in 1939 (abetted by overdrainage), the first thorough studies of the Everglades concluded that most of the southern part was unfit for cultivation.

A ring dike had been constructed around Lake Okeechobee in the 1920s to prevent hurricanes from blowing water out of the lake, and massive additional flood control projects were undertaken following 1947 hurricanes. These, land development, and roadbuilding, especially the Tamiami Trail (U.S. 41), disrupted the shallow, 60-mile (100-km) wide "River of Grass" that had flowed across the Everglades, altering seasonal rhythms, channeling water to the Gulf of Mexico so as to create shortages that have damaged plant and animal life, and causing increased salinity in Florida Bay to the south.

In 1994, Florida—and in 1996 the federal government—launched long-term reclamation projects, aimed at removing levees, reflooding drained swampland, and otherwise "replumbing" the Everglades. Legislation enabling the multibillion-dollar project, with the cost split between the state and the U.S. government, was passed by Congress in 2000. In 2008, however, the South Florida Water Management District suspended work on a reservoir to be used in restoration, in anticipation of the sizable costs of a planned state purchase of citrus and sugar farmland between Okeechobee and the preserved portions of the Everglades. Work on the reservoir was later (2010) ordered resumed by the federal judge overseeing reclamation, and the proposed purchase of farmland was scaled back significantly.

At the southwestern end of Florida is Everglades National Park and Expansion, (1,508,580 acres/610,761 hectares), est. 1947. Big Cypress National Preserve and Addition (est. 1974) adjoins it to the north. See National Parks and MonumentsNational Parks and Monuments

National Parks
Name Type1 Location Year authorized Size
acres (hectares)
Description
Acadia NP SE Maine 1919 48,419 (19,603) Mountain and coast scenery.
..... Click the link for more information.
 (table).

Bibliography

See M. S. Douglas, The Everglades (1947, repr. 1988); C. S. Rom, Everglades (1989); M. Grunwald, The Swamp (2006).

References in periodicals archive ?
Douglas spent the next two decades publishing novels and histories set in the Everglades.
The Parks Gulf Coast site is the gateway to the 10,000 Islands region of Everglades National Park, an area that features the largest and best protected mangrove estuary in the northern hemisphere.
As an International Biosphere Reserve, World Heritage Site and Wetland of International Importance, the Everglades National Park attracts over one million visitors each year.
The word Everglade means "river of grass," and the Everglades are, in fact, one giant, very slow-moving river.
Ben and Bekka's curiosity, instinct for mystery, and tenacity for following up on clues, enable them to uncover vital information in solving an ingenious conspiracy of robbery and deception during the Twins Magazine Everglades Triathlon.
Nathaniel Reed -Vice Chairman and a Founding Member, Everglades Foundation
Before they embarked, hunters were educated on the importance of carrying fresh water and sunscreen into the Everglades while learning how to avoid other deadly predators in the park, especially the venomous Eastern Diamondback rattlesnake.
This past summer the Everglades and Madagascar's Atsinanana rainforests were both added to UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites at risk.
A freelance ecologist, Lodge has focused on the Everglades for several years.
The Everglades once covered 47,000 square kilometers (18,000 square miles).
MWI signed the first major contract to supply pumps for the district's Everglades Restoration project in November 2008.
Once the land transfer is done, the state would protect the land--some 187,000 acres south of Lake Okeechobee--from future development, and would also build a network of reservoirs and marshes to filter water flowing through the area for the benefit of the wider Everglades ecosystem.

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