Period # 5
There aren’t many landmasses as spectacular in America as the Florida Everglades. An impressive aquatic ecosystem covering more than 18,000 square miles, the ‘glades is an aesthetic novelty for sure, but it’s also home to an unbelievable number of plants and animals - some threatened or endangered. Aside from its natural beauty, the ecosystem provides millions of South Floridians with drinking water, and is a tremendous asset to the sunshine state. So why is the Everglades in need of protection and what is being done to improve one of America’s most exciting natural resources?
The health of the Everglades is a major concern, and efforts to protect and conserve this unique environment are ongoing. Why have the wetlands suffered over the years? Draining and development dates back to the early 1900’s and many projects designed to alter the Everglades went unquestioned. In the mid 1980’s, in efforts to protect coastal properties in South Florida, legislators thought it was a good idea to construct canals and pump systems to control water flow. Drainage projects were designed to help excess water recede, making it less likely coastal lands would flood. Negative implications were not evident until years later. Today, scientists and biologists have discovered many of these projects had tremendous impacts on flora and fauna that reside in the Everglades ecosystem. For alligators in particular, drainage projects forced fish and other animals to relocate, making it difficult to find food. Land...