The Florida Everglades have been touted as the 'subtropical Serengeti' in reference to the great biodiversity. This vast 'River of Grass' is teeming with life; the only everglades ecosystem on the planet, making the area a high priority for conservation efforts.
Alligators, Leatherback Turtles, Manatees, both salt and fresh water fish and a wide variety of wading birds call the Everglades home.
The Florida Panther has made an encouraging journey back from the very brink of extinction and every year more Panther cubs are thriving in this unique ecosystem.
The Fragile Florida Everglades
The Florida Everglades region, the traditional home of the Seminole people, is the southern terminus of the Kissimmee-Okeechobee-Everglades Ecosystem; beginning with the Kissimmee River, leading into Lake Okeechobee, and into this swampy wetland of 10,000 islands and rivers of grass.
Human habitation increased dramatically in the 1930's with the construction of dikes and canals. By the 1980's, the Everglades were drying up and dying off as half of its water was going to human consumption.
As a result, massive restoration began in the 90's, and since that time some sizable wetland areas south of Okeechobee and surrounding Miami have been nursed back to health.
ADDITIONAL FLORIDA CITY PAGES:
- The vast 2,357 square mile Florida Everglades National Park represents only 20% of the swamp's original boundaries.
- The Florida Everglades are the only area in the world where alligators and crocodiles coexist. (We didn't say 'happily' though!)
- The Everglades is really a very shallow, slow moving river. Inches deep but up to fifty miles wide, the River of Grass forms as Lake Okeechobee overflows its banks onto the southern Florida plains and the waters make their way to the Gulf of Mexico at a lazy rate of 2,000 feet per day!
- The subtropical Everglades contain over 220,000 acres of sugar cane within its boundaries - that's half of all the cane produced in the United States of America.
Wilderness Camping in Everglades Park
This subtropical Florida national park is the outdoorsman's paradise. Visitors kayak, canoe or hike the trails through the winding sawgrass rivers, mangrove and cypress swamps to find the best fishing, animal sightings and campsites. Camp on secluded sandy beaches or the 'Chickees', elevated platforms used for shelter where no dry ground is available.
- Florida Everglades Airboat Rides
The famous everglades airboat is the greatest way to get around this wet world of wildlife! At least 36 species of endangered animals make their home in this unique ecosystem and an airboat tour can bring you into the hard-to-reach habitats of mangrove swamps, bayous and tiny coastal inlets.
- Everglades Kayak Tours
A great family adventure for your Florida vacation, kayak tours use safe and comfortable sea kayaks, perfect for guided eco tours and overnight fishing trips. The great maneuverability and almost silent movement of the kayak makes it perfect for getting into secret places where the rarest orchids bloom, leatherback turtles lay their eggs; and that 'Big Fish' that got away last year is now waiting for you!
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