The Everglades isn’t just beautiful it’s crucial to sustaining so much life! It’s home to endless animals, birds, marine life, insects, and flora. And, it provides drinking water for 7 million Floridians – that’s one out of every three Floridians. The area’s survival has become on the forefront of importance to officials in recent years for all these reasons.
The Everglades is primarily made up of water, and is actually a flowing river. Water flows from north to south from Lake Okeechobee. It is a very slow moving river. These days, its dimensions are 60 miles wide and 100 miles long. It used to be even larger! Unfortunately, due to construction and drainage projects, close to 50 percent of the wetland has been destroyed. Natural areas of the Everglades were replaced with residential areas, urban areas, and farms.
Now, an Everglades Restoration Plan is in place to restore the water flow to its historic, natural flow. On Earth Day, one of these plans, building the Tamiami Bridge, began construction. Why is a restoration plan needed? Well if it’s never restored, the area may disappear. Because of humans, Lake Okeechobee became connected to estuaries through the Calooshatchee and St. Lucie Rivers. When this occurred, the rivers began receiving water from the lake that compromised the fragile estuarine ecosystem. Other Everglades areas now receive polluted water from the Lake that came from the farming areas. Vegetation and wildlife have changed in these areas because of it. Since the Everglades is home to 16 endangered or threatened species, it’s even more crucial to get the water flowing properly. One small change in the ecosystem and an entire species can disappear, and no one wants that to happen.
This Restoration Plan contains around 60 components that will restore the ecosystem, provide flood protection, and ensure water supplies. Some plans include: Kissimmee River restoration project; building additional storm water treatment areas and flow equalization basins, the Picayune Strand Restoration Project, Tamiami Bridge, and the C-111 Spreader Canal.
Explore The Beautiful Everglades
The Everglades is one-of-a-kind place of wonder; it has been designated biodiversity global hotspot, because it is one of the richest and most threatened areas with plant and animal life on the planet. Protection of this area is crucial, especially if people want to continue to benefit from its water and beauty in the future. It’s a must-see place. To explore the area, an airboat tour brings people up-close-and-personal with the wetland. To book an airboat tour, click here or call Captain Mitch’s Airboat Tours at 239-695-3377.