The Everglades: Florida's Unique Landscape of Change

explanatory Essay
1995 words
1995 words

The Everglades is a diverse ecosystem located in southern Florida, yet urbanization has created a considerable amount of impact that has altered the physical landscape of the region, resulting in a symbiotic environment between humans and nature. Based on geographical research, the original Everglades spanned an area of approximately 12,000km2, and now because of urbanization and agricultural growth in this sub-region the area of the Everglades has been condensed to half of its original size (Willard et al 1-2). The Everglades is actually a sub-region of the Southern Coastlands region of the United States. It is comprised of a unique climate, divided into sub-provinces that create a diverse pallet of environments for wildlife to thrive, yet the impact of human modifications over a period of decades has drastically effected animal populations, and changed the functionality and physical landscape of its expanse. Despite the differences of urbanization and wildlife, major cities and the ecosystem of the Everglades thrive and fuse together to form the diversely changing landscape of the modern Everglades.
The Everglades may also be known as the river of grass because of its 80.5 kilometer (50 miles) wide girth and 161 kilometer (100 miles) long span, with the source of its freshwater coming from Lake Okeechobee just to the north (Tramontana and Johnson 1-2). The Everglades then continues to flow through the southernmost sandbars, mangrove islands, and the Florida Keys before emptying into the Florida Bay. This path creates a mix of saltwater, brackish, and fresh waterways that comprise the marshes and swamplands of this unique environment (Tramontana and Johnson 1-2). Transitions from wet and dry climates are the only seasonal ch...

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...he Everglades National Park - Alligators, Fauna and More - A Fantastic Day Trip From Orlando! 15 July 2011. Everglades touring.
"Historical Everglades." Everglades Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2014. .
Tramontana, Eileen, and Cindy Johnson Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. 2007. "Everglades." HighBeam Research, 2003. Web. 22 Mar. 2014.
Walker, Robert, and William Solecki. "Theorizing Land-Cover and Land-Use Change: The Case of the Florida Everglades and Its Degradation." Annals of the Association of American Geographers 94.2 (2004): 311-28. JSTOR. Web. 20 Mar. 2014.
Willard, Debra A., Christopher E. Bernhardt, Charles W. Holmes, Bryan Landacre, and Marci Marot. "Response Of Everglades Tree Islands To Environmental Change." Ecological Monographs 76.4 (2006): 565-83. JSTOR. Web. 21 Mar. 2014.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the everglades is a diverse ecosystem located in southern florida, yet urbanization has altered the physical landscape of the region.
  • Explains that the everglades is known as the river of grass because of its 80.5 kilometer (50 miles) wide girth and 161 kilometers long span. transitions from wet and dry climates are the only seasonal changes undergone.
  • Presents a map of south florida's everglades ecosystem.
  • Explains that the everglades is a sub-region of the southern coastlands. the okeechobee basin, big cypress swamp, southwestern flatwoods, ten thousand islands, and the southern keys provide brackish water for marine animals.
  • Presents fig. 2. the sub-provinces of the everglades.
  • Explains that the everglades ecosystem and climate has been modified by human innovation and urbanization.
  • Describes how the everglades ecosystem and ecology began with the overflowed lands act of 1850, which approved 81,000 km2 of federal land to be given to the state of florida.
  • Explains how the economic recession ended and residents called for more flood control in place of the wetland reclamation that had dominated major funds. from 1950 to 1970 the population soared from under 800,000 to almost 2.5 million
  • Explains how the everglades restoration plan was founded to mend the region's hydrology and ecosystem. in-migration enabled the growth of agricultural and tourist economies, and the population of southern florida continued to increase.
  • Explains that many of the biggest cities in south florida lie along the coastlines and encircle the everglades.
  • Cites cole, brad, "map of florida cities - florida road map."
  • Explains that florida faces alligators fleeing fay. the washington times, 22 aug. 2008. foster, kevin r. everglades national park, a fantastic day trip from orlando!
  • Explains that the everglades were degraded due to land cover and land use change.
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