The Overflowed Lands Act of 1850 approved 81,000 km2 of federal land to be given to the State of Florida, which marks the start of the economic history of southern Florida. The International Improvement Fund (IIF) then used these granted lands in 1855 to encourage development by means of land reclamation. Railroad and canal companies were then given land in an effort to make new lands accessible for colonization. In the late 1800’s, land drainage projects were headed by prosperous entrepreneurs and the first railroad completed its connection with Miami, serving to provide access to southern Florida. As a result of public funding and demand, the Everglades Drainage District (EDD) of 1907 was formed by Governor William Jennings to institute a design strategy to combat the overwhelming drainage. The Everglades Drainage District received its income as a result of its ability to tax, and over a period of the next twenty years built drainage and flood control structures that laid the groundwork for the major aspects of the existing drainage scheme. The state then marketed thousands of lots of land to companies which were then sold to individuals in hopes that southern Florida would prosper to become a plentiful agricultural region. The total volume of land owners rose dramatically from just 12 owners in 1909 to around 15,000 owners just three years later because of the advertised, exaggerated farming prospective. Landowners flooded into Florida, paying inflated land prices, to own a piece of the potential agricultural utopia that they had been advertised, yet when the land turned out to be less abundant and the drainage issues persisted the housing markets took a big hit. Miami also created a center for tourism and attracted around 125,...
The Florida Everglades — A Wetlands Ecosystem
The Everglades, a vast wetlands ecosystem made up of marshes and swamps, begins at Lake Okeechobee, a large lake in the center of Florida, and ends in the Gulf of Mexico and Florida Bay. It is nearly 50 miles across and 110 miles long (Hinrichsen), and when viewed from the air, appears to be miles and miles of shallow water flowing through thick mats of grass. This perception has earned it the name “River of Grass”. Although it does flow like a river, the flow is so incredibly slow that, from a distance, it doesn’t seem to move at all.
All of the wildlife in the Everglades is totally dependent on the cycling of water.
Florida became a state in 1845 and almost immediately people began proposing to drain the Everglades. In 1848, a government report said that draining the Everglades would be easy, and there would be no bad effect. Canals and dams were dug to control seasonal flooding. Farmers grew vegetables in the rich soil of the drained land, Ranchers had their cattle graze on the dry land, and new railways lines were constructed to connect communities throughout south Florida; but the ecosystem of the Everglades was not suited for either farming or ranching. The natural cycle of dry and wet seasons brought a devastating series of droughts and floods. These had always been a p...
Nature designed Florida to be one large marine ecosystem. Florida is one big sand peninsula located below the 40th longitudinal North American line. Three bodies of salt water (Gulf of Mexico, Strait of Florida and Atlantic Ocean) surround three out of four directions of Florida. Man-made canals, natural lakes, rivers and estuaries are confined within the State of Florida’s physical boundaries. All of these form an interlocking system of waterways that impact the interconnected marine environment (marine ecosystem). All of Florida’s waterways are connected back to the surrounding bodies of water while passing through Florida’s sub-tropical and temperate zones and impact the delicate marine ecosystem balance. Man and nature are causing a negative impact to this region like never before. Hurricanes, lack of green initiatives, garbage, pollution and the stripping of natural resources for population growth are decimating Florida’s natural ecosystems.
The second point of research is about the landscape of the Everglades and how it
The Spanish had great expectations of Florida despite disastrous results from expeditions such as Ponce de Leon and Lucas Vazquez de Ayllon's. In a description of the panhandle region from Hernando de Soto's campaigns, Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo wrote, “The Province of Apalache is very fertile and abundantly provided with much corn, kidney beans, pumpkins, various fruits, much venison, many varieties of birds and excellent fishing near the sea.” Notwithstanding the environmental benefits, the Spanish were ultimately unsuccessful in establishing a plantation economy in Florida. Both the British and the proto-Seminoles achieved greater success in establishing a plantation economy after the failure of the Spanish. Many factors contributed to the success of the proto-Seminoles and British in Florida including increased population, choice of economy, and African presence in Florida.
This report provides an analysis on one the world’s most unique ecosystems. The Everglades of south Florida is an immense piece of land that is home to thousands of species of animals and plants. The research draws attention to various issues that the Everglades ecosystem is facing by including the areas history and the negative effects that humans are having on it. The ecosystem has experienced many changes since the addition of the canal system in the 20th century. Water quality and flow have been altered to the point in which the Everglades will no longer be the same. Invasive plants and animals also threaten the areas landscape and wildlife, increasing the number of endangered vegetation and creatures. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is attempting to reconstruct the natural flow of water back to the land. This land restoration project is one of the largest ever performed and includes a budget of nearly 3-5 billion dollars. The goal is to restore the Everglades and save it from deteriorating by capturing waters released into the ocean will (while) also minimizing human impacts on the land. Pictures of the alteration of the land are found in the appendix.
Theobald, D.M., Miller, J.R., and N.T. Hobbs. “Estimating the cumulative effects of development on wildlife habitat.” Landscape and Urban Planning 39 (1997): 25-36. 29 March 2007. http://search.ebscohost.com.
Kusler, Jon A. and Mary E. Kentula. Wetland Creation and Restoration. Island Press: Washington, D.C., 1990.
Within the state of Florida there are dozens of individualized, non-profit organizations making an effort to help the local wildlife. The local land and marine wildlife includes birds, geckos, frogs, snakes, panthers, manatees, sea turtles, fishes, sharks, corals, lizards and many, many more. Florida State is located on the Southeastern tip of the United States providing a unique opportunity for conservation of salt-water animals. While there are animal conservation efforts taking place all over the world, this essay will focus on two animal species that humans are specifically trying to save in Florida State. The two main animal species of focus are manatees and sea turtles.