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Tropical Areas in Florida

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The Trouble with Tropics

Florida, like many tropical areas, has two seasons: the wet season and the dry season. During the

wet season (June through October), water is plentiful, lawns grow green, farmers grow their crops and kids

wakeboard in the park. But, of course, flooding is a problem. In the dry season (seven months: November

through May), grass turns as brown as a desert bush.

The source of Florida’s water is the Lake Toho/Kissimmee River/Lake Okeechobee system, and

the level of the lake system rises and falls between the seasons. At low levels during the dry season,

Florida residents must be mindful to conserve water and animals are left to fend for themselves. Water

resources have the potential to be unsustainable without management.

Florida water resources fluctuate, so life can be difficult. The South Florida Water Management

District was created to maintain sustainability of Florida water resources.

Today, tourists come to visit the beautiful tropical climate of Florida’s beaches, wildlife, and palm

trees. South Florida wasn’t always so pristine. Florida used to be a much soggier swampland. Mosquitoes

were so plentiful, that some early pioneers of the area joked that they must be the state bird. Because of

Florida’s flat geography, rainfall was the determinant factor in every facet of South Florida’s environment.1

After a large rain, water would stand in floodplains and flow from river to river like water in an ice

tray without canals or dams to control the flow of storm waters. Standing water would remain for weeks or

months leaving disease and water damage behind.1

During the dry season, farming became difficult. Droughts were common and crops and cattle

would thirst without a reliable source of ...

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....dep.state.fl.us/coastal/habitats/coral.htm.

6. Facility and Infrastructure Location Index Map. May 2002. South Florida Water Management District.

http://www.sfwmd.gov/images/pdfs/facility_map_overview.pdf.

7. Wetland Wildlife. 8 Dec. 2004. University of Florida.

http://wetlandextension.ifas.ufl.edu/wildlife.htm.

8. Land Management Annual Report. 2003. South Florida Water Management District.

http://www.sfwmd.gov/org/clm/lsd/images/pdfs/lsd_ar03.pdf.

9. Environmental Restoration Efforts. South Florida Water Management District.

http://www.sfwmd.gov/org/wrp/env_rest_efforts.html#lakeo.

10. Central and Southern Florida Project Comprehensive Review Study (Restudy) Update and

Background. July 1999. http://www.evergladesplan.org/docs/backgd.pdf.

11. ACCELER8 Everglades Now. South Florida Water Management District.

http://www.evergladesnow.org/a8_overview.shtml.
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