The Everglades: Florida's Unique Landscape of Change Essay

The Everglades: Florida's Unique Landscape of Change Essay

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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,...


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...of concern. Alligators raise over 18,000 complaints from residents according to state officers, and present a safety hazard to the population (Floridians 1).



Works Cited

"Floridians Face Alligators Fleeing Fay." The Washington Times. N.p., 22 Aug. 2008. Web. 21 Mar. 2014.
"Historical Everglades." Everglades Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 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.

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