The Everglades, commonly referred to as the "River of Grass," is the largest remaining sub-tropical wilderness in the lower 48 states. It contains both fresh and saltwater areas, open Everglades prairies, pine rocklands, tropical hardwood forests, offshore coral reefs, and mangrove forests. The broad spectrum of wildlife living in the Everglades includes aquatic birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, of which fifty-six species are endangered or threatened. Twenty-two of these species reside in two National Parks, four National Wildlife Refuges, and one National Marine Sanctuary which draw 1.6 million visitors every year.... Previously, it was thought, islands of land could be preserved forever by simply drawing national park boundaries. Today, it is clear that this is untrue. National parks are not islands. They are greatly impacted by what happens outside their boundaries. The Everglades is "a Park in Danger." Water management, water quality, non-native species, loss of species, and explosive regional population growth all present challenges for the Everglades; however, there are attempts being made to save the Everglades against these apparent dangers.
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Water management is one of the most critical environmental issues facing the Florida Everglades at this point in time. The everglades watershed originates in the central Florida Kissimmee River basin north of Lake Okeechobee. Summer thunderstorms would flood this region, the big lake, and extensive areas of everglades marsh. This created a shallow, wide river which flowed slowly south through the everglades to the mangrove estuaries of the Gulf of Mexico. The summer rains would then give way to a ...
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... water pollution cleanup in the Everglades, and Amendment 6, establishing an Everglades Trust Fund.
However, there are numerous things that you, as an individual, can do to help the Everglades along with the rest of nature. First and foremost, you must try to conserve water, by methods as easy as turning off the faucet while you brush your teeth or taking shorter showers. Second, use soap instead of detergents since using soaps with low phosphates and nitrates will keep the water table cleaner.
Protecting the Everglades is as easy as spreading the word. Tell friends about the concerns you may have, tell them what they can do to help. Contact environmentally active organizations for more information. Be sure to keep these environmental issues in mind when voting, and go ahead and make your concerns known to your legislature. Try your hardest to make a difference!
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