The Everglades are a subtropical wetland located in the southern portion of the U. The subtropics are the zones of the Earth immediately north and south of the tropic zone which is bounded by the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of S. state of Florida, comprising the southern half of a large watershed. Florida ( is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States, bordering Alabama to the northwest and Georgia to the A drainage basin is an extent of Land where Water from Rain or Snow melt drains downhill into a body of water such as a River, The entire system begins in the vicinity of Orlando with the Kissimmee River. Orlando is a major City in central Florida, USA and is the County seat of Orange County Florida. The Kissimmee River is a river in south-central Florida, United States. The Everglades includes the region that spans from Lake Okeechobee south to Florida Bay, as well as the interconnected ecosystems within the boundary. Lake Okeechobee, (IPA /okɪtʃobi/ locally referred to as The Lake or The Big O is a freshwater Lake in the U Florida Bay is the shallow bay located between the southern end of the Florida mainland (the Florida Everglades) and the Florida Keys. The Kissimmee River discharges into Lake Okeechobee, a vast shallow fresh water lake. Water leaving Lake Okeechobee in the wet season forms the Everglades, a slow-moving river 60 miles (97 km) wide and over 100 miles (160 km) long, flowing southward across a slightly angled limestone shelf to Florida Bay at the southern end of the state. Limestone is a Sedimentary rock composed largely of the Mineral Calcite ( Calcium carbonate: CaCO3 It is such a unique convergence of land, water, and climate that the use of singular and plural to refer to the Everglades is appropriate.  Characteristics of the climate of South Florida include annual wet and dry seasons, and the region has a history of recurring flooding and drought that has shaped the natural environment.
The Everglades are ever-changing, formed by the presence of water, the rock underneath, and the recurrence and severity of fire. Marjory Stoneman Douglas, a key figure in drawing public attention to the Everglades, popularized the term "River of Grass" to describe water flowing slowly from Lake Okeechobee southward, and the predominance of a sedge known as sawgrass. Marjory Stoneman Douglas (April 7 1890 – May 14 1998 was an American Journalist, Writer and Environmentalist known for her staunch defense of The family Cyperaceae, or the sedges, is a taxon of monocot Flowering plants that superficially resemble grasses or rushes Cladium ( Fen-sedge, Sawgrass or Twig-sedge) is a genus of large sedges with a world-wide distribution in tropical and temperate The sawgrass marshes and freshwater sloughs are a part of a complex system of interdependent ecosystems that include cypress swamps, the estuarine mangrove forests of the Ten Thousand Islands, tropical hardwood hammocks, pine rockland, and the marine environment of Florida Bay. Taxodium is a Genus of one to three Species (depending on taxonomic opinion of extremely flood-tolerant Conifers in the cypress An estuary is a semi-enclosed Coastal body of Water with one or more Rivers or Streams flowing into it and with a free connection to the open Mangroves (generally are Trees and Shrubs that grow in saline coastal habitats in the Tropics and Subtropics. The Ten Thousand Islands are a chain of islands and Mangrove Islets off the coast of Southwest Florida. Hammocks are dense stands of Hardwood trees that grow on natural rises of only a few inches higher than surrounding marshland that is otherwise too wet to support them
People began living in the southern portion of the Florida peninsula 15,000 years ago, when it was an arid landscape. By the time the regular flooding from Lake Okeechobee had occurred, two major tribes lived in and around Everglades ecosystems, the Calusa and the Tequesta. The Calusa, sometimes spelled Caloosa, Calos, Carlos or Caalus, were a Native American group that lived on the coast and along The Tequesta (also Tekesta, Tegesta, Chequesta, Vizcaynos) Native American tribe at the time of first European contact Following more than 200 years of contact with the Spanish, both societies declined, leaving little evidence of their existence other than shell mounds throughout the region. A midden, also known as a kitchen midden, or a shell heap, is a dump for domestic waste. The Seminoles, a tribe of Creeks who assimilated other people into their own, were formed, and made their living in the Everglades region after being forced there by the U. The Seminole are a Native American people originally of Florida and now residing in Florida and Oklahoma. S. military in the Seminole Wars in the 19th century. The Seminole Wars, also known as the Florida Wars, were three conflicts in Florida between various groups of Native Americans collectively known as The Seminoles continue to live in and around the Everglades.
Until the Seminole Wars, the southern portion of the Florida peninsula had not been mapped or explored by Europeans or Americans. Drainage was suggested in 1848 and preliminary studies were sponsored by U. S. Congress, but the first earnest attempts at building canals to drain the Everglades were funded by a real estate developer named Hamilton Disston in 1882. Hamilton Disston ( August 23, 1844 – April 30, 1896) was a Real-estate developer who purchased four million Acres (16000 Though Disston's canals were ineffective, his land purchase stimulated the economy of Florida, attracting land and railroad developers. A candidate for governor of Florida in 1904, Napoleon Bonaparte Broward, based his campaign platform on Everglades reclamation. Napoleon Bonaparte Broward (April 19 1857&ndashOctober 1 1910 was the nineteenth governor of the U After his election, canals were constructed between 1906 and 1920 that began draining water from South Florida. Two catastrophic hurricanes in the 1920s changed the focus of engineers from drainage to flood control, and a dike was built around Lake Okeechobee. A drought followed, however, and wildfires damaged millions of acres. Floods occurred again in 1947, and Congress formed the Central & Southern Florida Flood Control Project that built 1,400 miles (2,300 km) of canals, levees, and water control devices, and established an agricultural area where sugarcane became the primary crop. Sugarcane ( Saccharum) is a genus of 6 to 37 species (depending on taxonomic interpretation of tall perennial grasses (family Poaceae tribe Andropogoneae The South Florida metropolitan area grew substantially at this time and water was diverted to cities at the expense of areas in the Everglades. Approximately 50 percent of the original Everglades were turned into agriculture and urban development areas.  When a large airport was proposed to be built 6 miles (9. 7 km) north of Everglades National Park, an environmental study predicted it would destroy the South Florida ecosystem. Everglades National Park is a national park in the US state of Florida. Restoring the Everglades then became a priority.
With national attention turning to problems of the environment in the 1970s, conservation of the Everglades became an international issue. Restoration began when the C-38 canal that straightened the Kissimmee River began to be filled with material that had been excavated from it, and cattle grazing areas formed by the canal returned to marshland throughout the 1980s and 1990s. At the same time water quality became a significant concern for Lake Okeechobee as part of South Florida's water source. A report published by the governor of Florida in 1994 stated the quality of life for residents of the South Florida metropolitan area had deteriorated, the area was unable to sustain itself, and if the natural environment was not restored, conditions for people would worsen rapidly. In 2000, a plan to restore the Everglades was submitted to Congress that was to date the most expensive and comprehensive environmental repair attempt in history. The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan was signed into law, but the same politics and divisive interests that had affected the region for the previous 50 years have compromised the plan. The Central and Southern Florida (C&SF Project which was first authorized by Congress in 1948 is a multi-purpose project that provides flood control water supply for municipal industrial and Funds for Everglades restoration have decreased significantly since the law was passed.
The first written record of the Everglades was on Spanish maps made by cartographers who had not seen the land. They named the unknown area between the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of Florida Laguna del Espíritu Santo ("Lake of the Holy Spirit"). The area appeared on maps for decades without being explored. Writer John Grant Forbes in 1811 stated, "the Indians represent [the Southern points] as impenetrable; and the [British] surveyors, wreckers, and coasters, had not the means of exploring beyond the borders of the sea coast, and the mouths of rivers". 
A British surveyor named Gerard de Brahm mapping the coast of Florida in the 18th century called the area "River Glades". At the time a "glade" commonly meant an open grassy place in a forest or a natural pasture. Both Marjory Stoneman Douglas and linguist Wallace McMullen suggest that "River" turned into "Ever" by cartographers. Marjory Stoneman Douglas (April 7 1890 – May 14 1998 was an American Journalist, Writer and Environmentalist known for her staunch defense of  The name "Everglades" first appeared on a map in 1823, although it was also spelled as two words, "Ever Glades", as late as 1851. The Seminoles call it Pa-hay-okee, meaning "Grassy Water", and the region was labeled "Pa-hai-okee" on an American military map in 1839, although appeared as "Ever Glades" throughout the Seminole Wars. The Seminole are a Native American people originally of Florida and now residing in Florida and Oklahoma. The Seminole Wars, also known as the Florida Wars, were three conflicts in Florida between various groups of Native Americans collectively known as 
The geology of South Florida, paired with a subtropical climate of typical warm, wet features, present conditions perfect for a large marshland ecosystem. Layers of porous and permeable limestone create levels of water-bearing strata of rock, soil, and aquifers that affect the climate, weather, and hydrology of South Florida. An aquifer is an underground layer of Water -bearing Permeable rock or unconsolidated materials ( Gravel, Sand, Silt, or Clay Hydrology (from Greek Yδωρ hudōr, "water" and λόγος logos, "study" is the study of the movement distribution and quality of  What Florida is today, was at one point part of the African supercontinent Gondwana. Gondwana (ɡɒnˈdwɑːnə originally Gondwanaland) was a southern Supercontinent that existed about 500 to 200 Ma ago About 300 million years ago, North America collided with Africa, connecting Florida with North America. Volcanic activity centered around the eastern side of Florida covered the prevalent sedimentary rock with igneous rock. Sedimentary rock is one of the three main rock types (the others being igneous and Metamorphic rock) Igneous rocks (etymology from Latin ignis, fire are rocks formed by solidification of cooled Magma (molten rock Continental rifting began to separate North America from Pangaea about 180 million years ago. Pangaea, Pangæa or Pangea (pænˈdʒiːə from παν pan, meaning entire, and Γαῖα Gaea, meaning Earth in  When Florida was initially part of Africa, it was above land, but during the Jurassic Period, earth cooling submerged the Florida Platform, making it a shallow marine environment. The Jurassic is a geologic period and system that extends from about Ma (million years ago to  Ma that is from the end of the Triassic to the beginning Through the Cretaceous Period, changing sea levels submerged portions of Florida to varying depths, although some portions of the land were above sea levels, most of Florida remained a tropical sea floor. The Cretaceous (kriːˈteɪʃəs, usually abbreviated 'K' for its German translation "Kreide" is a geologic period and system, reaching from the end of 
Fluctuating sea levels laid down numerous layers of calcium carbonate found in sea water, sand, and shells, that compressed into soft and permeable limestone formations. Calcium carbonate is a Chemical compound with the Chemical formula Ca[[Carbon C]] O 3 Limestone is a Sedimentary rock composed largely of the Mineral Calcite ( Calcium carbonate: CaCO3 The limestone formations that developed between 70 million and 25 million years ago created the Floridan Aquifer, which serves as the main source of fresh water for the northern portion of Florida. The Floridan Aquifer is a portion of the principal Artesian aquifer that extends into Florida and is composed of Carbonate rock and located beneath the The Floridan Aquifer, from Lake Okeechobee to the southern tip of the peninsula, however, lies beneath thousands of feet of impenetrable sedimentary rock. 
There are four geologic formations that make up the southern portion of Florida: the Tamiami Formation, Anastasia Formation, Miami Limestone (or Miami Oolite), and the Ft. The United States Geological Survey ( USGS) is a scientific agency of the United States government. Thompson Formation. The Tamiami Formation is sedimentary, formed under the ocean during the Pliocene epoch, from a wide range of fossiliferous sands that make a limestone formation 150 feet (46 m) thick; it is named named for the Tamiami Trail that follows the upper bedrock of the Big Cypress Swamp. The Pliocene epoch (spelled Pleiocene in some older texts is the period in the Geologic timescale that extends The Tamiami Trail (pronounced "tammy-amee" so it rhymes is the southernmost 275 miles (443 km of U Big Cypress redirects here For other meanings please see Big Cypress (disambiguation Big Cypress National Preserve is a United States Bordering the Tamiami Formation and Lake Okeechobee is the Caloosahatchee Formation of limestone, followed by the Fort Thompson Foundation (comprising the region between Palm Beach County and Big Cypress National Preserve), Anastasia Foundation (where metropolitan areas in Palm Beach County are located), Miami Limestone and Key Largo Limestone that were all formed during the Sangamon interglacial period. Big Cypress redirects here For other meanings please see Big Cypress (disambiguation Big Cypress National Preserve is a United States Palm Beach County is located in the state of Florida. As of 2007 the county had a population of 1351236 according to the University of Florida Bureau of Economic Sangamon County is a County located in the US state of Illinois. 
The Miami Limestone forms the floor of the Everglades. Close examination of surface rock of the Miami Limestone reveals that it is made up of ooids, tiny formations of egg-shaped concentric shells and calcium carbonate, formed around a single grain of sand. Ooids are small ( Sedimentary grains usually composed of Calcium carbonate, but sometimes made up of Iron The Miami Limestone was formerly named the Miami Oolite, which comprises facies of ooids and fossilized bryozoan organisms. Bryozoans are tiny colonial Animals that generally build stony Skeletons of Calcium carbonate, superficially similar to Coral (although some  The unique structure was once some of the first material used in housing in early 20th century South Florida. The presence of the structure of this sedimentary formation affects the natural history: the rock is especially porous and stores water during the dry season in the Everglades, and its chemical composition determines the vegetation prevalent in the region. The Miami Limestone also acts as a dam between Ft. Lauderdale and Coot Bay. 
The metropolitan areas of Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach are located on a rise in elevation along the eastern coast of Florida, called the Eastern Coastal Ridge, that was formed as waves compressed ooids into a single formation. Fort Lauderdale, known as the "Venice of America" due to its expansive and intricate Canal system is a city in Broward County, Florida, West Palm Beach, also known as West Palm, is the most populous city in Palm Beach County, Florida, USA. Along the western border of the Big Cypress Swamp is the Immokolee Ridge (or Immokolee Rise), a slight rise of compressed sand that divides the runoff between the Caloosahatchee River and Big Cypress.  This slight rise in elevation on both sides of the Everglades creates a basin, and forces water that overflows Lake Okeechobee to creep towards the southwest.  The basin formation is so neatly rounded and so unlike the rest of the topography of Florida that one scientist hypothesized that it was created by an asteroid strike in South Florida approximately 36 million years ago. Asteroids, sometimes called Minor planets or planetoids', are bodies—primarily of the inner Solar System —that are smaller than planets but  Both the Miami Limestone formation and the Fort Thompson limestone contain a surficial aquifer that serves as the South Florida metropolitan area's fresh water source, called the Biscayne Aquifer. The Biscayne Aquifer, named after Biscayne Bay, is a Surficial aquifer. Rainfall and stored water in the Everglades replenish the Biscayne Aquifer directly. Other aquifers suspended between layers of limestone and clastics are called intermediate aquifers. 
With the rise of sea levels that occurred approximately 17,000 years ago, the runoff of water from Lake Okeechobee slowed and created the vast marshland that is now known as the Everglades. Slower runoff also created almost 18 feet (5. 5 m) thick buildup of peat in the area. Peat is an accumulation of partially Decayed Vegetation matter. The presence of such peat deposits, indicated about 5,000 years ago, is evidence that widespread flooding had occurred by then. 
Soil deposits in the Everglades basin indicate that peat is deposited where the land is flooded consistently throughout the year. Calcium deposits are left behind when flooding is shorter, evidence that water rises and falls depending on rainfall, where more limestone is exposed. The consistent Everglades flooding is fed by the extensive Kissimmee, Caloosahatchee, Myakka, and Peace Rivers in central Florida. The Kissimmee River is a river in south-central Florida, United States. The Caloosahatchee River is a River on the southwest Gulf Coast of Florida in the United States, approximately 75 mi (121 km long The Myakka River is a river in southwestern Florida. It arises near the Hardee - Manatee county line and flows southwest and then southeast through Manatee The Peace River is a river in the southwestern part of the Florida Peninsula, in the U The Kissimmee River is a broad floodplain that empties directly into Lake Okeechobee, which is a vast but very shallow lake. ||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||}A floodplain, or flood plain, is flat or nearly flat land adjacent to a Stream or River that experiences occasional or periodic 
The area from Orlando to the tip of the Florida peninsula was at one point a single drainage unit. Orlando is a major City in central Florida, USA and is the County seat of Orange County Florida. When rainfall exceeded the capacity of Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River floodplain, it spilled over and flowed in a southwestern direction to empty into Florida Bay. Florida Bay is the shallow bay located between the southern end of the Florida mainland (the Florida Everglades) and the Florida Keys. Prior to urban and agricultural development in Florida, the Everglades began at the southern edge of Lake Okeechobee and flowed for approximately 100 miles (160 km), emptying into the Gulf of Mexico. The gradient change from Lake Okeechobee to Florida Bay is approximately 2 inches (5. 1 cm) per mile, that makes an almost 60 miles (97 km) wide expanse of river that travels about . 5 miles (0. 80 km) a day.  The movement of the shallow river is known as sheetflow, and gives the Everglades its nickname, River of Grass. Variations of the rate of flow of water from Lake Okeechobee to Florida Bay span from months to years. The sheetflow travels so slowly that water typically is stored from one wet season to the next.
Throughout the Everglades' roughly 5,000 years of existence, water has shaped the land and every living organism in South Florida. The presence of water defines how plant communities develop into ecosystems. Animals adapt to the seasonal rise and fall of water as the Everglades is in constant change due to the amount of water present. 
The climate of South Florida is notable for its variability. Average annual temperatures range from 60 °F (16 °C) to 80 °F (27 °C). Temperatures in summer months typically reach more than 90 °F (32 °C), but coastal areas are cooled by winds from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. The Gulf of Mexico ( Spanish: Golfo de México) is the ninth largest Body of water in the world Freezing in winter months can occur, but is rare and erratic in severity. Winter is one of the four Seasons of Temperate zones Calculated astronomically, it begins on the Solstice and ends on the Equinox The region's subtropical to tropical climate features a 5-month wet season from spring to fall, when precipitation is related to tropical cyclones and thunderstorms. A wet season or rainy season is a Season in which the average Rainfall in a region is significantly increased A tropical cyclone is a storm system characterized by a low pressure center and numerous Thunderstorms that produce strong winds and Flooding  The 7-month dry season through the winter months features only 25 percent of the total precipitation between November and March, usually caused by cold fronts moving southward. The dry season is a term commonly used when describing the weather in the Tropics. Events in November All Saints' Day (formerly All Hallows Day a Christian holy day is celebrated on November 1, the day after Halloween Events in March American Red Cross Month Fire Prevention month ( The Philippines) Women's History Month ( United A cold front defined as the leading edge of a cooler and drier mass of air  Annual rainfall averages approximately 62 inches (160 cm), with the Eastern Coastal Ridge receiving the majority of precipitation and the area surrounding Lake Okeechobee receiving about 48 inches (120 cm). 
Evapotranspiration—a term used to describe the sum of evaporation and plant transpiration from the earth's land surface to atmosphere—associated with thunderstorms is the key mechanism by which water leaves the region. Evapotranspiration (ET is a term used to describe the sum of Evaporation and Plant Transpiration from the earth's land surface to Atmosphere During a normal year, the rate may reach 40 inches (100 cm) a year. During a year affected by drought, the rate may reach more than 50 inches (130 cm), and exceed the amount of rainfall.  As water leaves an area through evaporation from groundwater or from plant matter, it is spurned primarily by solar energy, then moved by wind patterns to other areas that border or flow into the Everglades watershed system. Evapotranspiration is responsible for approximately 70 –90 percent of water entering undeveloped wetland regions in the Everglades. 
|Annual||51. 9 inches (132 cm)||77. 5 inches (197 cm)||36. 7 inches (93 cm)|
|Wet season||34. 5 inches (88 cm)||53. 5 inches (136 cm)||23. 4 inches (59 cm)|
|Dry season||17. 4 inches (44 cm)||30. 9 inches (78 cm)||7. 3 inches (19 cm)|
Precipitation during the wet season is primarily from convection thunderstorms formed by Bermuda High pressure systems, and are blown ashore with the anti–clockwise flow. The Azores High, also known as the Bermuda High in the United States, is a large subtropical semi-permanent centre of high atmospheric pressure From August to October, however, tropical depressions, storms, and hurricanes may double the amount of precipitation compared to other months through the year. Other names In Arabic, the month is called أغسطسص ʾUġusṭuṣ or آب ʾĀb; usage varies from place to place and October events and holidays Children's Book Week ( England) - First Week of October National Day ( China People's Republic In Meteorology, precipitation (also known as one class of hydrometeors, which are atmospheric water phenomena is any product of the condensation of atmospheric Storm systems are significantly affected by El Niño and other global climate factors: between 1951 and 1980, precipitation in South Florida varied between 34 inches (86 cm) to 88 inches (220 cm). El Niño-Southern Oscillation ( ENSO; commonly referred to as simply El Niño) is a global coupled ocean-atmosphere phenomenon Climate encompasses the temperatures humidity rainfall atmospheric particle count and numerous other meteorogical factors in a given region over long periods of  Tropical storms average one a year, and major hurricanes about once every ten. Between 1871 and 1981, 138 tropical cyclones struck near or over the Everglades.  Strong winds from these storms serve to disperse plants and animals, and offer natural opportunities for the renewal of mangrove forests, coral reefs, and other ecosystems. Mangroves (generally are Trees and Shrubs that grow in saline coastal habitats in the Tropics and Subtropics. Episodic fluctuations of the presence of water is characteristic of the climate in South Florida. Droughts, floods, freezes, and tropical storms are part of the natural water system in the Everglades. A drought is an extended period of months or years when a region notes a deficiency in its water supply A flood is an overflow of an expanse of water that submerges land a deluge 
The Everglades is a complex system of interdependent ecosystems. The geography and ecology of the Everglades involve the complex elements affecting the natural environment throughout the southern region of the U The "River of Grass" metaphor given by Marjory Stoneman Douglas in 1947 represents only a portion of the system. Marjory Stoneman Douglas (April 7 1890 – May 14 1998 was an American Journalist, Writer and Environmentalist known for her staunch defense of The area recognized as the Everglades was originally a complex of marshes and prairies 4,000 square miles (10,000 km²) in size throughout five Florida counties.  Borders between ecosystems are subtle or do not exist at all. These systems also undergo constant changes due to environmental factors, and shift, grow and shrink, die, or reappear within years or decades. Geologic factors, climate, and the frequency of fire help to create, maintain, or replace the ecosystems in the Everglades.
The underlying bedrock or limestone of the Everglades basin affects how long an area within the region stays flooded throughout the year, or a hydroperiod.  Areas that were submerged beneath seawater for longer periods of time hold more water within the porous oolites and limestone than older types of rock that spent more time above sea level. Oolite ( egg stone) is a Sedimentary rock formed from Ooids spherical grains composed of concentric layers  The longer hydroperiod of ten months or more fosters growth of sawgrass, whereas a shorter hydroperiod promotes beds of periphyton, a growth of algae and other microscopic organisms. Periphyton is a complex mixture of Algae, Cyanobacteria, Heterotrophic Microbes and Detritus that is attached to submerged surfaces Where areas have longer hydroperiods, peat builds up over hundreds or thousands of years due to many generations of decaying plant matter. Peat is an accumulation of partially Decayed Vegetation matter.  Initial attempts at developing agriculture near Lake Okeechobee were successful, but the nutrients in the peat quickly deteriorated. The dried peat burned, and microorganisms degraded the peat into carbon dioxide and water. Carbon dioxide ( Chemical formula:) is a Chemical compound composed of two Oxygen Atoms covalently bonded to a single Some homes built in the areas of early farms had to have their foundations moved to stilts as the peat deteriorated; other areas lost approximately 8 feet (2. 4 m) of soil depth. 
Water is the most dominant element in the Everglades, and it shapes the land, vegetation, and animal life in South Florida. Shark River may refer to Shark River (Florida, a river in Florida Shark River (New Jersey, a river in New Jersey Shark At the end of the Wisconsin ice age, sea levels rose, submerging portions of the Florida peninsula and causing the water table to rise. An ice age is a period of long-term reduction in the Temperature of the Earth 's surface and atmosphere resulting in an expansion of continental Ice sheets The water table is the level at which the ground water pressure is equal to Atmospheric pressure. Fresh water saturated the limestone, eroding some of it away, and created springs and sinkholes. A spring is a point where Groundwater flows out of the ground and is thus where the Aquifer surface meets the ground surface A sinkhole, also known as a sink, shake hole, swallow hole, swallet, doline or Cenote, is a natural depression The abundance of fresh water allowed new vegetation to take root, and formed convection thunderstorms over the land. The Everglades are globally unique; no other wetland system is fed primarily from the atmosphere.  As rain continued to fall, it provided more opportunities for solution: the tendency of the slightly acidic rainwater to dissolve limestone. In Chemistry, a solution is a Homogeneous Mixture composed of two or more substances As limestone wore away, the groundwater came into contact with the surface land, and created a massive wetland ecosystem.  Although the region appears flat, the wearing away of limestone in some areas creates slight valleys and plateaus (a matter of inches, usually) that not only affect the flow of water, but what types of vegetation take hold.
Fire is an important element in the maintenance of the Everglades. The majority of fires are caused by lightning strikes from thunderstorms during the wet season. Lightning is an atmospheric discharge of Electricity, which typically occurs during Thunderstorms and sometimes during volcanic eruptions or Their effects are largely superficial, and serve to foster further plant growth: sawgrass will burn above water, but the roots are preserved underneath. Cladium ( Fen-sedge, Sawgrass or Twig-sedge) is a genus of large sedges with a world-wide distribution in tropical and temperate Fire in the sawgrass marshes serves to keep out larger bushes and trees, and releases nutrients from decaying plant matter more efficiently than decomposition. Decomposition (or spoilage) refers to the break down of tissue of a formerly living Organism into simpler forms of matter  Whereas in the wet season, dead plant matter and the tips of grasses and trees are burned, in the dry season the fire may be fed by organic peat and burn deeply, destroying root systems. Peat is an accumulation of partially Decayed Vegetation matter. The only impediment to fire in the Everglades is the presence of water presented as rain. It takes approximately 225 years for one foot (. 30 m) of peat to develop, but there is less peat in the deepest portion of this organic material than should be for the 5,000 years of the Everglades' existence.  Scientists point to fire as the reason, as well as being the cause of the black muck appearance of the soils. Layers of charcoal have been detected in the peat in portions of the Everglades that indicate the region endured severe fires for years at a time, although this trend seems to have abated as the region formed into what it appears as today. Charcoal' is the blackish residue consisting of impure Carbon obtained by removing water and other volatile constituents from Animal and Vegetation 
This area features the shallow river 100 miles (160 km) long and 60 miles (97 km) wide spanning from Lake Okeechobee to Florida Bay. Some authors refer to it as the "true Everglades" or just "the Glades".  Prior to the first drainage attempts in 1905, the sheetflow occupied nearly a third of the lower Florida peninsula.  The primary feature of the Everglades is the sawgrass marsh. Cladium ( Fen-sedge, Sawgrass or Twig-sedge) is a genus of large sedges with a world-wide distribution in tropical and temperate Sawgrass thrives in the slowly creeping water, but may die under too much if oxygen is unable to reach its roots, and it is particularly vulnerable to floods immediately after a fire.  The hydroperiod for the marsh is at least nine months, and can last longer. In shorter hydroperiods, marl may form instead of the peat. Marl or Marlstone is a Calcium carbonate or lime -rich mud or Mudstone which contains variable amounts of Clays and Aragonite  Where sawgrass grows densely, few animals or other plants live, although alligators choose these locations for nesting. for differences between alligators and crocodiles please see Crocodilia An Alligator is a Crocodilian in the Genus Where there is more room, periphyton, a formation of algae and other organisms, grows. Periphyton is a complex mixture of Algae, Cyanobacteria, Heterotrophic Microbes and Detritus that is attached to submerged surfaces  Periphyton supports larval insects and amphibians, that in turn are used as food by birds, fish, and reptiles. It also absorbs calcium from water, which creates marl where sawgrass roots. Calcium (ˈkælsiəm is the Chemical element with the symbol Ca and Atomic number 20 
Where sawgrass makes way for channels or free-flowing water, sloughs develop. The word slough (in British English ˈslaʊ to rhyme with "cow" in American and Canadian English pronounced /ˈsluː/ "slew" has Sloughs are deeper than sawgrass marshes, about 3 feet (0. 91 m), and may stay flooded for at least 11 months out of the year if not multiple years in a row.  Aquatic animals such as turtles, alligators, snakes, and fish thrive in sloughs; they usually feed on aquatic invertebrates.  Plants do grow here, but they may be submerged or floating like bladderwort, waterlily, or spatterdock. Bladderwort is the common name given to the plants of the genus Utricularia. Nymphaeaceae is a family of Flowering plants Members of this family are commonly called water lilies and live in freshwater areas in temperate and tropical climates Nuphar lutea, the spatterdock, yellow water-lily, cow lily, or yellow pond-lily, is an Aquatic plant of the family Major sloughs in the Everglades system include the Shark River Slough, Lostmans Slough bordering The Big Cypress, and Taylor Slough in the eastern Everglades. Shark River may refer to Shark River (Florida, a river in Florida Shark River (New Jersey, a river in New Jersey Shark The Taylor River is a 106 Mile long (171 Km) River located in southeastern New Hampshire in the United States.
Wet prairies are also slightly elevated like sawgrass marshes, but plant diversity is the primary characteristic. The surface is covered in water only three to seven months of the year, and the water is usually shallow at only 4 inches (10 cm).  When flooded, the marl can support a variety of water plants.  Solution holes may remain flooded even when the prairies are dry, and they support aquatic invertebrates such as crayfish and snails, and larval amphibians which feed young wading birds. Crayfish, crawfish, crawdads, or crodgers are freshwater Crustaceans resembling small Lobsters to which they are closely  These regions tend to border between sloughs and sawgrass marshes.
Alligators have created a niche in wet prairies due to their activity. With their claws and snouts they dig at low spots and create ponds free of vegetation that remain submerged throughout the dry season. Alligator holes are integral to the survival of aquatic invertebrates, turtles, fish, small mammals, and birds during extended drought periods. Alligator hosts then feed upon some of what comes to the hole. 
Islands of trees growing on land raised between 1 foot (0. 30 m) and 3 feet (0. 91 m) are called tropical hardwood hammocks. Hammocks are dense stands of Hardwood trees that grow on natural rises of only a few inches higher than surrounding marshland that is otherwise too wet to support them  They may appear in freshwater sloughs, sawgrass prairies, or pineland. The islets are slightly elevated due to areas unharmed by deep peat fires, or limestone plateaus risen several inches above the surrounding peat. Hardwood hammocks exhibit a mixture of subtropical and hardwood trees, such as Southern live oaks, gumbo limbo, royal palm, and bustic that grow in very dense clumps. Quercus virginiana, also known as the Southern Live Oak, is an evergreen or nearly evergreen Oak Tree native to the southeastern Bursera simaruba ( Gumbo-limbo) is a Tree Species in the family Burseraceae, native to tropical regions of the Roystonea ( Royal Palm) is a Genus of 10 Species of Monoecious palms, native to tropical regions of Florida "Bully Tree" (and variants thereof redirect here but may include the related Broad-leafed Lacuma ( Pouteria multiflora)  Near the base sharp saw palmettos flourish, making the hammocks very difficult to penetrate. Serenoa repens, the saw palmetto, is the sole Species currently classified in the Genus Serenoa. Water in sloughs flow around the islands creating moats. A moat is deep broad Trench, usually filled with Water, that surrounds a structure installation or town normally to provide it with a preliminary line of Though some ecosystems are maintained and promoted by fire, hammocks may take decades or centuries to recover, so the moats around the hammocks protect the trees.  The height of the trees are limited to weather factors such as frost, lightning, and wind; the majority of trees in hammocks grow no higher than 55 feet (17 m).
The most significant feature of the pine rockland ecosystem is the single species of South Florida slash pine. The Slash Pine ( Pinus elliottii) is a Pine native to the southeast United States, from southern South Carolina west to southeastern Pine rockland communities require fire to maintain them, and have several adaptations that simultaneously promote and resist fire.  They are located in the highest part of the Everglades with little to no hydroperiod, although some floors may have flooded solution holes or puddles for a few months at a time. The sandy floor of the community is covered with dry pine needles that are highly flammable. South Florida slash pines are insulated by their bark to protect them from heat. Fire eliminates competing vegetation on the forest floor, and opens pine cones to germinate seeds.  A period without significant fire can turn pineland into hardwood hammock as larger trees overtake the slash pines.  The understory shrubs in pine rocklands are the fire-resistant saw palmetto, cabbage palm, and West Indian lilac. The most diverse group of plants in the pine community are the herbs, of which there are two dozen species. These plants contain tubers and other mechanisms that allow them to sprout quickly following being charred. Tubers are various types of modified plant structures that are enlarged to store Nutrients They are used by Plants to overwinter and regrow the next year 
Prior to development of the South Florida region, pine rocklands covered approximately 161,660 acres in Miami-Dade County. Miami-Dade County (often referred to as simply Miami or Dade) is a County located in the southeastern part of the state of Florida More than 12 miles (19 km) of north-south strands of pine rockland communities in the region have been lost to the lumber industry in the 1930s and 1940s.  The misunderstanding of the role of fire also played a part in the disappearance of pine forests in the area, as natural fires were put out and pine rocklands transitioned into hardwood hammocks. Prescribed fires occur in Everglades National Park in pine rocklands every three to seven years. 
To the west of the sawgrass prairies and sloughs lies the Big Cypress Swamp, commonly called "The Big Cypress. " It takes up the majority of Collier County. Collier County is a County located in the US state of Florida.  The name refers to its size rather than the height or diameter of the trees; at its most limited measurement, the swamp measures 1,200 square miles (3,100 km²), but that more than doubles in considering its hydrologic boundary.  Most of The Big Cypress sits atop a bedrock covered by a thinner layer of limestone. The limestone underneath the Big Cypress contains quartz, which creates sandy soil that hosts a different variety of vegetation. Quartz (from German) is the most abundant Mineral in the Earth 's Continental crust (although Feldspar is more common in  The basin for The Big Cypress receives on average 55 inches (140 cm) of water in the rainy season.  Cypresses are conifers that are uniquely adapted to thrive in flooded conditions, with buttressed trunks and root projections that protrude out of the water, called "knees". 
Though The Big Cypress is the largest growth of cypress swamps in South Florida, they can be found near the Atlantic Coastal Ridge and between Lake Okeechobee and the Eastern flatwoods, as well as portions of sawgrass marshes. Cypress trees grow in formations that resemble domes, with the tallest and thickest trunks in the center, rooted in the deepest peat. As the peat thins out, cypresses grow smaller and thinner, giving the small forest the appearance of a dome from the outside.  They also grow in strands, slightly elevated on a plateau of limestone and surrounded on two sides by sloughs.  Other hardwood trees can be found in cypress domes, such as red maple, swamp bay, and pop ash. Acer rubrum ( Red Maple, also known as Swamp or Soft Maple) is one of the most common and widespread deciduous Trees of eastern Persea is a Genus of about 150 species of Evergreen Trees belonging to the laurel family Lauraceae. An ash can be any of four different tree genera from four very distinct families; most commonly in a combined form (e If cypresses are removed, the hardwoods take over, and the ecosystem is recategorized as a mixed swamp forest.
Eventually the water from Lake Okeechobee and The Big Cypress makes its way out to the ocean. Mangroves (generally are Trees and Shrubs that grow in saline coastal habitats in the Tropics and Subtropics. An estuary is a semi-enclosed Coastal body of Water with one or more Rivers or Streams flowing into it and with a free connection to the open Where fresh water meets salt water is a transitional zone where mangrove trees live, and are specially adapted to both kinds of water. Mangroves (generally are Trees and Shrubs that grow in saline coastal habitats in the Tropics and Subtropics. In the wet season the fresh water pours out into Florida Bay and sawgrass appears closer to the coastline. In dryer years, the salt water creeps inland into the coastal prairie, an ecosystem that buffers the freshwater marshes by absorbing sea water. Mangrove trees begin to grow in fresh water ecosystems when the salt water goes far enough inland.  The Everglades have the most extensive continguous system of mangroves in the world.  The estuarine ecosystem of the Ten Thousand Islands covers almost 200,000 acres. The Ten Thousand Islands are a chain of islands and Mangrove Islets off the coast of Southwest Florida. 
There are three species of trees that are considered mangrove: red, black, and white, although all are from different families.  All are tolerant of salt, brackish, and fresh water, grow in oxygen-poor soil, and can survive drastic water level changes.  All species are integral to coastline protection during severe storms. Red mangroves have roots that reach far, trapping sediments in between. All three trees absorb the energy of waves and storm surges. Storm surge or tidal surge is an offshore rise of water associated with a low pressure weather system typically a Tropical cyclone.
Because much of the coast and the inner estuaries are built by mangroves, and there is no border between the coastal marshes and the bay, the ecosystems in Florida Bay are considered to be a part of the Everglades. Florida Bay is the shallow bay located between the southern end of the Florida mainland (the Florida Everglades) and the Florida Keys. Flamingo is an unincorporated community in Monroe County, Florida, United States. Florida Bay is the shallow bay located between the southern end of the Florida mainland (the Florida Everglades) and the Florida Keys. More than 800 square miles (2,100 km²) of Florida Bay is protected by Everglades National Park, representing the largest body of water in the park boundaries. Everglades National Park is a national park in the US state of Florida.  There are approximately a hundred keys in Florida Bay, many of which are mangrove forests.  The fresh water coming into Florida Bay from the Everglades creates perfect conditions for vast beds of turtle grass and algae formations that are the foundation for the animal life in the bay. Seagrasses (or sea-grasses in British English) are Flowering plants from one of four plant families ( Posidoniaceae, Zosteraceae, Sea turtles and manatees eat the grass, while invertebrate animals, such as worms, clams and other mollusks eat the algae formations and microscopic plankton. Sea turtles ( Superfamily Chelonioidea) are Turtles found in all the world's oceans except the Arctic Ocean. Manatees ( family Trichechidae, Genus Trichechus) are large fully aquatic Marine mammals sometimes known as sea  Female sea turtles return annually to nest on the shore, and manatees spend the winter months in the warmer water of the bay. Sea grasses also serve to stabilize the sea beds and protect shorelines from erosion by absorbing energy from waves.
People arrived in the Florida peninsula approximately 15,000 years ago. The indigenous people of the Everglades region arrived in the Florida Peninsula approximately 15000 years ago probably following large game Paleo-Indians came to Florida probably following large game. Paleo-Indians or Paleo-Americans were the ancient peoples of the Americas who were present at the end of the last Ice Age. Florida ( is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States, bordering Alabama to the northwest and Georgia to the There, they found an arid landscape that supported plants and animals adapted for desert conditions.  However, 6,500 years ago, climate changes brought a wetter landscape; the large animals became extinct in Florida, and the Paleo-Indians slowly transitioned into Archaic peoples. In the sequence of North American Pre-Columbian cultural stages first proposed by Gordon Willey and Philip Phillips in 1958 the Archaic period They were more adapted to the environmental changes than their ancestors, and they created many tools with the resources they had.  During the Late Archaic period, the climate became wetter again, and approximately 3000 BCE the rise of water tables allowed an increase in population and cultural activity. Florida Indians developed into three distinct but similar cultures that were centered around bodies of water: Okeechoobee, Caloosahatchie, and Glades. 
From the Glades peoples, two major tribes emerged in the area: the Calusa and the Tequesta. The Calusa, sometimes spelled Caloosa, Calos, Carlos or Caalus, were a Native American group that lived on the coast and along The Calusa, sometimes spelled Caloosa, Calos, Carlos or Caalus, were a Native American group that lived on the coast and along The Tequesta (also Tekesta, Tegesta, Chequesta, Vizcaynos) Native American tribe at the time of first European contact The Calusa was the largest and most powerful tribe in South Florida. The Calusa, sometimes spelled Caloosa, Calos, Carlos or Caalus, were a Native American group that lived on the coast and along In 1545 a 13-year-old boy was the only survivor of a shipwreck off the coast of Florida. For seventeen years Hernando de Escalante Fontaneda lived with the Calusa until Spanish explorers took him back to Spain where he wrote about his observations. Hernando de Escalante Fontaneda (c 1536 – after 1575 dates uncertain was a Spanish Shipwreck survivor who lived among the Indians of Florida Pedro Menéndez de Avilés found Fontaneda in 1566 while approaching the Calusa with the intention of establishing relations with them to ease the settlement of the future Spanish colony. Pedro Menéndez de Avilés ( February 15, 1519 - September 17, 1574) was a sixteenth century Spanish admiral and pirate hunter known most notably However, in the more than 200 years the Calusa had relations with the Spanish, they were successfully able to resist the attempts to missionize them. The Calusa controlled fifty villages located on Florida's west coast, around Lake Okeechobee (which they called Mayaimi) and on the Florida Keys (they called Martires). The Florida Keys are an Archipelago of about 1700 islands in the southeast United States. Smaller tribes of Ais and Jaega, lived to the east of Lake Okeechobee, and they were subjugated to the Calusa. The Jaegas (also Jega, Xega, Geigas, Jobe) were a tribe of Native Americans living along the coast of present-day Martin The Calusa, like their predecessors, were hunter-gatherers who existed on small game, fish, turtles, alligators, shellfish, and various plants.  Finding little use for the soft limestone, most of their tools were made of bone or teeth, although sharpened reeds were also effective. Weapons consisted of bows and arrows, atlatls, and spears. Most villages were located at the mouths of rivers or on key islands. Canoes were used for transportation, evidenced by shell mounds in and around the Everglades that border canoe trails, and South Florida tribes often canoed through the Everglades, but rarely lived in them.  Canoe trips to Cuba were also common.  Estimated numbers of Calusa at the beginning of the occupation of the Spanish ranged from 4,000 to 7,000.  The society endured a decline of power and population; by 1697 their number was estimated to be about 1,000.  In the early 1700s, the Calusa came under attack from the Yamassee to the north, and asked to be removed to Cuba where almost 200 died of illness. The Yamassee Native Americans is a Nuwaubianist group led by Commander-in-Chief Derrick “Black-Hawk” Sanders (a Soon they were relocated again to the Florida Keys. 
Second in power and number to the Calusa in South Florida were the Tequesta. The Tequesta (also Tekesta, Tegesta, Chequesta, Vizcaynos) Native American tribe at the time of first European contact The Tequesta (also Tekesta, Tegesta, Chequesta, Vizcaynos) Native American tribe at the time of first European contact They occupied the southestern portion of the lower peninsula in modern-day Dade and Broward counties. Miami-Dade County (often referred to as simply Miami or Dade) is a County located in the southeastern part of the state of Florida Broward County is a County located in the US state of Florida. They, too, rarely lived within the Everglades, but found the coastal prairies and pine rocklands to the east of the freshwater sloughs habitable. To the north, their territory was bordered by the Ais and Jaega. For other uses of the word or the acronym see AIS. The Ais, or Ays were a tribe of Native Americans who inhabited the Atlantic The Jaegas (also Jega, Xega, Geigas, Jobe) were a tribe of Native Americans living along the coast of present-day Martin Like the Calusa, the Tequesta societies centered around the mouths of rivers. Their main village was probably on the Miami River or Little River. Miami River may refer to Florida Miami River (Florida, a tributary of Biscayne Bay New York Miami River (New York, a Spanish depictions of the Tequesta state that they were greatly feared by sailors who suspected them of torturing and killing survivors of shipwrecks. However, Avilés maintained a friendly relationship with them and took the chief's nephew to Havana to be educated, and his brother to Spain. Havana ( IPA: aˈβana officially Ciudad de La Habana, is the Capital city, major port and leading  After Avilés, mention of the Tequesta in documents is rare. Spanish priests attempted to set up missions in 1743, but noted that the Tequesta were under assault from a neighboring tribe. When only 30 members were left, they were removed to Havana. An British surveyor in 1770 described multiple deserted villages in the region where the Tequesta lived.  Common description of Native Americans in Florida by 1820 used only the term "Seminoles". 
Following the demise of the Calusa and Tequesta, Native Americans in southern Florida were referred to as "Spanish Indians" in the 1740s, probably due to their friendlier relations with Spain. The Seminole are a Native American people originally of Florida and now residing in Florida and Oklahoma. The beginnings of the Seminoles are vague, but records show that Creeks invaded the Florida peninsula and conquered and assimilated what was left of pre-Columbian societies into the Creek Confederacy. Seminoles originally settled in the northern portion of the territory, but the 1823 Moultrie Creek Treaty forced them to live on a 5-million acre reservation north of Lake Okeechobee, but they soon ranged farther south where they numbered approximately 300 in the Everglades region. An Indian reservation is an area of land managed by a Native American Tribe under the United States Department of the Interior's Bureau  Unlike the Calusa and Tequesta, the Seminoles depended more on agriculture and raised domesticated animals. They made a living by hunting and trading with white settlers, and adapted housing probably from the Calusa to build chickees: open-sided palm-thatched structures. A chickee is a type of Home invented by the Northern Seminole tribe  In 1817, Andrew Jackson invaded Florida to hasten its annexation to the United States. Andrew Jackson (March 15 1767 June 8 1845 was the seventh President of the United States (1829&ndash1837 After Florida became a U. S. territory in 1821, conflicts between settlers and Seminoles increased, causing the Second Seminole War from 1835 to 1842 and another from 1855 to 1859. The Second Seminole War, also known as the Florida War, was a conflict from 1835 to 1842 in Florida between various groups of Native Americans collectively The Seminole Wars pushed the Indians farther south and directly into the Everglades. Those who did not flee into the Everglades were relocated to Oklahoma Indian territory. Oklahoma ( is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. By 1913, Seminoles in the Everglades numbered no more than 325. 
Seminoles made their villages in hardwood hammocks—islands in the rivers—or pinelands, had diets of hominy and coontie roots, fish, turtles, venison, and small game. Hammocks are dense stands of Hardwood trees that grow on natural rises of only a few inches higher than surrounding marshland that is otherwise too wet to support them Hominy or nixtamal is dried maize (corn kernels which have been treated with an Alkali of some kind Zamia integrifolia is a small tough woody Cycad native to the southeast United States ( Florida, Georgia) the Bahamas  Villages were not large, due to the limited size of hammocks. The Seminole Wars increased U. S. military presence in the Everglades that called for exploration and mapping of many regions that had not previously been recorded.  The military officers who had done the mapping and charting of the Everglades were approached by Buckingham Smith in 1848 to consult on the feasibility of draining them for agricultural use.  Between the end of the last Seminole War and 1930, the tribe lived in relative isolation. The construction of the Tamiami Trail, beginning in 1928 and spanning from Tampa to Miami, altered their ways of life. The Tamiami Trail (pronounced "tammy-amee" so it rhymes is the southernmost 275 miles (443 km of U They instead began to work in local farms, ranches, and souvenir stands.  As metropolitan areas in South Florida began to grow, the Seminoles became closely associated with the Everglades, simultaneously seeking privacy and serving as a tourist attraction, wrestling alligators and selling craftworks. As of 2008, there were six Seminole reservations throughout Florida featuring casino gaming that support the tribe. A casino is in the modern sense of the word a facility that houses and accommodates certain types of Gambling activities 
Opinion about the value of Florida to the Union was dubious; some felt it a useless land of swamps and horrible animals, while others considered it being offered as by God for the necessity of national prosperity.  The military penetration of southern Florida offered the opportunity to record a part of the country that had yet to be mapped or understood. As late as 1823 official reports doubted the existence of a large inland lake, until the military met the Seminoles at the Battle of Lake Okeechobee in 1837. The Battle of Lake Okeechobee was one of the major battles of the Second Seminole War.  Colonel William Harney led an expedition in 1840 into the Everglades with 90 soldiers in 16 canoes. William Selby Harney ( 22 August 1800 - 9 May 1889) was a Cavalry officer in the U One of them wrote of the trip and it was printed in the St. Augustine News: the first printed account for the general public to read about what was in the Everglades. The anonymous writer described the terrain they were crossing: "No country that I have ever heard of bears any resemblance to it; it seems like a vast sea filled with grass and green trees, and expressly intended as a retreat for the rascally Indian, from which the white man would never seek to drive them". 
The land seemed to inspire extreme reactions of wonder or hatred. An army surgeon wrote, "It is in fact a most hideous region to live in, a perfect paradise for Indians, alligators, serpents, frogs, and every other kind of loathsome reptile. " In 1897 an explorer named Hugh Willoughby spent eight days canoeing with a party from the mouth of the Harney River to the Miami River. The Miami River is a river in Florida that drains out of the Everglades and runs through downtown Miami, Florida. He wrote about his observations and sent them in dispatches back to the New Orleans Times-Democrat. Willoughby described the water as healthy and wholesome, numerous springs, and 10,000 alligators "more or less" in Lake Okeechobee. A spring is a point where Groundwater flows out of the ground and is thus where the Aquifer surface meets the ground surface for differences between alligators and crocodiles please see Crocodilia An Alligator is a Crocodilian in the Genus The party encountered thousands of birds near the Shark River, "killing hundreds, but they continued to return". Shark River may refer to Shark River (Florida, a river in Florida Shark River (New Jersey, a river in New Jersey Shark  Willoughby pointed out the fact that much of the rest of the country had been mapped and explored except for this part of Florida, writing, "(w)e have a tract of land one hundred and thirty miles long and seventy miles wide that is as much unknown to the white man as the heart of Africa. "
A national push for expansion and progress toward the later part of the 19th century stimulated interest in draining the Everglades for agricultural use. According to historians, "From the middle of the nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth century, the United States went through a period in which wetland removal was not questioned. Indeed, it was considered the proper thing to do. " Draining the Everglades was suggested as early as 1837.  A resolution in U.S. Congress was passed in 1842 that read, "Resolved, that the Secretary of War be directed to place before this House such information as can be obtained in relation to the practicability and probable expense of draining the everglades of Florida. The United States Congress is the bicameral Legislature of the federal government of the United States of America, consisting of two houses " Secretary of Treasury Robert J. Walker requested Thomas Buckingham Smith from St. Augustine to consult those with experience in the Everglades on the feasibility of draining them. The United States Secretary of the Treasury is the head of the United States Department of the Treasury, concerned with finance and monetary matters, and until Robert John Walker ( July 23, 1801 &ndash November 11, 1869) was an American economist and statesman St Augustine is the County seat of St Johns County, Florida, in the United States. Smith asked officers who had served in the Seminole Wars to respond, and many favored the idea.  Smith returned a report to the Secretary of the Treasury asking for $500,000 to do the job.  In 1850 Congress passed a law that gave several states wetlands within their state boundaries. A wetland is an area of Land consisting of Soil that is Saturated with Moisture, such as a Swamp, Marsh, or Bog The Swamp and Overflowed Lands Act ensured that the state would be responsible for funding the attempts at developing wetlands into farmlands.  Florida quickly formed a committee to consolidate grants to pay for any attempts. Not until after The Civil War and Reconstruction were over in 1877 did attention turn back to the Everglades. Causes of the war See also Origins of the American Civil War, Timeline of events leading to the American Civil War The coexistence of a slave-owning South
The Civil War left debts from defaulted railroads, that passed on to trustees of grant money allotted before the war to build rail lines and canals. Trustee is a Legal term that refers to a holder of property on behalf of a beneficiary. Grants are funds dispersed by one party (Grant Makers often a Government Department Corporation Foundation or Trust to a recipient, often (but not always Trustees eager to be rid of debt found a Pennsylvania real estate developer named Hamilton Disston who was interested in implementing plans to drain the land for agriculture. Hamilton Disston ( August 23, 1844 – April 30, 1896) was a Real-estate developer who purchased four million Acres (16000 Disston was persuaded to purchase 4 million acres of land for $1 million in 1881.  The New York Times declared it the largest purchase of land by any individual in the world.  Disston began constructing canals near St. Cloud to lower the basin of the Caloosahatchee and Kissimmee Rivers. St Cloud is a city in Osceola County, Florida, United States. The Caloosahatchee River is a River on the southwest Gulf Coast of Florida in the United States, approximately 75 mi (121 km long The Kissimmee River is a river in south-central Florida, United States. The canals seemed to work in lowering the water levels in the wetlands surrounding the rivers at first. Another dredged waterway between the Gulf of Mexico to Lake Okeechobee was constructed, opening the region to steamboat traffic. The Gulf of Mexico ( Spanish: Golfo de México) is the ninth largest Body of water in the world A steamboat or steamship, sometimes called a steamer, is a ship in which the primary method of propulsion is steam power, typically driving a Propeller  Though the canals were effective in lowering the groundwater, they were ineffective in anticipating the capacity for the wet season. A report that evaluated the failure of the project concluded, "The reduction of the waters is simply a question of sufficient capacity in the canals which may be dug for their relief".  Though Disston's canals did not drain, his purchase primed the economy of Florida. It made news and attracted tourists and land buyers alike. Within four years property values doubled, and the population increased significantly.  Disston opened real estate offices throughout the United States and Europe, and sold tracts of land for $5 an acre, establishing towns on the west coast and in central Florida.
State investors were free again to sponsor railroad projects, and the opportunity presented itself when oil tycoon Henry Flagler became enchanted with St. Henry Morrison Flagler ( January 2 1830 &ndash May 20 1913) was an American tycoon, Real estate promoter Augustine during a vacation. In 1888, he began purchasing land and building rail lines along the east coast of Florida, as far south as Palm Beach in 1893. Palm Beach is an upscale Incorporated town in Palm Beach County, Florida, United States.  Along the way he built resort hotels, transforming territorial outposts into tourist destinations, and the land bordering the rail lines into citrus farms.  By 1896 the rail line had been extended to Biscayne Bay. Biscayne Bay ( Bahía Vizcaina, in Spanish) is a Lagoon that is approximately 35 miles (56 km long and up to 8 miles (13 km wide located on the  Three months after the first train had arrived, the residents of Miami, numbering 512 in all, voted to incorporate the town. Flagler publicized Miami as a "Magic City" throughout the United States and it became a prime destination for extremely wealthy people after the Royal Palm Hotel was opened. The Royal Palm Hotel was a large resort hotel built by well-known Railroad Magnate, Henry Flagler, in Miami Florida. 
The year of 1904 saw the campaigning of a gubernatorial race, and the strongest candidate, Napoleon Bonaparte Broward, based a significant portion of his campaign on draining the Everglades. A governor is a governing official usually the executive (at least nominally to different degrees also politically and administratively of a non-sovereign level of government Napoleon Bonaparte Broward (April 19 1857&ndashOctober 1 1910 was the nineteenth governor of the U He called the future of South Florida the "Empire of the Everglades" and compared its potential to Holland and Egypt. Holland is a region in the western part of the Netherlands. A maritime and economic power in the 17th century Holland today consists of the Dutch provinces of This article is about the country of Egypt For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Egypt topics. Soon after his election, he made good on his promise to "drain that abominable pestilence-ridden swamp", and pushed the Florida legislature to form a group of commissioners to oversee reclamation of flooded lands. In 1907 they established the Everglades Drainage District and began to study how to build the most effective canals, and how to fund them. 
Governor Broward ran for the U.S. Senate in 1908 but lost. The United States Senate is the Upper house of the bicameral United States Congress, the Lower house being the House of Representatives Broward and his predecessor, William Jennings, were paid by Richard Bolles to tour the state to promote drainage. William Sherman Jennings ( March 24, 1863 February 27, 1920) was a U He was elected to the Senate in 1910, but died before he could take office. Land in the Everglades was being sold for $15 an acre a month after Broward died.  Meanwhile, Henry Flagler continued to build railway stations at towns as soon as the populations warranted them, news of the Panama Canal inspired him to connect his rail line to the closest deep water port. The Panama Canal is a man-made Canal in Panama which joins the Biscayne Bay was too shallow, so Flagler sent railway scouts to explore the possibility of building the line through to the tip of mainland Florida. The scouts returned, reporting not enough land was possible to build through the Everglades, so Flagler instead changed the plan to build to Key West in 1912. Key West is a city in Monroe County Florida, United States. The city encompasses Key West, the namesake island the part of Stock Island 
With the construction of canals, real estate advertising was promoted for newly reclaimed Everglades land all over the United States. Hialeah is a city in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. Land developers sold 20,000 lots in a few months. Where advertisements promised within eight weeks of arrival, a farmer could be making a living, for many it took at least two months to clear the land. Some burned off the sawgrass or other vegetation to find the peat a source of fuel that continued to burn. Animals and tractors used for plowing got mired in the muck and were useless. When the muck dried, it turned to a fine black powder and created dust storms.  Settlers were swarmed with mosquitoes, snakes, skinks, insects, and alligators. Skinks are the most diverse group of Lizards They make the family Scincidae which shares the superfamily or infraorder Scincomorpha with several other Though initially crops sprouted quickly and lushly, they just as quickly wilted and died seemingly without reason. 
With the increasing population in towns near the Everglades came hunting opportunities. Raccoons and otters were the most widely hunted for their skins. Hunting often went unchecked; in one trip, a Lake Okeechobee hunter killed 250 alligators and 172 otters.  Wading birds were a particular target. Their feathers were used in women's hats in the late 19th century up to the 1920s. In 1886, 5 million birds were estimated to be killed for their feathers.  They were shot usually in the spring, when their feathers were colored for mating and nesting. The aigrettes sold for $32 an ounce in 1915, which was also the price of gold. Aigrette (from the French for Egret, or lesser white heron) the tufted crest or head-plumes of the egret used for adorning a woman's head-dress the  Millinery was a $17 million a year business that motivated plume harvesters to lay in watch of nests of egrets and many colored birds during the nesting season, shoot the parents with small-bore rifles, and leave the chicks to starve. This is an article about a type of bird For the EGRET satellite mission see Energetic Gamma Ray Experiment Telescope.  Plumes from Everglades wading birds could be found in Havana, New York City, London, and Paris. Hunters could collect plumes from a hundred birds on a good day. 
Rum-runners used the Everglades as a hiding spot during Prohibition; it was so vast there were never enough law enforcement officers to patrol it. Rum-running is the business of Smuggling or transporting of Alcoholic beverages illegally usually to circumvent Taxation or Prohibition. Prohibition of alcohol, often referred to simply as prohibition, also known as Noble Experiment, refers to a Sumptuary law which prohibits Alcohol  The arrival of the railroad, and advances in farming soon created a population boom and new towns like Moore Haven, Clewiston, and Belle Glade. Moore Haven is a city in Glades County, Florida, United States. Clewiston is a city in Hendry County, Florida. The population was 6460 at the 2000 census Belle Glade is a city in Palm Beach County, Florida on the southeastern shore of Lake Okeechobee.  Sugarcane became the primary crop grown in South Florida. Sugarcane ( Saccharum) is a genus of 6 to 37 species (depending on taxonomic interpretation of tall perennial grasses (family Poaceae tribe Andropogoneae Miami experienced a second real estate boom that earned a developer in Coral Gables $150 million, and saw undeveloped land north of Miami sell for $30,600 an acre.  In 1925, Miami newspapers published editions weighing over 7 pounds (3. 2 kg), most of it in real estate advertising.  Waterfront property was the most highly valued. Mangrove trees were cut down and replaced with palm trees because the view was better. Acres of South Florida slash pine was taken down, some for lumber, but most of the pine forests in Dade County were cleared for development. The Slash Pine ( Pinus elliottii) is a Pine native to the southeast United States, from southern South Carolina west to southeastern 
Two catastrophic hurricanes in 1926 and 1928 caused Lake Okeechobee to breach its levees, killing thousands of people. The government began to focus on the control of floods rather than drainage. The Okeechobee Flood Control District was created in 1929, financed by both state and federal funds. President Herbert Hoover toured the towns affected by the 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane and, himself an engineer, ordered the Army Corps of Engineers to assist the communities surrounding the lake. Herbert Clark Hoover (August 10 1874 &ndash October 20 1964 was the thirty-first President of the United States (1929–1933 The United States Army Corps of Engineers ( USACE) is a federal agency and a major Army command made up of some 34600 Civilian and 650 Military personnel  Between 1930 and 1937 a dike 66 miles (106 km) long was built around the southern edge of the lake. Control of the Hoover Dike and the waters of Lake Okeechobee were delegated to federal powers: the United States declared legal limits of the lake to be minimum at 14 feet (4. The Herbert Hoover Dike is a dike around the waters of Lake Okeechobee in Florida. Lake Okeechobee, (IPA /okɪtʃobi/ locally referred to as The Lake or The Big O is a freshwater Lake in the U 3 m) and maximum at 17 feet (5. 2 m).  A massive canal was also constructed 80 feet (24 m) wide and 6 feet (1. 8 m) deep through the Caloosahatchee River; whenever the lake rose too high, the excess water left through the canal. The Caloosahatchee River is a River on the southwest Gulf Coast of Florida in the United States, approximately 75 mi (121 km long  More than $20 million was spent on the entire project. Sugarcane production soared after the dike and canal were built. The populations of the small towns surrounding the lake jumped from 3,000 to 9,000 after World War II. World War II, or the Second World War, (often abbreviated WWII) was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including 
Immediately the effects of the Hoover Dike were seen. An extended drought occurred in the 1930s, and with the wall preventing water leaving Lake Okeechobee and canals and ditches removing other water, the Everglades became parched. Peat turned to dust. Salt ocean water intruded into Miami's wells; when the city brought in an expert to explain why, he discovered that the water in the Everglades was the area's groundwater—here, it appeared on the surface. Groundwater is Water located beneath the Ground surface in Soil pore spaces and in the Fractures of lithologic formations  In 1939, a million acres of Everglades burned, and the black clouds of peat and sawgrass fires hung over Miami. The peat burned roots of trees and plants without burning the plants in some places.  Scientists who took soil samples before draining did not take into account the organic composition of peat and muck in the Everglades was mixed with a bacteria that added to the process of decomposition under water because it was not mixed with oxygen. As soon as the water was gone and oxygen mixed with the soil, the bacteria began to break down the soil. In some places, homes had to be moved to stilts and 8 feet (2. 4 m) of soil was lost. 
The idea of a national park for the Everglades was pitched in 1928 when a Miami land developer named Ernest F. Coe established the Everglades Tropical National Park Association. It had enough support to be declared a national park by Congress in 1934, but there was not enough money during the Great Depression to purchase the proposed 2 million acres for the park. It took another 13 years to be dedicated on December 6, 1947. Events 1060 - Béla I of Hungary is crowned king of Hungary 1240 - Mongol invasion of Rus: Kiev Year 1947 ( MCMXLVII) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1947 calendar of the Gregorian calendar.  One month before the dedication of the park, a former editor from The Miami Herald and freelance writer named Marjory Stoneman Douglas released her first book titled The Everglades: River of Grass. The Miami Herald is a daily Newspaper owned by The McClatchy Company headquartered in Downtown Miami Florida. Marjory Stoneman Douglas (April 7 1890 – May 14 1998 was an American Journalist, Writer and Environmentalist known for her staunch defense of The Everglades River of Grass is a non-fiction book written by Marjory Stoneman Douglas in 1947 After researching the region for five years, she described the history and ecology of the South Florida in great detail. She characterized the Everglades as a river instead of a stagnant swamp.  Douglas later wrote, "My colleague Art Marshall said that with [the words "River of Grass"] I changed everybody's knowledge and educated the world as to what the Everglades meant".  The last chapter was titled, "The Eleventh Hour" and warned that the Everglades were dying, although it could be reversed. 
The same year the park was dedicated, two hurricanes and a very productive wet season caused 100 inches (250 cm) to fall on South Florida. Though there were no human casualties, cattle and deer drowned and standing water was left in suburban areas for months. Agricultural interests lost approximately $59 million.  In 1948 Congress approved the Central and Southern Florida Project for Flood Control and Other Purposes (C&SF). The C&SF divided the Everglades into basins. In the northern Everglades were Water Conservation Areas (WCAs), and the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) bordering to the south of Lake Okeechobee. In the southern Everglades was Everglades National Park. Levees and pumping stations bordered each WCA, and either released water in dryer times or removed it and pumped it to the oceans in times of flood. The WCAs took up approximately 37 percent of the original Everglades.  The C&SF constructed over 1,000 miles (1,600 km) of canals, and hundreds of pumping stations and levees within three decades. During the 1950s and 1960s the South Florida metropolitan area grew four times as fast as the rest of the nation. Between 1940 and 1965, 6 million people moved to South Florida: 1,000 people moved to Miami every week.  Developed areas between the mid 1950s and the late 1960s quadrupled. Much of the water reclaimed from the Everglades was sent to newly developed areas. 
The C&SF established 470,000 acres for the Everglades Agricultural Area—27 percent of the Everglades prior to development. Everglades National Park is a national park in the US state of Florida.  In the late 1920s, agricultural experiments indicated that adding large amounts of manganese sulfate to Everglades muck produced a profitable harvest for vegetables. Manganese(II sulfate is the Inorganic compound with the formula MnSO4  The primary cash crop in the EAA is sugarcane, though sod, beans, lettuce, celery, and rice are also grown. Sod or turf is grass and the part of the Soil beneath it held together by the Roots or a piece of this material Fields in the EAA are typically 40 acres, bordered by canals on two sides, that are connected to larger canals where water is pumped in or out depending on the needs of the crops.  The fertilizers used on vegetables, along with high concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus that are the byproduct of decayed soil necessary for sugarcane production, were pumped into WCAs south of the EAA, predominantly to Everglades National Park. Nitrogen (ˈnaɪtɹəʤɪn is a Chemical element that has the symbol N and Atomic number 7 and Atomic weight 14 Phosphorus, (ˈfɒsfərəs is the Chemical element that has the symbol P and Atomic number 15 The introduction of large amounts of these elements provided opportunities for exotic plants to take hold in the Everglades.  One of the defining characteristics of natural Everglades ecology is its ability to support itself in a nutrient-poor environment, and the introduction of fertilizers began to change that. 
A turning point came for development in the Everglades at the proposition of an expanded airport after Miami International Airport outgrew its capacities. Miami International Airport is a public Airport located eight miles (13 km) northwest of the Central business district of Miami, in unincorporated The new jetport was planned to be larger than O'Hare, Dulles, JFK, and LAX airports combined, and the chosen location was 6 miles (9. Washington Dulles International Airport is a public Airport located 25 miles (40 km) west of the Central business district of Washington D John F Kennedy International Airport is an International airport located in Queens County on Long Island in southeastern New York City about 12 miles (19 Los Angeles International Airport is the primary Airport serving Los Angeles, California, the second-most populated metropolitan area of 7 km) north of Everglades National Park. The first sentence of the U.S. Department of Interior study of the environmental impact of the jetport read, "Development of the proposed jetport and its attendant facilities . The United States Department of the Interior ( DOI) is a Cabinet department of the United States government that manages and conserves most federally . . will inexorably destroy the south Florida ecosystem and thus the Everglades National Park".  When studies indicated the proposed jetport would create 4,000,000 US gallons (15,000,000 L) of raw sewage a day and 10,000 short tons (9,100 MT) of jet engine pollutants a year, the project met staunch opposition. The New York Times called it a "blueprint for disaster", and Wisconsin senator Gaylord Nelson wrote to President Richard Nixon voicing his opposition: "It is a test of whether or not we are really committed in this country to protecting our environment. Wisconsin ( or wɪˈskɑnsɨn (French Ouisconsin) is one of the fifty United States of America, located in the north central part of the United States Gaylord Anton Nelson ( June 4, 1916 July 3, 2005) was an American Democratic politician from Wisconsin. " Governor Claude Kirk withdrew his support for the project, and Marjory Stoneman Douglas was persuaded at 78 years old to go on tour to give hundreds of speeches against it. Claude Roy Kirk Jr (born January 7, 1926) was the thirty-sixth governor of the U Nixon instead established Big Cypress National Preserve, announcing it in the Special Message to the Congress Outlining the 1972 Environmental Program . Big Cypress redirects here For other meanings please see Big Cypress (disambiguation Big Cypress National Preserve is a United States 
The Central and Southern Florida Flood Control Project's final construction undertaking was straightening the Kissimmee River, a meandering 90 miles (140 km) of rivers and tributaries through a vast floodplain that was drained to make way for grazing areas for cattle and agricultural ventures. The restoration of the Everglades is an ongoing effort to remedy damage inflicted on the environment of southern Florida during the 20th century The C&SF started building the C-38 canal in 1962 and almost immediately the effects were seen. Waterfowl, wading birds, and fish disappeared from the area, and conservationists and sport fishers demanded the region be restored before the canal was finished in 1971.  C&SF projects were criticized for being temporary fixes that ignored future consequences, costing billions of dollars with no end in sight.  After Governor Bob Graham initiated the Save Our Everglades campaign in 1983, the first section of the canal was backfilled in 1986. Daniel Robert "Bob" Graham (born November 9, 1936) is an American politician Graham announced that by 2000 the Everglades would be restored to what it was before drainage as much as possible.  The Kissimmee River Restoration project was approved by Congress in 1992. It is estimated to cost $578 million to convert only 22 miles (35 km) of the canal. The entire project will be complete by 2011. 
Further problems with the environment arose when a vast algae bloom appeared in one-fifth of Lake Okeechobee in 1986. Algae ( sing. alga are a large and diverse group of simple typically Autotrophic organisms ranging from Unicellular to Multicellular forms The same year cattails were discovered overtaking sawgrass marshes in Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. Typha is a Genus of about eleven Species of Monocotyledonous flowering plants in the Monogeneric family Typhaceae The 147392 acre (596 km² Arthur R Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge includes the most northern remnant of the historic Everglades wetland ecosystem Scientists discovered that phosphorus, used as a fertilizer in the EAA was flushed into canals and pumped back into the lake. Phosphorus, (ˈfɒsfərəs is the Chemical element that has the symbol P and Atomic number 15  When the lake was drained, the phosphorus entered the water in the marshes, changing the nutrient levels. It kept periphyton from forming marl, one of two soils in the Everglades. As the Everglades has historically existed as a nutrient-poor ecosystem, the arrival of phosphorus allowed cattails to spread quickly. The cattails grew in dense mats—too thick for birds or alligators to nest in. It also dissolved oxygen in the peat, promoted algae, and prohibited growth of native invertebrates on the bottom of the food chain. 
At the same time mercury was found in local fish in such levels that consumption warnings were posted for fishermen. Mercury (ˈmɜrkjʊri also called quicksilver or hydrargyrum, is a Chemical element with the symbol Hg ( Latinized hydrargyrum A Florida panther was found dead with levels of mercury high enough to kill a human.  Scientists found that power plants and incinerators using fossil fuels were expelling mercury into the atmosphere, and it came down as rain, or dust during droughts. The naturally occurring bacteria that reduce sulfur in the Everglades ecosystem were transforming the mercury into methylmercury, and it was bioaccumulating through the food chain. Methylmercury (sometimes methyl mercury) is an Organometallic Cation with the formula + Bioaccumulation occurs when an organism absorbs a toxic substance at a rate greater than that at ftudruinsubstance is lost  Stricter emissions standards helped lower mercury coming from power plants and incinerators, which in turn lowered mercury levels found in animals though they continue to be a concern. 
The Everglades Forever Act, introduced by Governor Lawton Chiles in 1994, was an answer to lowering phosphorus in Everglades waterways. Lawton Mainor Chiles Jr ( April 3 1930 December 12 1998) was an American politician from the U The act put the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in charge of testing and enforcing low phosphorus levels at 10 parts per billion (ppb), down from 500 ppb that was found in the 1980s. The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD is an independent state agency under the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP responsible for Water The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP is the agency in Florida's government charged with most functions relating to environmental quality in the state  The SFWMD built Stormwater Treatment Areas (STAs) near sugarcane fields where water leaving the EAA goes into ponds lined with lime rock and layers of peat and calcareous periphyton. Calcareous refers to a Sediment, Sedimentary rock, or Soil type which is formed from or contains a high proportion of Calcium carbonate in the Testing has shown this method to be more effective than previously anticipated, bringing levels from 80 ppb to 10 ppb. 
The Everglades also face an ongoing threat from the melaleuca tree. Melaleuca quinquenervia, commonly known as the Broad-leaved paper bark or the Paper Bark Tea Tree, a small to medium sized tree of the Myrtaceae Sprinkled from airplanes using salt and pepper salt shakers, the seeds of the tree were intended to suck up the water and make the land of the Everglades suitable for development. Melaleucas grow taller and more densely in forests in the Everglades than their native Australia, making them unsuitable as nesting areas for birds with wide wingspans.  They also choke out native vegetation. More than $2 million has been spent on keeping them out of Everglades National Park. 
Brazilian Pepper, or Florida Holly, (Schinus terebinthifolius) has also wreaked havoc on the Everglades, exhibiting a tendency to spread rapidly and crowd out native species of plants as well as creating inhospitable environments for native animals. Brazilian Pepper ( Schinus terebinthifolius; also known as Aroeira, Florida holly, and Christmasberry) is a sprawling Shrub or It is especially difficult to eradicate and is readily propagated by birds, which eat its small red berries.  The Brazilian Pepper problem is not exclusive to the Everglades; however, neither is the Water Hyacinth, which is a widespread problem in Florida's waterways and a major threat to endemic species, and is also difficult and costly to eradicate. The seven species of water hyacinths comprise the genus Eichhornia. The Old World climbing fern (Lygodium microphyllum) may be causing the most harm to restoration as it blankets areas thickly, making it impossible for animals to move through. Lygodium microphyllum is a climbing fern originating in tropical Africa, South East Asia, Melanesia and Australia. It also climbs up trees and creates "fire ladders" that harm upper portions of trees that would otherwise be left unharmed by fire. 
Being located so close to a major urban area, many animals owned as pets have escaped or been released in the Everglades. Some find the conditions quite favorable and have established self-sustaining populations, competing for food and space with native animals. Many tropical fish have been released, but blue talapias cause damage to shallow waterways by creating large nests, and consuming aquatic plants that protect native young fish. Tilapia (təˌlɑpiə is the common name for nearly a hundred Species of Cichlid Fishes from the Tilapiine cichlid tribe 
Native to southern Asia, the Burmese python, is a relatively new invasive species in the Everglades. The Burmese Python ( Python molurus bivittatus) is the largest subspecies of the Indian Python and one of the 6 largest Snakes in the world native The species can grow up to 20 feet (6. 1 m) long and they compete with alligators for the top of the food chain. Florida wildlife officials speculate that pet owners released their pet pythons and they have begun reproducing on their own.  The Everglades habitat is perfect for the Burmese python, and this species is said to be reproducing rapidly. There have been at least four recorded encounters between alligators and pythons. 
The animal that causes the most damage as an invasive species are domestic and feral cats. Cats that are let outside live close to suburban populations, and have been estimated to number 640 per square mile. In such close numbers in historic migratory areas, they have devastating effects on migratory bird populations. 
Though scientists made headway in decreasing mercury and phosphorus levels in water, the natural quality of South Florida continued to decline in the 1990s, and life in nearby cities was affected. The Central and Southern Florida (C&SF Project which was first authorized by Congress in 1948 is a multi-purpose project that provides flood control water supply for municipal industrial and To address the deterioration of the South Florida metropolitan area, Governor Lawton Chiles commissioned a report on the sustainability of the area. Sustainability, in a general sense is the capacity to maintain a certain process or state indefinitely In 1995, Chiles published the commission's findings in a report that related the degredation of the Everglades ecosystems to the lower quality of life in urban areas. The report noted past environmental abuses that brought the state to a position to make a decision. Not acting to improve the South Florida ecosystem, the report predicted, would inevitably cause further and intolerable deterioration that would harm local tourism by 12,000 jobs and $200 million annually, and commercial fishing by 3,300 jobs and $52 million annually.  Urban areas had grown beyond their capacities to sustain themselves. Crowded cities were facing problems such as high crime rates, traffic jams, severely overcrowded schools, overtaxed public services, and water shortages that the report noted was ironic for the 53 inches (130 cm) of rain the region received annually. 
In 1999, an evaluation of the Central & South Florida Flood Control Project was submitted to Congress as part of the Water Development Act of 1992. The seven-year report, called the "Restudy", cited indicators of harm to the system: a 50 percent reduction in the original Everglades, diminished water storage, harmful timing of water releases from canals and pumping stations, an 85 to 90 percent decrease in wading bird populations over the past 50 years, and the decline of output from commercial fisheries. Bodies of water including Lake Okeechobee, the Caloosahatchee River, St. Lucie estuary, Lake Worth Lagoon, Biscayne Bay, and the Everglades reflected drastic water level changes, hypersalinity, dramatic changes in marine and freshwater ecosystems. Lake Okeechobee, (IPA /okɪtʃobi/ locally referred to as The Lake or The Big O is a freshwater Lake in the U The Caloosahatchee River is a River on the southwest Gulf Coast of Florida in the United States, approximately 75 mi (121 km long The St Lucie River is a River in St Lucie and Martin counties Florida. The Lake Worth Lagoon is a Lagoon located in Palm Beach County Florida, at coordinates. Biscayne Bay ( Bahía Vizcaina, in Spanish) is a Lagoon that is approximately 35 miles (56 km long and up to 8 miles (13 km wide located on the Salinity is the Saltiness or dissolved salt content of a body of Water. The Restudy noted the overall decline in water quality over the past 50 years was due to loss of wetlands that act as filters for polluted water.  It predicted that without intervention the entire South Florida ecoystem would deteriorate. Water shortages would become common and some cities would have annual water restrictions. An outdoor water-use restriction is a Ban or other lesser Restrictions put into effect that restricts the outdoor use of water Supplies. 
The Restudy came with a plan to stop the declining environmental quality, however, and the proposal was to be the most expensive and comprehensive ecological repair project in U. S. history.  The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) proposed more than 60 construction projects over 30 years to store water that was being flushed into the ocean, in reservoirs, underground aquifers, and abandoned quarries; add more Stormwater Treatment Areas to filter water that flowed into the lower Everglades; regulate water released from pumping stations into local waterways and improve water released to Everglades National Park and Water Conservation Areas; remove barriers to sheetflow by raising the Tamiami Trail and destroying the Miami Canal, and reuse wastewater for urban areas. The Central and Southern Florida (C&SF Project which was first authorized by Congress in 1948 is a multi-purpose project that provides flood control water supply for municipal industrial and The Tamiami Trail (pronounced "tammy-amee" so it rhymes is the southernmost 275 miles (443 km of U  The cost estimate for the entire plan was $7. 8 billion, and in a bipartisan show of cooperation, CERP was voted through Congress with an overwhelming margin. It was signed by President Bill Clinton on December 11, 2000. William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III, August 19 1946 served as the forty-second President of the United States Events 359 - Honoratus, the first known Prefect of the City of Constantinople, takes office 2000 ( MM) was a Leap year that started on Saturday of the Common Era, in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. 
Since its signing, the State of Florida reports that it has spent more than $2 billion on the various projects. More than 36,000 acres (15,000 ha) of Stormwater Treatment Areas have been constructed to filter 2,500 short tons (2,300 MT) of phosphorous from Everglades waters. An STA 17,000 acres (6,900 ha) large was constructed in 2004, making it the largest manmade wetland in the world. Fifty-five percent of the land necessary to acquire for restoration has been purchased by the State of Florida totaling 210,167 acres (85,052 ha). A plan to hasten the construction and funding of project was put into place, named "Acceler8", spurring the start of six of eight large construction projects, including that of three large reservoirs.  However, federal funds have not been forthcoming; CERP was signed when the U. S. government had a budget surplus, and since then the War in Iraq began, and two of CERP's major supporters in Congress retired. The Iraq War, also known as the Second Gulf War, the Occupation of Iraq, or the War in Iraq, is an ongoing Military campaign According to a story in The New York Times, state officials say the restoration is lost in a maze of "federal bureaucracy, a victim of 'analysis paralysis'".  CERP still remains controversial as the projects slated for Acceler8, environmental activists note, are those that benefit urban areas, and regions in the Everglades in desperate need of water are still being neglected, suggesting that water is being diverted to make room for more people in an already overtaxed environment.  In February 2008, the State of Florida announced budget cuts between $4 and $5 billion to state programs. Among the proposed eliminations were CERP projects.