Philosateleia
Kevin Blackston
PO Box 17544
San Antonio TX 78217-0544
United States of America

Everglades

Florida, USA

When you hear the term “Everglades,” you may think specifically of Everglades National Park. In reality, however, the Everglades ecosystem encompasses nearly 2 million acres of Florida including land nearly as far north as Orlando, only about 20% of which lies within the park’s boundaries.1 2

Indigenous people referred to the Everglades as “Pahayokee,” meaning “grassy waters,” and writer Marjory Douglas called the system “a river of grass.”3 4 Both are apt descriptions for the Everglades, which gets its water from Lake Okechobee before flowing sluggishly over land that declines toward sea level at a rate of as little as two inches per mile.5 The slow-moving water nourishes the largest stands of sawgrass and mangroves in North America.6

In addition to its lush plant life, the Everglades boast hundreds of different species of birds; manatees and dolphins; alligators, crocodiles, and snakes; and several dozen Florida panthers, the last remaining in the wild. This wealth of flora and fauna led Congress to pass legislation in 1934 authorizing the creation of a national park in southern Florida; Everglades National Park was not actually established until 1947, but it is now recognized as a World Heritage Site.

20-cent United Nations postage stamp picturing the Everglades in Florida, USA
Everglades

Next:

References

  1. Everglades. National Wildlife Federation. Accessed 24 Jan. 2014.
  2. Nature & Science. National Park Service. 6 Jan. 2014. Accessed 24 Jan. 2014.
  3. Quick Facts. Everglades Foundation. Accessed 24 Jan. 2014.
  4. Everglades National Park. PBS. Accessed 24 Jan. 2014.
  5. Water Flow and Seasonality. Friends of the Everglades. Accessed 24 Jan. 2014.
  6. Everglades National Park. UNESCO World Heritage Convention. Accessed 24 Jan. 2014.

Published 2018-06-18