Everglades FloodingPerhaps we take it for granted that our beautiful homeland will be foreverchanged because of the effects of modern civilizations.
The environment, localanimals, plants, and neighboring niches are all being affected by a few factors. The insensitivity of humans towards our fellow living creatures has caused theEverglades to shrink dramatically in the last one hundred years. The health ofthe everglades has been compromised because we as humans need more space to liveon, bigger roads, and adventures on which we embark. In the followingparagraphs, I will explain one of the most threatening factors to Florida’sEverglades, habitat loss. Originally, the Everglades consisted of nearly 8,100square miles, now, it has been reduced to about 2,300 square miles of whichabout three-fifths is in set-designated water conservation areas.Order now
Two-thirds ofthe original everglades is the water that falls on one-thirds of the originalwatershed. In simpler terms, the water in the Everglades is being washed intothe ocean at a faster rate than the animal and plant life can adapt to. If thisproblem continues on the same route it is on, the death toll of animals andplants will reach catastrophic proportions. Many years ago, the Everglades wasmuch deeper than it is now and the wet season lasted many months. Now, hugeamounts of water come in short intervals and are dried up more quickly than itcan be replaced due to drainage. Grasses who survive in deep water are beingkilled rapidly.
Due to the death of these grasses, several species of fish havedecreased dramatically in number. The loss of these grasses allows the melaluecato dominate these areas as the supreme species of plants. Fourteen animalspecies in the everglades are endangered and many more are threatened. The lossof habitat and overcrowding of certain species are disturbing animal population. Since the 1900’s, ninety percent of the bird population has died.
In 1988 aserious drought left many animal species homeless and many dead. Food loss dueto lack of water killed many plant species. By 1989, only 5,000 bird nests and15 colonies were present in the watershed of the everglades. In only one year,that number dropped to 1,000 nests. As we all know and love, the food webexplains how countless animal and plants are co-dependents of each other and howthe domino effect can change each and every one of those species.
Manyconservation efforts have been done to save the everglades, yet they have allfailed miserably in a feeble attempt to erase the damage cause by the mostabundant predator to any species world wide, mankind. The Everglade AgricultureArea has been set up to enrich the soil in the Everglades, hopefully restoringthe animal and plant life to the original numbers that they used to be. When thewater levels plummet and new nutrients are added, the soil is exposed to largeamounts of oxygen. This speeds up the bacterial growth and can further harmplant life.
The soil can then turn to fine dust and lower the water levelseveral feet. Another effort to save the everglades it to kill the melaluecatrees, which suck up large quantities of water. Cutting down the trees was firstattempted, but that effort further spread the melalueca seeds. Another methodwas tried, poison.
Poisons are being developed to kill small islands ofmelalueca trees with out harming the neighboring plants. Everyone can agree onone thing, the distribution of melalueca trees in the Everglades by humans isone of the worst ideas to plague the Everglades epidemic. Overall, vast amountsof money have been spent to save the Everglades. The Clinton administration hasdonated 1. 5 billion dollars on conservation efforts. The 13 billion-dollartourism industry to the Everglades and the Keys has helped with funds for theEverglades Wildlife Fund and other organizations.
On average, the amount ofmoney donated per year to Everglade’s conservation efforts is about 2 billiondollars. The reason I chose to do this report on the Everglade is because I gotan offhand look at how the Everglades is being destroyed slowly. While going onan airboat tour of the Everglades, I saw an alligator, which got its leg cut offfrom a boat propeller. While this greatly disturbed me, the airboat driverjokingly referred to the alligator as stumpy. I hope that one day, theEverglades wildlife and humans can co-exist. BibliographyMuller, Peter O.
(1992) The World Book Encyclopedia: Everglades. Chicago, IL:World Book, Inc. National Geographic Interactive (1998) . Washington, D. C: The Learning Company Everglades Ecosystem (1999).
www. nps. gov/ever/eco. . Viewed: September 22, 1999. World Wildlife Federation (1999).
www. wwf. org. .
Viewed: September 22, 1999