Appreciating all that makes America special

The Everglades


One of the Everglades most unpopular citizens. Uploaded by

Smack dab in Central Florida is the Kissimmee River, which most folks never see on their visits to Disney World. But this river is the start of the vast ecosystem known as the Everglades. While it appears to be – not to be dismissive or anything – a swamp, it is in reality a slow-moving river. V-E-R-Y slow.


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Back in the “less enlightened” 1800s, Floridians had very little use for these wetlands, and at first glance you could understand why. They wanted to drain the land and turn it into land to grow sugar cane. And indeed, some of the formerly 8 million acres were transformed both for agricultural and urban development. Today, Everglades National Park totals a little over 1.5 million acres.

Popularly known as “The River of Grass,” the Everglades has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It not only provides a home for 67 threatened or endangered species, but also is the source of water for about 7 million Floridians. And they’d be endangered without the water.

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