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Everglades National Park, Florida
When a lot of people think of the Everglades they think of swampland teeming with insects and reptiles slinking through mud and seagrass. That’s part of it, sure--but did you know it’s technically a Read more...
When a lot of people think of the Everglades they think of swampland teeming with insects and reptiles slinking through mud and seagrass. That’s part of it, sure--but did you know it’s technically a river? It flows (or rather, drifts) southwest at about a quarter mile a day, feeding a vast network of wetlands and forests on its way into the Florida Bay. It’s an immensely important ecosystem with nine distinct habitats housing hundreds of species of animals--dozens of them on the federally endangered list and some found nowhere else on the planet. The Everglades National Park spans 1.5 million acres, but actually only protects the southern 20% of the original Everglades. It’s one of only three places in the world that’s been declared a World Heritage Site, a Wetland of International Importance, and an International Biosphere Reserve. Human activity, changing climate conditions, and nonnative species (you’ve heard about the rampant Burmese python population, right?) have greatly impacted this complex ecosystem in a constant state of flux. One million people visit the Everglades every year, engaging in activities from biking and birdwatching to fishing and boating… and course, to marvel at the wonder of this magnificent changing force.