The Everglades - an overview
Established in 1947 (December 6, 1947, by President Harry S Truman at Everglades City) to preserve the biological features and essential primitive conditions of the subtropical Everlades of Florida, the Park is the largest U.S. national park east of the Rocky Mountains. It is also recognized as the most threatened, due primarily to hydrological developments that have disrupted water flow with serious ecological consequences. The Park receives more than a million visitors annually, and contributes $120 million each year to the local economy through tourism revenue. The outstanding significance of the Park is recognized by the international community through its designation as a World Heritage Site, a Wetland of International Significance, and a Biosphere Reserve under UNESCO. Approximately 25% of the Park's visitors are international travellers.
In a nutshell
Spanning the southern tip of the Florida peninsula and most of Florida Bay, Everglades National Park is the only subtropical preserve in North America. It contains both temperate and tropical plant communities, including sawgrass prairies, mangrove and cypress swamps, pinelands, and hardwood hammocks, as well as marine and estuarine environments. The park is known for its rich bird life, particularly large wading birds, such as the roseate spoonbill, wood stork, great blue heron and a variety of egrets. It is also the only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles exist side by side.
Approx. 10.000 to 11.000 years ago - that was the end of the Pleistocene Ice Age, the last one, which began approx. 1.8 million years ago. The melting of the ice led to a rise of the sea level and the area became a large swamp.
Long sleeves are recommended for all kind of activities, because mosquitoes can be a real plague.
Great Egret in the swamps