Essay On The Everglades

500 Words2 Pages
A wetland is an area where the land is saturated with water and has wetland plants. Wetlands are important because they reduce the damages of flooding. The Everglades is a very large shallow wetland in south Florida. Tens of thousands years ago, glacial retreat submerged portions of the Florida peninsula and water level rose. Today, water discharges from Orlando through the Kissimmee River and to Lake Okeechobee. Lake Okeechobee is a large and shallow lake. Water discharges in sheet flow from Lake Okeechobee to the Florida Bay and eventually to the ocean. The Everglades sometimes experiences hurricanes and bring in lots of water.

The Everglades has high diversity of animals and plants. The well-known animals in the Everglades are the wading
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Big portions of the Everglades were drained and converted to farmlands to grow sugarcane. Other places were drained for urban development like building houses and hotels. People built canals to divert water to urban areas and this caused the wading birds to decline. Loss of the Everglades created problems in the ecosystem. There is a lot of phosphorus in runoff during rain from farmlands and caused huge invasion by cattails. Phosphorus was in a concentration of 500 ppb. The dense cattails make birds and alligators unable to nest. Some invasive plants outcompete native plants. Other invasive plants are Melaleuca, Old World climbing fern, Australian Pine, Brazilian Pepper, and Seaside Mahoe. Power plants released mercury to the atmosphere and fell to the water as rain. Phosphorus and mercury caused water pollution and negatively affected many animals and the ecosystem. Many panthers were found dead. We have to improve the water quality in the Everglades otherwise more animals are going to die. In 2000, US congress authorized the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) to restore the Everglades. The goal is to capture unused freshwater to places that need it. It is a big challenge to restore the Everglades. Recent estimate that the plan requires about $10 billion and 50 years to
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