The Everglades encompasses a series of rivers, lakes and estuaries and within
these waters exist a deep and inextricable relationship between Florida’s
environment and the quality of life for the more than seven million residents
that call south Florida home. By saving America’s Everglades – through the
largest environmental restoration project in the nation’s history – Florida is
restoring wetlands, revitalizing water quality and reviving the habitats for
more than 60 endangered and threatened species.
Challenges to the Ecosystem
Originally, close to 8.9 million acres of Florida’s southern peninsula
extending from the lakes and marshes of central Florida southward to the Florida
Bay were composed of interconnected wetlands -- four million of those acres were
known as the Everglades.
- During the late 1880s, the promise of fertile farmland and inviting
cities, flood protection and a supply of fresh water culminated in the
construction of the Central and South Florida project the natural flow of
water to the Everglades into thousands of miles of canals and 720 miles of
- Despite the damage that was done more than 50 years ago, the Everglades
is still a national treasure just as remarkable as the Grand Canyon, the
Great Lakes or the Redwood Forests.
Everglades Water Quality
Restoring America’s Everglades is returning a more natural water flow to the
2.4 million-acre marsh, reviving habitat for more than 60 threatened and
endangered species, establishing a reliable supply of water for millions of
Floridians and providing flood control to the south Florida area.
- Scientists are using the newest technology to ensure that remedies
- Advanced water quality technologies and Best Managed Practices for
farmers have successfully prevented more than 3,500 metric tons of phosphorus from
entering the Everglades.
- The construction of 45,000 acres of man-made treatment marshes, which
use native plants to naturally clean harmful nutrients from water flowing
into the Everglades, combined with the use of improved agricultural
practices have reduced phosphorus concentrations by more than 76 percent.