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Everglades Restoration Quick Links

Everglades marshNatural Ecosystem

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 levees.
  • 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.

Restoration Plans

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 achieve results.
  • 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.
Additional Everglades Sites

Last updated: May 23, 2012

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