January 24, 2014
The Florida Everglades
The Florida Everglades are located in the southern portion of the state of Florida and compromise the southern half of a large watershed. This ecosystem begins near Orlando with the Kissimmee River. This river discharges into the enormous, but shallow, Lake Okeechobee. The Everglades are shaped by water and fire and experience frequent flooding during the rainy season and drought during the dry season. The writer, Marjory Stone man Douglas, popularized the term "River of Grass", to describe the saw grass marshes.1 These marshes are part of a complex system of interdependent ecosystems that include cypress swamps, estuarine mangrove …show more content…
In the 1970 's, national and international attention was given to this ecosystem. Restoration officially began in the 1980 's with the removal of a canal that straightened the Kissimmee River. The water quality of Lake Okeechobee became the major concern during this restoration. The other major concern was to maintain the environment of the area. In 2000, a plan was approved by congress for the most expensive and comprehensive environmental repair attempt in the History of the United States. This pan was signed into law and is known as the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration …show more content…
The first attempts at developing the agriculture near Lake Okeechobee were successful. The problem was that the nutrients in the peat were removed at a fast pace. This was one negative effect that humans had on the biochemical cycle in the ecosystem. Bacteria decompose dead saw grass underwater without oxygen. When men drained the water in 1920 's, bacteria interacted with oxygen and an aerobic reaction occurred. As a result microorganisms degraded the peat into carbon dioxide and water.
The species interaction in the Florida Everglades had gone through difficult times, but the awareness of the needs of this area have made it possible to help build a healthy living species. The fresh water that is currently coming into the Florida Bay from the Everglades is creating perfect conditions for beds of turtle grass and algae formation that are the foundation for animal life. Sea turtles and manatees eat the grass, and worms, clams, and other mollusks eat the algae formations and microscopic