The Everglades was a free-flowing river of grass coming from the Kissimmee chain of lakes to the Florida bays. Vast amounts of birds would darken the sky as they migrated to the Everglades. Many different animals like panthers, manatees and deer lived in happiness in the Everglades.
In the late 1800’s, people started to affect the Everglades when primitive canals started to drain south Florida. These events continued through the 20th century. 1,700 miles of canals and levees changed the landscape, messing up the Everglades natural flow and sending the water to the sea, more than half of the Everglades wetlands have been lost to development.
Today, a plan has been approved to restore the magnificent river of grass. The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan will capture fresh water, currently destined for the sea back to the ecosystem. This will revitalize the Everglades. It will improve water supplies for people and farms also. The Nation’s largest project, it will cost $7.8 billion and take more than 20 years to accomplish this goal.
The Everglades of today is not the same place that Ms. Douglas wrote about in 1947. Once the Florida Everglades a free-flowing river of grass that brought clean water from Lake Okeechobee to Florida Bay. It was an oasis for storks, alligators, panthers, and other wildlife. Today this wonderful ecosystem, unlike any other in the world, is dying. Over 100 years people have invaded this once domain for wild animals. With the arrival of people came the desire to manage the water, to control the free flowing river of grass
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