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Are there any environmental problems in the Everglades?
Question Date: 1999-02-24
Answer 1:

Yes, there are many problems in the Everglades. These problems are very complex just like the ecosystem and so are very difficult to solve. One of the major problems is the way water flows through the Everglades. Many of the plants and animals have adapted to a natural routine of water flow. Generally, in the winter water flows are much greater than the summer. But because people have put in levees around the Everglades and in it, some areas get too much water and others get too little. Some plants die and others grow in their place either because there is not enough water or there is too much. The animals that used to eat those plants either die or move to another area of the Everglades also. An area that was a forest becomes a swamp and visa versa.

What do you think would happen to an alligator if its swamp dried up?

Answer 2:

The Everglades is a large area of water--basically a swamp.One of the problems is that as the population grows in Florida, they require more water. Guess where they get all the water from? If you said the Everglades, then you would be correct. Florida keeps using more and more water from this area, which causes it to dry out. This leaves less room for all the plants, animals, birds and fish to live in. Also another problem is that people use a lot of pesticides and fertilizers, which run-off into the Everglades. It basically washes into the swamp--poisoning the animals, birds and fish that live there. This makes them weaker and causes them to get sick more often. Also, and perhaps even worse--the pesticides have a tendecy to limit or even halt reproduction in many organisms. They don't or can't make babies.

Answer 3:

Wow, what a great question! I usually study animals in the ocean that make light (bioluminescence, pronounced: BIO-LOOM-IN-ES-since)...you know, like fireflies except in the oceans? Your question was one that I had to do some research on, and I learned a lot! Thanks! Here's some of the things I found out by looking on the Internet.
There are many environmental problems in the Everglades wetlands, and they are almost all man-made! These are very fragile areas that provide most of the freshwater to South Florida (rain is filtered through these wetlands and is distributed to other areas after leaving the Everglades). If the water is polluted while it is in the Everglades, then it can harm the wildlife and plantlife, and also be sent onto human populations elsewhere with those harmful chemicals still in the waters! These harmful chemicals can come from agricultural fertilizers (farms and livestock producers) and from people building very close to the wetlands. Cement-covered parking lots keep the rainwater from soaking down into the ground and being added to the very imporant reservoirs of groundwater. Urban areas also cause alot of oils and gas products and other chemicals to be released into the freshwater wetlands.

I found this quote from this website: Check it out!
"The abuse of wetlands by filling, draining and polluting is rapidly destroying habitat for diverse species of plants and animals, eliminating feeding stations along the flyways of migratory birds, and damaging fresh water supplies across the country. "

Developers are getting permits to fill in the wetland areas, so that suburbs and businesses can be built where the wetlands originally were. You can imagine how much this disturbs the plants and animals that need those wetlands as nurseries for their young, and need the moisture, shade, and protection of the wetlands to grow and reproduce.

Here's some more sites you should definitely check out:

*What happened to the Florida panther?

*How can you help save the Everglades?

Listen to recorded Everglades wading bird calls on the Nat'l Everglades Park website...If the wetlands are destroyed, think about how many plants and animals could become endangered or extinct...your children and your children's children would never be able to enjoy these creatures! http://www.pennekamp.com/birds.wav

Look up these Nat'l Geographic Mags in your school's library for some great pictures and articles...what if we loose the alligators? (how will you guys become famous gator wrestlers if we let them and their native grounds be destroyed?)
1)Oct. 1967
Title: Threatened Glories of Everglades National Park
Contributor(s): Vosburgh, Frederick G. Author; Truslow, Frederick Kent Author-Photographer; Imboden, Otis Photographer

2)Date: Apr. 1994
Pages: 2-35
Title: The Everglades: Dying for Help
Contributor(s): Mairson, Alan Author; Johns, Chris Photographer

****We found these articles from magazines at UCSB that tell you about the threats to the Everglades. These are articles are easy to read, but they are fairly long, so you might want to print this email out! Have fun, and good luck with your study of the Everglades! We have listed the magazine that these articles came from in case you need to find them.

Saving the Everglades: Water in, water out.(Brief Article) Economist v350, n8105 (Feb 6, 1999):30 (1 pages).

CUTTING through the condominium complexes and strip malls that dominate the landscape north of Miami, hundreds of miles of canals make their way
to the Atlantic. Once there, they disgorge into the ocean 1.7 billion gallons (6.4 billion litres) of fresh water a day. A hundred miles to the south, the parched Everglades National Park struggles to survive. Water levels in the park are half what they were 50 years ago. As if coming from a cheap tap, the water flow in south Florida is never right.

Long before New Yorkers discovered Florida, the south of the state was a marshy haven for alligators and exotic birds. Each year the summer rains
that flooded Lake Okeechobee created natural rivers running southward, ensuring a steady flow of fresh water for the Everglades. As Florida's population expanded, however, developers and farmers saw little profit in swamps. They began pushing for an intricate system of drainage canals leading to the ocean to dry out the land, protect it against future flooding and provide drinking water for new residents. The Army Corps of Engineers undertook such a project in 1947, and south Florida's population and land prices have been rising
ever since.

Yet, like a tourniquet, the new water-control system shut off the natural flow of fresh water to the Everglades, and development has since cut th

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