Natural paradises in danger to be saved: Everglades in Florida



by LORENZO CIOTTI

Natural paradises in danger to be saved: Everglades in Florida

Everglades in South Florida are under threat from rising sea levels and pollution from surrounding industrial wastewater. Specifically, they cover an area that includes the counties of Monroe, Collier, Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Broward.

About 50 percent of the original Everglades have been sacrificed for agriculture. Much of what remains is now protected by a National Park and water conservation areas. Everglades water is still used as a water source for large area cities such as Miami.

The Everglades are crossed from west to east by a toll road called Alligator Alley, which is part of Interstate 75. The most characteristic habitat of the Everglades are the saw grass swamps, large expanses of shallow river water, dominated by the presence of the ciperacea Cladium mariscus subsp.

jamaicense; these are the rivers of grass of literature that once occupied over a third of the land area of ​​South Florida. In the deepest waters of the ponds there are several species of water lilies and carnivorous plants.

Another characteristic habitat of the Everglades are the so-called hammocks, small limestone islets, the largest of which are extended up to 40 km², which rise from 1 to 3 m above the water level, covered by dense tropical vegetation.

Among the reptiles there are three primary predators of the ecoregion: the Mississippi alligator, the spectacled caiman and the American crocodile. Another primary predator is the puma, once widespread throughout the southeastern United States, and now restricted to southern Florida, with an estimated population of less than 100 specimens.

Other mammals found in this semi-aquatic habitat include the white-tailed deer, bobcat, bog rabbit, raccoon, opossum, gray fox, nine-banded armadillo, and the North American river otter. In coastal waters it is not uncommon to encounter the Caribbean manatee.

Although the majority of Everglades waters meet current quality standards, about 10% of the waters remain polluted. The State of Florida and the Military Engineers are carrying out numerous projects for several billions of dollars, according to the Global Sanitation Plan of the Everglades, to ensure the right quantity, quality, timing and distribution of water to the Everglades and throughout South Florida.