Are the everglades threatened?



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    Yes, it is; though it faces several different threats. “The primary threat to both [Everglades and Galapagos] is the rampant non-native species that have been introduced to the ecosystems. In the Everglades, the 482 non-native species that are wreaking havoc on the ecosystem include the Burmese Python, the Brazilian Pepper plant, the European Starling, and feral cats and dogs” (treehugger). They are is also a lot of concern over pollution and its numerous effects. “The National Audubon Society estimates that the number of long-legged wading birds, like wood storks and egrets, that nest in the waters of the Everglades has declined 90 percent since the 1920’s. This summer, for the first time, fish in most parts of the Everglades have been declared unsafe for eating, because of mercury contamination. Alligator hunting, in season this month in Florida, has been banned in the Everglades because of high mercury levels in gator meat as well. But of even more concern to officials is the runoff from dairy, sugar-cane and other farms. Environmentalists say the runoff, rich in nutrients, has fed an explosion in the growth of plant varieties that clog open waterways, robbing them of oxygen and crowding out animal life. The plants, especially cattails, are spreading at the rate of four acres a day. ”Of all the national parks, it is the one closest to extinction,” said George T. Frampton, the president of the Wilderness Society. ”We ditched, diked and drained Florida thinking that was progress before we realized we totally changed the whole balance.”” (NYTimes). There are many solutions being suggested and sought. The state of Florida is being sued to enforce its own water-discharge standards, the Army Corp. is undergoing a major study, and “Congress is considering a bill that would bring 100,000 more acres under the protection of the Everglades National Park” (NYTimes).

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