The Florida Everglades has been dubbed “the most threatened park in the U.S.” (1). There are three primary reasons for this: water control, introduced species, and development.
After officials built dikes in Florida following damaging hurricanes, water flow to the Everglades was interrupted. During the 1930s, drainage canals destoyed thousands of acres of wetlands by sucking the water out. Currently, there are 1,400 miles of water canals and levees within the Everglades region devoted to regulating water flow.
Invasive species have been accidentally introduced to the Everglades region through human activity. Such activity includes bringing species as pets, ornaments, food sources, or biological controls. Some non-native species outcompete native species for food sources, and negatively impacting ecosystems.
Urban, agricultural, and industrial development has destroyed more than half of the original Everglades region. Rising population growth has put pressure on the Everglades, and some lands are drained to support agricultural expansion.
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