PRESERVING THE FLORIDA EVERGLADES

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Far from city lights and the hum of electronic devices, Florida’s National Park the Everglades, offers a super spot for stargazing and one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems. Now all we have to do is preserve it.

Lifestyles Celebrates the Centennial

100 years ago, the United States created the National Park Service, a federal agency designed to preserve the breathtaking beauty of the American landscape. Visit LifestylesAfter50.com to follow our Celebrate the Centennial series as we highlight our favorite parks all year long.

“The Everglades is a test.  If we pass it, we may get to keep the planet.”  - Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Conservationist
“The Everglades is a test. If we pass it, we may get to keep the planet.” – Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Conservationist

To true naturalists and ecologists, there are a precious few landscapes in America as impressive as the Everglades. Touted as one of the most unique landscapes in the world, this National Park is the definitive park of its home state – and though it is entirely contained in Florida its vital importance resonates far beyond the sunshine state, preserving species found nowhere else in the world. This swampy paradise is a perfect place to leave the technological world behind and embark on the journey through plants and animals unseen.

Unfortunately, this natural treasure is changing, as it continues to be whittled down through land conversion, drainage and climate change – sea level rise, reduced precipitating and higher temperatures. While the Everglades may no longer exist in its earlier glory of 11 million acres, there are citizens devoted to conserving it, like The Nature Conservancy who have been working to protect more than 360,000 acres of this critical system. But there’s still much work to be done to keep this one-of-a-kind environment thriving. Drained wetlands must be restored, invasive species removed and adaptations to climate change managed. As Conservationist Douglas notes, preserving the Everglades may be our test, and I wouldn’t miss the chance to help see it shine.

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