The Everglades is a vast area of subtropical wetlands that covers around 1.5 million acres of South Florida. Often called the “River of Grass”, the Everglades is home to hundreds of plant and wildlife species. It is also responsible for supplying drinking water, and is an essential part of Florida’s ecosystem. The Everglades is obviously important, but what really makes it so unique?
According to NWF Blog, the Everglades is one of the largest wetlands in the world, and is the largest remaining subtropical wilderness left in North America. Nine distinct ecosystems have been identified within Everglades National Park. These ecosystems include: cypress, freshwater marl prairie, freshwater slough, coastal lowlands, mangrove, pinelands, hardwood hammock, marine, and estuarine. Additionally, the Everglades contains one of the highest concentrations of vulnerable species in the United States, and is the only place in the world where crocodiles and alligators coexist.
As stated by Destination Wildlife, the Everglades is responsible for supplying drinking water to one in every three Floridians and is essential to the local economy. For example, a healthy Everglades ecosystem brings in around $1.2 billion from fishing and $103 million from tourism per year. Everglades National Park is also responsible for supplying over 900 jobs and is one of the most visited national parks in the nation.
The Everglades offers endless opportunities of fun with hundreds of miles of water, land, and bike trails. Everglades National Park also offers airboat and tram tours that allow a unique experience and incredible views.