One out of every three Floridians (8 million people) rely on the Everglades for their water supply.
The Everglades comprise the largest subtropical wet-land ecosystem in North America.
The Everglades is a World Heritage Site and an International Biosphere Reserve.
While it is often described as a swamp or forested wet-land, the Everglades is actually a very slow-moving river.
Once spread out over 8 million acres, the Everglades ecosystem reaches from the Kissimmee River to Lake Okeechobee, where waters from the lake slowly move south toward Florida Bay.
Native Americans living in and around the river called it Pahayokee (pah-HIGH-oh-geh), the “grassy waters.”
Birds were so plentiful in the Everglades that it was said they “darkened the sky” when they took flight.
America’s Everglades is home to 73 threatened or endangered species.
Just months after Florida become a state in 1845, the legislature took the first steps that would lead to draining the Everglades.
Periphyton, the mossy golden-brown substance that is found floating in bodies of water throughout the Everglades, is the dominant life form in the River of Grass ecosystem.
The Everglades is the only place in the world where the American Alligator and the American Crocodile co-exist in the wild.
Mosquitoes play a vitally important link in the Everglades food chain. The larvae of grown mosquitoes provide food for a variety of native fish that are critical to the diet of wading birds.
The ubiquitous grassy plants known as sawgrass (a sedge), have serrated, razor-edged blades of grass that are so sharp, they have been known to cut through clothing.