The environment here is in many ways defined by water. A freshwater river varying from just inches to several feet in depth, and 50 or more miles wide creeps seaward through the Everglades on a riverbed that slopes ever so gradually. Along it's course of hundreds of miles, the river drops just 15 feet, finally emptying into Florida Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Along the coast where fresh and salt waters mix, mangrove forests dominate the landscape.
Warmed by the tropical climate of South Florida, the river is a soup of algae that sustains larger life forms such as insects, fish, mollusks, turtles and snakes. These in turn support such predators as wading birds, and alligators - for which the Everglades are so well known...
Higher ground, just inches above the moving water, is home to unique plant communities. Hardwood Hammocks - groves of trees growing on slightly raised limestone mounds - are islands amidst the surrounding marshlands.
As a national park close to a large metropolitan area (Miami), the Everglades struggles to survive against strong threats. The same water which flows through the "river of grass" also supports the growing needs of local communities.
Everglades National Park
40001 State Road 9336
Homestead, Fl 33034