Fresh Water Marshes

Fresh Water Marshes Introduction

Feshwater marshes are often found in open areas near rivers and lakes. They are very common at the mouths of rivers and form in areas with mineral soil that drains very slowly. The water in freshwater marshes is usually one to six feet deep and is rich in minerals. Water flows into marshes from rain or from a water source like creeks, streams, or rivers.

In the United States, the biggest freshwater marsh in the United States is the Florida Everglades (in southwestern Florida).

The Florida Everglades is the single largest marsh system in the United States, occupying almost 10,000 square kilometers. Much of the land has been lost to development, but 4,200 square kilometers have been preserved, much of it as sawgrass marshes. The Everglades are threatened by altered water cycles caused by human development, drainage for development and polluted agricultural runoff.














American Crocodile

American Alligator

White Tail Deer

Bald Eagle

Great Blue Heron

Cotton Mouse


Wild Hog

Green Tree frog

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Food Web

Primary Producers

Florida Golden Aster

HighlandScrub Hypericum

Floating Bladderwort

Butterfly Orchids


Key Deer

Eastern Mud Turtle

Salt Water Tomminow

Secondary Consumers

West Indian Mantaee

Atlantic Salt Marsh Snake

Sothern Tesslated Darter


Florida Black Bear

Florida Panther

American Crcodile

American Alligator





Human Impact On Fresh Water Marshes

Human Impacts:

Positive:humans protect the animals that live in the everglades and make sure they stay alive.

The everglades also help the economy because it is a huge tourist attraction and makes lots of money.


Over the past hundred years, the Everglades has been suffering from pollution, water loss, loss of habitat, and loss of wildlife. All of these are mostly caused by the federal government.

The Everglades are a natural region of wetlands running from Lake Okeechobee into the Gulf of Mexico. It is sometimes called the "River of Grass." It is very shallow and is about 50 miles wide. It is home to more than 350 species of birds, 40 species of mammals, and 15 endangered animals. All these habitats depend on the water cycle. Since the 1940s, developers have been draining the Everglades. Now at least 1.7 million acres have been drained which is almost half of the Everglades.

There has been many negative effects on the wildlife since the draining. The number of wading birds have been reduced by 90%.The manatee, the Cape Sable seaside sparrow, the Miami black-headed snake, the wood stork, and the Florida panther are all at risk of extinction.

Endangered Indian West Manatee Classification

Description: West Indian manatees are large, gray aquatic mammals with bodies that taper to a flat, paddle-shaped tail. They have two forelimbs, called flippers, with three to four nails on each flipper. Their head and face are wrinkled with whiskers on the snout. The manatee's closest relatives are the elephant and the hyrax (a small, gopher-sized mammal). Manatees are believed to have evolved from a wading, plant-eating animal. The West Indian manatee is related to the West African manatee, the Amazonian manatee, the dugong, and Steller's sea cow, which was hunted to extinction in 1768. The average adult manatee is about 10 feet long and weighs between 800 and 1,200 pounds.

Apex Predator Classification

Apex Predator: Florida Panther:\

Kingdom - Animalia

Phylum - Chordata

Subphylum - Vertebrata

Class - Mammalia

Order - Carnivora

Family - Felidae

Subfamily - Felinae

Genus - Puma

Species - concolor

Subspecies - coryi