Everglades National Park

By: Ashley Breck

Map Everglades National Park

Park History

Declared a national park on December 6 1947 to conserve the natural landscape and prevent further degradation of its land, plants, and animals under the May 1934 Act of Congress. The park was accepted as a biosphere reserve in 1976. It was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1979, and was designated a Ramsar site in 1987. The total area of the national park was increased in 1989 from its original size to its current size.

Description of Climate

The Everglades is mild and pleasant from December through April. Cold fronts are rare, but if they happen it causes freezing conditions. The average winter temperatures are a high of 77 degrees Fahrenheit and a low of 53 degrees Fahrenheit. Summers are hot and humid, with temperatures around 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and the humidity is over 90%. Afternoon thunderstorms are common, and their are large amounts of mosquitoes. Tropical storms or hurricanes may affect the area, and the rainy season is June through October.

Geological Points of Interest

The Shark Valley Observation Tower offers visitors a comprehensive 360 degree view of Everglades landscapes. The Anhinga Trail, Flamingo Campground, and the Long Pine Key Campground are popular Campground locations. Some Trails on the Everglades include the Bayshore Loop Trail, the Bearlake Trail, and the Bobcat Boardwalk Trail.

Wildlife Present

Alligators-primarily live in freshwater swamps.

Turtles- including the Loggerhead, Green turtle, Leatherback, Kemp's Ridley, Hawksbill

Wading birds- Like warmth and shallow water,have long legs, prefer fish

Manatees- spend up to eight hours a day grazing the waters, can't hear well

Wood storks- serves as an indicator species for restoration of the Everglades ecosystem.

The Great Blue Heron- found along the shores, feeds on small fish, crabs, insects, and shrimps.

Florida's most endangered animal-The Panther- Lives in forests and swamps, and the natural predator is the alligator.

Description of Plants and Trees

Sawgrass- tall, floating aquatic plant that gives the Everglades its signature appearance of a vast and overgrown floating grassy field.

Cypress- most widely recognized tree in the Everglades, because they have "knees" that grow out of the earth. It sheds its leaves in the fall, and can survive standing in water.

Pond Apple- Pond Apple trees also live in small islands along the Everglades. It produces large yellow-green fruit that serve as a food source for some of the animals that live in the Everglades.

Hardwoods- have a dark, gnarly shape.

Mangroves- a keystone plant community of the Everglades.

Problems the Park is Facing

The two main problems are water quality and water quantity. With rapid development on both cosats, and an expanding agriculture industry, the human demand for water is increasing rapidly while the supply is not changing. This leads to less and less water for the Everglades. Drainage is also causing rising salt levels, there is pollution, and the threat of fires.

Outdoor Activities

Activities range from hiking the trails, canoe and kayaking, biking, fresh and salt water fishing, camping in the wilderness, air boat tours, and you can go to the Shark Valley Observation Tower which is outside.

Works Cited

"Everglades National Park." - UNESCO World Heritage Centre. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.

"Everglades - National Wildlife Federation." Everglades - National Wildlife Federation. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2014.

"Trees & Plants of the Florida Everglades." EHow. Demand Media, 06 Mar. 2010. Web. 02 Dec. 2014.

United States. National Park Service. "Environmental Factors." National Parks Service. U.S. Department of the Interior, 23 Nov. 2014. Web. 02 Dec. 2014.

"Top 10 Activities to Enjoy During Your Visit to Everglades National Park."About. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2014