The Everglades is a beautiful but delicate ecosystem. It has seen many changes over the years with the development of the agricultural and coastal industries. Those developments have led to a decrease in water quality, bringing in many pollutants that have negatively impacted its ecosystem. Both plant life and animal life are now seeing the consequences brought in by human interference. Fort Lauderdale Airboat Rides offer the best way for you to discover this beautiful natural reserve. We allow you to discover the Everglades while making as little impact on the environment as possible. In this article, we want to raise your awareness of the biggest threats to our favorite part of Florida.
As mentioned above, the decline of water quality is one of the most significant factors contributing to the deterioration of the Everglade’s environment. The ecosystem relies on freshwater for both its plant life and animal life. The expansion of urban and agricultural areas is a threat to it. Pollutants and fertilizers have primarily contributed to lowering the water quality, which harms the Everglade’s native plant and animal species. Without maintaining a certain quality, large parts of the Everglades are at risk.
The decline in water quality means some of the native animal species are now being threatened and endangered. The food chain is a delicate balance. Affecting the smallest animals has had a direct repercussion on the other animals further up the food chain. Fortunately, efforts are being made to limit those pollutants and redirect fresh water to the Everglades. Fort Lauderdale Airboat Rides will offer you the chance to witness some unique animals native to the area. Such tours will only open your eyes to the importance of maintaining the Everglade’s ecosystem.
Water quantity is also essential for Fort Lauderdale Airboat Rides
Another simple but significant threat to the Everglades is the quantity of fresh water available to the area. The first half of the 1900s saw the creating of structures that have interrupted the natural flow of water from Lake Okeechobee. The construction of dikes and water canals have diverted that freshwater from taking its natural course. Instead of flowing through the marshlands, the water now goes through canals, dams and flows directly to the ocean.
While we built those structures to avoid flooding of human-built areas, they have reduced the amounts of fresh water essential to Everglade’s delicate ecosystem’s well-being. Plants and animals that usually thrived on such freshwater have seen a decline, only due to the absence of said water. Fortunately, projects like the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) are slowly restoring the water flow to fix the Everglades. Full restoration of how the Everglades once were is impossible, but efforts to maintain and possibly revert some of the damages are feasible. It takes a lot of forward planning, resources, and hard work, but good is being done to right our wrongs.
Invasive and exotic species
Those plant and animal species are partly due to human interference and partly due to the new unnatural ecosystem changes over the years. Exotic plants have thrived by taking advantage of abnormal changes to the Everglades environment. On the other side, invasive species come to the Everglades from Africa, South America, and Asia over the years. Those species are threatening the native animal population to the point of endangerment. They disturb the food chain and can also have a destructive influence on plants and even some human-made structures.
Conservation efforts exist to remove non-native species and re-introduce native ones. The restriction imposed on certain areas allow those animals to repopulate again. The great news is that those efforts are bearing fruit. For example, the Florida panther population is slowly increasing again, after once being on the verge of extinction. You can still witness incredible native animals such as the American crocodile, the American alligator, and maybe even the Florida Panther. Fort Lauderdale Airboat Rides are the perfect way to experience those majestic creatures, showing the Everglades is still an area of incredible discoveries.
The Everglades’ well-being is vital to us, and our captains will teach you more about Florida’s most fascinating ecosystem. To discover more about the Everglades, why not book your airboat tour today? You can witness this natural reserve’s beauty firsthand and understand why conserving and the Everglades is so important.