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Destruction of The Everglades

Destruction of the Everglades

Destruction of the Everglades research paper due and don't know how to start it? How about like this?

The destruction of the Everglades is a tragic story of ignorance and greed, and of man putting his own economic needs above those of the environment and of the plants and animals that he shares the planet with. The Everglades are often described as a "river of grass." That river is 40 miles wide, and travels from Lake Okeechobee to Florida Bay. One writer from Paper Masters writes that the term "river" is misleading because the slope from the lake to Florida Bay is so slight that any given droplet of water leaving Lake Okeechobee would evaporate and return to the "river" some dozen times before it actually reached the bay.

The Ecosystem of the Everglades

The ecosystem of the Everglades always has been determined by the amount of rainfall in any given season and year. Our writer noted that during dry winters, "the river would drop, its waters receding into millions of shallow pools that teemed with trapped fish and were a haven for wading birds, which nested on the temporarily dry ground. In the wet summers the Everglades would again be waterlogged, soaking up trillions of gallons of rainwater like a natural reservoir, filtering it, and slowly discharging to Florida Bay."

It is this rise and fall of the water level that made the Everglades ecosystem unique, and it is this that man has destroyed. "Oscillating on this extreme hydrological cycle, the Everglades offered a particular environment, amenable to a narrow band of plants and animals and utterly contemptuous of nearly all other life forms."

Sugarcane and the Destruction of the Everglades

Over the course of a mere two decades, the pristine wetland that had been the Florida Everglades was all but destroyed in order to accommodate the needs, and in some cases whims, of man. "In the early 1900s, humans started flocking to Florida in record numbers. To make room, government officials sacrificed the Everglades, which was 'seen as a wasteland since it was so wet all the time,' says Charles Lee, senior vice president of the Florida Audubon Society.

If the destruction of the Everglades is to be traced to any single event, it would have to be the draining of the Everglades for its use as land appropriate for the growing of sugarcane. An author writes that sugarcane actually grows only on dry land. It requires constant irrigation, he states, and does not tolerate flooding. Sugarcane grows "best when the water table lies two feet below the soil surface. In the Everglades the water table is two feet above the soil. Or was, before the mid-nineteenth century."

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