Arial view of Everglades National ParkAmerica’s Everglades once covered almost 11,000 square miles of south Florida. Just a century ago, water flowed down the Kissimmee River into Lake Okeechobee, then south through the Everglades to the flats of Florida Bay – the ultimate destination of the ultra-pure sheet flow.

Dubbed the River of Grass for the sawgrass that flourished throughout the marsh, the Everglades is a mosaic of freshwater ponds, prairies and forested uplands that supports a rich plant and wildlife community. The river spans as much as 60 miles in width, yet is only six inches deep in some places.

Known throughout the world for its abundant bird life, the Everglades is home to several species of large wading birds such as the roseate spoonbill, the wood stork, the great blue heron and a variety of egrets. The Everglades is also home to countless other types of animals, including more than 60 threatened and endangered species. The mix of salt and freshwater makes it the only place on earth where alligators and crocodiles exist side-by-side.

For more information about the Everglades and Its Restoration visit the South Florida Water Management District America's Everglades site.

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