The Everglades, spanning the southern tip of the Florida peninsula,
is the largest remaining subtropical wilderness in the United
States. It is actually a river, or wetland, featuring broad,
shallow, slow moving water. Some call it a big swamp.
Nicknamed "the river of grass," the Everglades is home to an
unusual plant called sawgrass. In some areas, the water is barely
visible because the sawgrass is so thick.
Known for its rich animal and plant life, the Everglades is the
only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles exist side
by side. It is a refuge for large wading birds, such as the roseate
spoonbill, wood stork, great blue heron and a variety of egrets.
Featuring temperate and tropical plants, the river holds mangrove
and cypress swamps, pinelands and hardwood hammocks.
On December 6, 1947, President Harry S. Truman dedicated the area
as Everglades National Park to ensure protection of its unique plant
and animal habitats. The park is home to many endangered species,
including the Florida panther.
Today, the real Everglades is one half its original size. Both
federal and state governments are committed to restoring and
protecting this national treasure. There is only one Everglades.
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