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Everglades: Management
Settlement and farming in South Florida have dramatically altered the historic Everglades ecosystem. Half of the original Everglades have been removed. Much of the water that once flowed through the region has been diverted for many different uses.

In the past few decades, people have begun to notice the environmental impacts of removing the Everglades ecosystem from South Florida. Now private and government agencies are fighting to protect the Everglades. However, this protection may not be as simple as pumping water back into the area. There are many complicated issues that need to be addressed before the Everglades can be restored. One issue is when and how much water should be directed into the Everglades. If the cycle and amount of restored waterflow do not resemble the natural flow of water through the Everglades, then the restoration efforts will not succeed in returning the Everglades to their original wetlands state. 

Another issue complicating the restoration of the Everglades involves the change in ecosystem habitat from terrestrial to wetland. As the Everglades shrank, terrestrial species such as the endangered Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow and the Florida Panther moved in. The restoration of the natural flow of water through the Everglades may destroy their habitat and/or the habitat of their food resources.

A third issue to consider is the human factor. Farming and the continued expansion of cities are essential to human life in Florida. These activities require water. Restoring the Everglades may ultimately mean a decrease in available water elsewhere.

 

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