Big Cypress National Preserve

It’s rare to see an unfiltered night sky in many parts of Florida. Artificial lights in highly populated areas, like Fort Myers or Miami, cover up views of constellations and the Milky Way. But, Big Cypress National Preserve in Ochopee is now an “International Dark Sky Park.” That means the preserve removed unnecessary lights. And the ones they kept were changed to be “night sky friendly” by using different bulbs or making the lights point down to the ground, rather than up to the sky.

A federal court judge in Fort Myers ruled against a consortium of Environmental advocacy groups Monday in a lawsuit against the National Park Service and a Texas oil company.  The lawsuit was an attempt to prevent seismic testing for oil and gas reserves in Big Cypress National Preserve

Big Cypress National Preserve is now internationally known as a “Dark Sky Park.” That means it’s lessening light pollution to preserve the night sky in parts of Collier, Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties. 

A Trip Back In Time: Big Cypress National Preserve

Aug 24, 2016
Amanda Rabines

Inside of a cypress swamp, in the Big Cypress National Preserve, the elevation slowly drops and visitors making their way inside the wetland may easily find themselves in knee-deep water --water that is so clear you can see your legs, or any other creatures swimming by, but muddy enough at the bottom, you lose sight of your feet.

“Some people have an image in their head, they hear ‘swamps’ and they think dark scary place,” says Lisa Andrews, ranger at Big Cypress National Preserve. “When they come here, they see for themselves how beautiful it is.” 

HistoryMiami

Today, we celebrate the historic centennial of the National Park Service, one of our country’s crowning achievements and a model of conservation and preservation that is used all over the world.

 

In Florida, we are a fortunate enough to have 11 national park sites. Each is unique to our area and each is deserving of national park protection. And this centennial year we’ve had some incredible victories on behalf of some of our parks right here in South Florida.

 

National Park Service centennial birthday cake.
Alyssa Méndez Batista

The National Park Service turns 100 years old next year.

 

To celebrate, Miami-Dade County partnered with award-winning photographer Clyde Butcher to showcase some of South Florida’s national parks in photographs throughout Miami International Airport.

 

In the South terminal, a gallery of black-and-white photographs highlights different landscapes from the Everglades, Biscayne National Park and Big Cypress National Preserve.

Creative Commons via Flickr / Erik Cleves Kristensen (https://flic.kr/p/puLn7s)

In a new report from the National Park Service, almost 3 million people walked, boated, bird-watched or were dragged by a parent to one of the four national parks and reserves in South Florida: Big Cypress, Biscayne National, Dry Tortugas and Everglades.

Stephen Meszaros

Big Cypress National Preserve runs over 729,000 acres in Collier County and bits of Monroe and Miami Dade counties. The preserve is applying to be an international “dark sky park.” There are only 20 in the world. A "dark sky park" is a place where humans get clear, starry scenery, and nocturnal animals, like the endangered Florida Panther, see better.