Everglades National Park

Kate Stein / WLRN

Are you a South Floridian who's been meaning to explore the Everglades, ride a boat on Biscayne Bay or trek through Dry Tortugas... but just never gotten around to it?

Well, now you're out of excuses. This weekend (April 22 and 23), you can visit South Florida's three national parks for free. It's part of National Park Week, which goes through Sunday. And the celebration includes abundant activities to highlight these natural, national treasures.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Seagrass in Florida Bay has died off rapidly over the past couple of years. About 40,000 acres have been lost, harming the habitat of animals from manatees to toadfish and imperiling the area's fishing industry.

Kate Stein / WLRN

If you scoop a glassful of water from the heart of the Everglades, that water is as pure and clear as the water that flows from your tap.

That’s because chances are good your tap water comes from the Everglades.

One in three Floridians -- more than eight million of us -- gets drinking water from the Biscayne Aquifer a few feet below the southeastern Everglades. The ecosystem acts as a natural filter, removing excess nutrients and keeping out seawater.

Kate Stein / WLRN

Let’s start with what we’re losing: 

One of the most biologically diverse places on Earth, from sawgrass to cypress trees, apple snails to alligators. The historic home of Florida’s Miccosukee and Seminole tribes. A national park.

The ecosystem that ensures fresh drinking water for more than 8 million Floridians.

Everglades advocate Marjory Stoneman Douglas talked about all this in an interview in 1983.

Everglades NPS via Flickr

A hidden military base. Python catchers from India. Galápagos tortoises and a world-renowned herpetologist. It sounds like an Indiana Jones movie.

But it's all tied to a mystery of the Everglades -- one that will be on display during an event in Homestead on Saturday, Feb. 25.

Martin County Health Department

A bill to build water storage reservoirs south of Lake Okeechobee was introduced in Florida’s legislature on Thursday, formalizing a controversial plan by Senate President Joe Negron.

Florida's Natural Filter: Everglades National Park

Aug 24, 2016
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Inside of The Everglades National Park  - deep into the Gumbo Limbo Trail - the namesake trees are jokingly referred to as "tourist trees" because the Gumbo Limbo is red and has peeling bark, like a sunburn. 

It's a hot August day - 91 degrees - and the humidity is palpable. More than one million people visit the Everglades every year, but silence is still a distinctive feature of this 1.5 million acres of protected wetlands. 

What else stands out along the hiking destination? The water here.

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.

 

The Secret Science Of Water In South Florida

Aug 4, 2016
Kate Stein / WLRN

Scientists at the South Florida Water Management District are offering a behind-the-scenes look at their work on water control and protection.

They’re having a poster exhibit at the district’s West Palm Beach headquarters. The 24 posters on display cover everything from phosphorous removal to restoration of tree islands… and yes, a lot of research that’s way more complex than that.

The Man Behind The New Everglades Forever Stamp

Apr 15, 2016

The National Park Service is turning 100 this year. To celebrate, the Postal Service created a set of Forever Stamps showcasing 16 national parks. One of them is Everglades National Park. 

The photographer of the Everglades stamp is Miami native Paul Marcellini. We spoke with Marcellini about the immortalization of his photograph. 

Can you tell me about your history with the Everglades?

In the Florida Everglades alligators are in trouble. The reptiles are scrawny, weighing 80 percent of what they should. The alligators grow slower, reproduce less and die younger.

Researchers are trying to understand why the Everglades' iconic species is in decline and what it means for the ailing river of grass.

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.

Balthazira / Flickr Creative Commons

Everglades National Park is finalizing a plan that’s designed to update the way it is managed.

Some key changes to how the park will operate include different zoning regulations, which in some cases have eliminated the use of airboats.

The park worked on these rules for 12 years. It'll be the newest set since 1979.

"There's been significant changes in the recent decades since the last plan," says Fred Herling, Everglades National Park planner. "Population growth, demographic changes, new technology, new exotic plants and animals."

Bob Krist / Florida Keys News Service

Everglades National Park has released its first new management plan since 1979. The plan, which should take effect in about 30 days, includes some new rules. That includes rules for Florida Bay, the estuary at the south end of the park.

Florida Bay is a famous fishing ground. In one of the plan's biggest changes, more than 100,000 acres will be set aside as "pole and troll" zones — areas where boats could not use motors. The aim is to protect the shallow seagrass beds from propeller scarring.

Miami Herald

When you think of oil production in the U.S., it's perhaps along with images of oil wells in Texas or North Dakota, maybe Alaska. It's not something associated with travel logs of Florida.

Yet, there is oil drilling in the Sunshine State -- about 2 million barrels a year. And that is truly a drop in the bucket compared to the total amount of oil consumed in this country on a daily basis.

Pages