Everglades National Park

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.


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.


UPDATE, Aug. 3, 4:30 p.m.: The South Florida Management District board reversed its decision against tax cuts.

The board held a special meeting on Friday, July 31, where they approved to cut a property tax rate for the fifth year in a row.

Two weeks ago, the board voted 6-2 to maintain the tax rate that would’ve prevented having to rely on the agency’s reserves.

The final vote on the proposed budget will take place in September.

Balthazira / Flickr Creative Commons

A South Florida company is asking for permission to explore the Everglades west of Broward for oil. Environmentalists say it's a bad idea and some experts argue that there isn't enough oil in Florida to make it worth the effort. 

Everglades Bike Path: Yea Or Nay?

Jul 14, 2015
JaxStrong / Flickr via https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

The window for public comment on the latest Everglades tourism project is closing soon. The controversial River of Grass Greenway (ROGG) would be a 75-mile bike path running along U.S. 41 from Naples to Miami.

Ebony Joseph / WLRN

Dozens of activists met outside Miami-Dade County's Stephen P. Clark Center chanting and carrying banners with phrases like “Neverglades or Foreverglades.”  They marched in protest of the River of Grass Greenway (ROGG), a roughly 75-mile bike path planned to run from Naples to Miami alongside the Tamiami Trail (US 41).

The project was proposed in 2006 by a group of cyclists from Naples. In 2010, the National Park Service took a one million dollar federal grant to develop the trail.

Environmentalists Call For End To Sugar Cane Burning

Jun 29, 2015
Richard Riley via Flickr / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Every harvest season, sugar farmers in Florida light controlled fires to burn off the leaves on the sugar cane plant. Only the stalks remain, waiting to be cut down, transported to mills and refined into sugar.

The Sierra Club says the practice is outdated and harmful to public health. The group’s Florida branch recently hosted a Big Sugar Summit in West Palm Beach to call for an end to cane burning.

Daniel Ducassi

President Barack Obama visited the Everglades last week to commemorate Earth Day and to talk about the risks climate change poses to South Florida, the nation, and the world. 

"If we don't act, there may not be an Everglades as we know it," the president said.

The president also used the opportunity to chide Governor Rick Scott for his administration’s unofficial ban of the phrase "climate change."