The Everglades, rightly called, the “River of Grass”, consists of several interconnected rare ecosystem types like swamps, mangroves, and several islands with rare plants, and is also connected to the marine ecosystem of the Florida Bay. It is one of America’s largest and most threatened ecosystems, and has already been under restoration for almost a decade.
Humans have lived in Everglades, ever since it was an arid landscape and over the years developed into a complex network of ecosystems. Later, when development took over, the water was diverted towards cities. More than 50 % of the Everglades were transformed into cropland, the main crop being sugarcane. Ever since, a battle has been underway between the environment enthusiasts and the development sectors.
Not only is the restoration plan now facing a lack of concern, but also lacks co-ordination and is struggling to receive the committed funds from Congress. Development projects pose major threats. These are the problems faced by most conservation projects worldwide, and thus most of them don’t have a pragmatic impact.
Restoration ecology, is an emerging science, and failure of the largest restoration project in the world would be a disappointment, but more than that the loss of the incredible biodiversity at Everglades would be a dramatic letdown.