What We Do to Protect the Everglades

FL Panther

The Everglades watershed--a unique aquatic ecosystem spanning more than 18,000 square miles--stretches from just south of Orlando to the Florida Keys. It is an ecological hotspot to thousands of species, 68 of which are either threatened or endangered--including the snail kite, Florida panther and manatee.

Currently, less than 50 percent of the original system remains intact.

The Everglades face many natural stresses including fires, hurricanes, floods and droughts. In addition, this watershed has to combat man-made threats such as pollution, development and the continuing consequences of a multi-decade effort to achieve flood control--all of which are exacerbated by global warming.

To protect the Everglades, the National Wildlife Federation works to...

  • Secure funding and ensure implementation of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) - Congress passed the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) in 2000, putting in motion the largest ecosystem restoration project in the country. At a current estimated cost of $10.9 billion, CERP is projected to take 35 years to complete. The goal of CERP is to "get the water right" by delivering water to the natural system based on historical flows. With Florida particularly vulnerable to the impacts of sea level rise, restoration is critical to minimizing the effects of global warming on the Everglades now more than ever.

  • Enforce the law to protect the wetlands and endangered species of the Everglades - NWF, along with its partners, works to ensure that development and restoration projects in the Everglades region follow Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act requirements.  Since 2003 NWF has been challenging two separate development projects that threaten the Cocohatchee Slough, core foraging habitat for the endangered wood stork.

  • Collaborate with our affiliate, Florida Wildlife Federation, to protect and restore the Everglades - The Florida Wildlife Federation represents "thousands of concerned Floridians and other citizens from all walks of life who have a common interest in preserving, managing, and improving Florida's fish, wildlife, soil, water, and plant life." 

 

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