If seeing the Everglades is not on your bucket list yet, it definitely should be. Only about half its original size, the 1.5 million acre wetland known as the Florida Everglades is a unique subtropical environment that is found right here in the United States. Sadly, much of the area has been lost due to development.
Most people think of the Everglades as a swamp or wetland, but it is actually a shallow slow-moving river. The river travels through the lower half of Florida south to Florida Bay. Native Americans living in and around the river called it Pahayokee (pah-HIGH-oh-geh), meaning grassy waters.
Sawgrass is the ever-present plant that gives the grassy waters its name, though it’s not a true grass. Sawgrass (Cladium jamaicense) is actually a member of the sedge family, characterized by sharp teeth along the edges of each blade. Saw grass is so sharp it can cut through clothing.
These grassy waters provide a home for a huge variety of plant and wildlife not found anywhere else. Many of these species like the Florida panther, American alligator, and West Indian manatee call the Everglades home. There are also more familiar animals, like the white-tailed deer and rabbit that have adapted to living in the watery environment.
The Everglades is the only place where the American alligator and the American crocodile coexist in the wild. The warm shallow waters of the Everglades attract many different birds, reptiles, and amphibians. In Everglades National Park, which only protects about a fifth of the Everglades, more than 360 different species of birds have been sighted.
Constantly changing due to the environmental factors of South Florida, the Everglades contains a rare mix of salt and fresh water. This allows the area to host a habitat for a large variety of plants and animals in the Everglades. It is one of the most significant corridors for migrating species, and it is home to the largest mangrove ecosystem in the Western hemisphere.
Discover this vast wilderness of the beautiful ecosystems of the Everglades in an airboat that can move easily through its shallow waters. With Cypress Outdoor Adventures, a private Everglades tour in Fort Lauderdale gives you a trip customized to your special interests. Call us today at 954-906-0940 for an exciting tour with experienced guide licensed by the USCG, Captain Bill, or book your Everglades adventure online.