The Only Place on Earth


“The Everglades was the only place on earth where alligators (broad snout, fresh water, darker skin) and crocodiles (pointy snout, salt water, toothy grin) lived side by side. It was the only home of the Everglades mink, Okeechobee gourd, and Big Cypress fox squirrel. It had carnivorous plants, amphibious birds, oysters that grew on trees, cacti that grew in water, lizards that changed colors, and fish that changed genders. It had 1,100 species of trees and plants, 350 birds, and 52 varieties of porcelain-smooth, candy-striped tree snails. It had bottlenose dolphins, marsh rabbits, ghost orchids, moray eels, bald eagles, and countless other species that didn't seem to belong on the same continent, much less in the same ecosystem.”

But a few “began to wonder if conservation really should mean development more than preservation. These heretics did not believe that God had created man in order to 'improve' or 'redeem' nature; they found God's grace in nature itself.” – Michael Grunwald, The Everglades, Florida and the Politics of Paradise

“We humans have a questionable track record in our dealings with the environment. Recent studies show that complete restoration of Florida’s Everglades could take approximately 30 years and 7.8 billion dollars. There’s a lot of work to be done–but the damage is not irreversible. Together, through conservation and public awareness, we may be able to correct many of these unfortunate trends. Today, it is not enough to just appreciate nature–we have to actively work to protect it.” – Tommy Rodriguez, Visions of the Everglades: History Ecology Preservation

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© 2014 by D.F.G. Hailson