Restoring the Florida Everglades: How the Everglades Wetland Research Park
presented by William J. Mitsch, Ph.D.
The southern tip of Florida, from Lake Okeechobee southward to the Florida Bay, harbors one of the unique regional wetlands in the world. The region encompasses three major types of wetlands in its almost 1 million acre area: the Everglades sawgrass “river of grass”, the Big Cypress Swamp region of cypress sloughs amid pine flatwoods and the coastal mangroves and Florida Bay. About half of the original Everglades has been lost to agriculture (the Everglades Agricultural Area) in the north and to urban development especially in the east and west. Concern for the remaining Everglades has been on the quality and quantity of water delivered to the Everglades through a series of managed dams, levees, canals and water conservation areas. The Everglades is currently the site of one of the supposed largest wetland restoration efforts in the world with a multi-year commitment of $12 billion by the federal government and Florida. The comprehensive restoration blueprint includes plans for improving the water quality as it leaves the agricultural areas and for modifying the hydrology to conserve and restore habitat for declining populations of wading birds such as the wood stork and the white ibis.
Everglades Wetland Research Park, located in FGCU’s Kapnick Center at Naples Botanical Garden, was recently established as a laboratory with a true non-political focus on the health of the Florida Everglades. It is a center for research and teaching of the next generation of wetland scientists related to two questions: How do the wetlands in south Florida function? What are the proper ways to create and restore these wetlands to once again receive their important ecosystem services such as biodiversity, water pollution control, flood and storm mitigation, and carbon sequestration to minimize climate change? Dr. Mitsch shares with us how his research team is working toward these goals in the face of changing climate and sea level rise and how Naples Garden Club can help.
Buehler Auditorium, Kapnick Center @ Naples Botanical Garden
How to Register:
Members: No charge; Non-members: $10
March 3, 2013
No additional information at this time.