The Everglades were once what Peter Matthiessen called "The last real frontier" of the United States. The dense brush and uncharted Ten Thousand Islands made it a perfect hideaway for outlaws and drug runners.
In the past century it has been threatened with drainage to produce farmland. Lake Okeechobee has been diked and canals have been made. The flow of fresh water through this vast expanse has been challenged repeatedly, but it managed to survive. The Native Americans of this area have been removed and many species of the climate are now endagered.
In 1947 the Everglades National Park was founded. Now the plants, animals, and geography of the land is protected under the law. Groups, such as Friends of the Everglades, are fighting to improve what is left from the damage created earlier in the century.
Everglades National Park is now home to nearly 58 different varieties of tree snails and 200 species of birds. It is the only place to find the single species of stork and crocadile in the US. Its the unique home were the Snail Kite, Bald Eagle, manatee, and Florida Panther live in a single area.
This is a truely unique area, with a juxtaposition between the gulf beaches, mangrove swamps, and Marjory Stoneman Douglas's "River of Grass".