Additional Information:
Fishing Regulations
Lodging Information
Everglades History
Everglades Nat'l Park

Marjory Stoneman Douglas during a trip to the Everglades in 1930
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Everglades National Park

The harmful side effects of dredging and draining were apparent early in this century. In 1928 landscape architect Ernest Coe began a concentrated effort to designate a "Tropical Everglades National Park." His persistence paid off when he and others persuaded Congress to designate the Everglades as a national park in 1934. It took park supporters another 13 years to acquire land and secure funding.

In 1947, Marjory Stoneman Douglas would publish The Everglades: River of Grass, a work that would come to greatly influence the public perception of the oft-misunderstood region. That same year, Everglades National Park officially opened, marking the first large-scale attempt to protect the area's unique biology.

Today, the park comprises a vast wetland wilderness unlike any other in the world. Despite these efforts, degradation of the ecosystem continued. Burgeoning land development and speculation schemes in the 1960s led to the partial draining of the Big Cypress swamp. Gradually scientists and the public came to realize that the Big Cypress watershed was the key to the survival of the Everglades and the integrity of the entire South Florida ecosystem.

In 1968 plans to create a jetport at the swamp’s eastern edge sparked a movement to authorize a national preserve. The establishment of Big Cypress National Preserve in 1974 signaled an important compromise between pro-development and pro-conservation groups. Today the preserve protects the natural, scenic, and hydrologic resources of the area, while providing recreational opportunities not normally found in a unit of the national park system.