10 Disappearing Destinations: Everglades National Park, Florida

June 8, 2012 by staff 

10 Disappearing Destinations: Everglades National Park, Florida, Climate change, deforestation, rising sea levels and overpopulation are threatening some of the world’s most spectacular natural landscapes. Here are 10 destinations to visit responsibly — or fight for ­— before it’s too late.

America’s largest subtropical wilderness, the Everglades encompasses 1.5 million acres in southern Florida and contains the largest mangrove ecosystem in the Western Hemisphere. It’s a sanctuary for a large number of birds and reptiles, as well as endangered species such as the green turtle, the West Indian manatee and the elusive Florida panther.

Thousands of acres of wetlands are disappearing because of urban development, construction and diversion of water to nearby farms. As a result, these fragile waterways are being swallowed up and the Everglades are now half the size they were in the 1900s. Visitors keen on seeing the River of Grass can opt for a low-impact tour via canoe or kayak. This mode of transportation is eco-friendly and perfect for paddling through shallow mangrove estuaries and cypress swamps.

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