Visit a Florida Wetland on World Wetlands Day
Florida Vacation Guide: Florida Wetlands
If you’re on vacation in Florida, celebrate World Wetlands Day on February 2nd. It marks the adoption date of the Convention on Wetlands signed on on the shores of the Caspian Sea back in February 2nd of 1971. Each year government agencies, environmental organizations, volunteers and citizens of the world try to raise awareness of the importance of wetlands, environmentally and for our own health. From
The importance of wetlands
Wetlands, once drained for farmland and development are now recognized for their diverse ecological and environmental benefits, among them:
- rich wildlife habitat
- flood regulator
- water and pollutant filter
- carbon storage facilities
Restored vs. Original wetlands
To mitigate losses, developers who destroy wetlands are required to create new ones, however, restored wetlands only regain three-quarters of their original biological performance and hold 23 percent less carbon than untouched wetlands.
The Alligator’s Role
During the dry season, alligators play a critical role in providing access to water for other wildlife via their “gator holes” – 20 foot deep mude holes that get filled with aquatic plants and attract birds, turtles and other wildlife.
To find a Florida wetland in your location, visit the University of Florida Wetlands Extension Program for a listing of wetlands in each Florida county.
Everglades National Park
Florida’s most significant wetland is Everglades National Park. The largest subtropical wilderness in the United States is so globally significant that it is a World Heritage Site, International Biosphere Reserve and Wetland of International Importance. From mangrove and coastal lowlands to hardwood hammock and freshwater slough, there are nine distinct habitats within the park.
What’s your favorite wetland in Florida?