Green + Eco-Travel

Travel's Most Endangered Places

by Peter J. Frank

THE FLORIDA EVERGLADES

Where: South Florida

What's at stake: There's a tragic irony to the name—that "ever" part. The "River of Grass" is a fraction of its former size, thanks to irrigation, farming, and development that drains water away from the fragile ecosystem. Despite a massive federal restoration plan passed by Congress in 2000, the glades—home to many important animals and birds, and a place of stark beauty and intense serenity—are disappearing before our eyes. More than half of the original Everglades has already been swallowed up. We can only hope it doesn't end up being called the Neverglades.

Get thee to: Everglades National Park, where development is limited but the human touch can still encroach. Avoid airboat rides and paved-over visitor hubs like Shark Valley, and head instead to the Ten Thousand Islands area on the southwest coast. Rent a canoe at Flamingo Marina and explore the patchwork quilt of waterways and mangrove islands in spooky silence.

For more information: Environment Florida

Everglades National Park
Tel: 305 242 7700

Flamingo Marina
Tel: 239 695 3101

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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