The Everglades: America's Wetland Heritage

The Everglades: America's Wetland Heritage.
Jennifer Walker
University of Phoenix
October 14, 2010

The Everglades: America's Wetland Heritage.
      We consider our heritage as what we hold on to from the past, what we possess today and what we will gift to those here after us. The natural heritage we possess is irreplaceable and a vital, tangible link to our past, gifted as a legacy especially for our future generations.   There are many natural wonders in the world such as the wilds of the Serengeti, the Tasmanian Wilderness, and the Rain Forests of the Amazon possessing the legacy we bequeath to our children.   World heritage sites are locations where persons from any background can make a link to their past.   Heritage locations do not just belong to the persons who live among them but to anyone that may have an interest in them and that could be anyone in the world (UNESCO, 2009).   North America is home to one such natural wonder: the Everglades National Park at the southern tip of the state of Florida in the United States of America.   Inscripted in 2010 on the List of World Heritage in Danger, the Everglades is a vast, diverse wetland providing critical ecosystem services to the human population.   The Everglades is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States. The wetland is essential to the health and wellness of the continent and all its inhabitants by improving water quality filtering pollutants, absorbing excess nutrients, reducing flooding, and replenishing aquifers.   The Everglades also enjoys recognition internationally as a diverse and rich habitat for extraordinary wildlife including many rare and endangered species.   Surrounded by urban development, the Everglades have suffered from human actions altering the landscape since the 1800s.   Greatly reduced in size, the wetlands faces threats from a combination of agricultural and continued urban encroachment.   Sustaining, preserving, and restoring this geographically local property...