There are no other Everglades in the world. They are, they have always been, one of the unique regions of the earth; remote, never wholly known. Nothing anywhere else is like them."
― Marjorie Stoneman Douglas
America’s Everglades are in danger, and we’re running out of time to save one of the most ecologically diverse biospheres on the planet. So what’s the issue? Why can’t we just restore the Everglades and ensure it’s survival for generations to come? Read more about that.
The Everglades comprise the largest subtropical wetland ecosystem in North America and are recognized as one of the most important on the planet. They are a World Heritage Site and an International Biosphere Reserve.
It’s why we fight so hard.
For centuries, people have viewed swamps and wetlands as obstacles to avoid. But for photographer Mac Stone, who documents the stories of wildlife in Florida’s Everglades, the swamp isn’t a hindrance — it’s a national treasure. Through his stunning photographs, Mac shines a new light on a neglected, ancient and important wilderness. His message: get out and experience it for yourself. “Just do it — put your feet in the water,” he says. “The swamp will change you, I promise.”
A conservation and wildlife photographer from Gainesville, Mac is helping to rewrite the negative narrative that is so commonly tied to the swamps and wetlands of America’s Everglades. A globally-renowned photographer, he is a fellow with the International League of Conservation Photographers and is the author of Everglades: America’s Wetland.
Home to more than 80 endangered species of plants and animals, this unique and endangered ecosystem also provides the drinking water supply for nearly 8 million Floridians.
A vast watershed that has historically extended from the Upper Kissimmee chain of lakes, through Lake Okeechobee and south to Florida Bay the Everglades watershed refers to the interconnected ecosystems of water, land, and climate spanning nearly 18,000 square miles. A large, diverse and complex region including 16 counties, from Orlando in the north to
the Florida Keys, this one of a kind ecosystem supports mangrove forests, nursery and nesting conditions for many species of birds, fish and invertebrates, and sustains seagrasses and aquatic life critical to the survival of the Everglades.
The Everglades includes freshwater marshes and swamps, rivers sloughs and springs, hardwood forests and hammocks, pine flatwoods and rock land, scrub, sandhills, prairies and savannas, mangrove swamps, lagoons, estuaries, and bays. These ecological systems are dynamic, always changing due to environmental factors ranging from geologic elements, climate, water levels, and the frequency and severity of storms and fire. These fluctuations help sustain and transform flora and fauna of these fragile yet resilient ecosystems.
Few places are as biologically rich as the Everglades ecosystem, which hosts a vast array of plants and animals adapted to a wet, subtropical environment. Nearly 45 species of mammals, hundreds of fish species, and thousands of invertebrates inhabit the Everglades and related bays, coastal estuarine, and offshore areas. More than 50 kinds of reptiles and 20 types of salamanders, frogs, and toads live in the watershed. An astonishing 350 species of birds have been recorded sharing a home with alligators and the black bear. Sadly, many species are on the decline including endangered species such as the Florida panther, wood stork, and West Indian manatee. The mix of salt and freshwater makes it the only place on Earth where alligators and crocodiles coexist.