Thursday, November 17, 2016

So. FL Trip #6: Florida’s Everglades National Park from Space

There's a lot happening in the Everglades with efforts to save them, and enhance the flow of water that has been cut off by development. Here's a new article from NASA with satellite imagery to give you an idea of what's happening. -

Florida’s Everglades National Park from Space

Florida’s Everglades National Park is not your ordinary protected area. Its unique ecosystem is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, an International Biosphere Reserve, and a Wetland of International Importance. But the region has long been shaped by people, and in a network of ecosystems like this, the effects can be felt inside and outside the park.

November 2, 1985
Yucatan Peninsula and other areas of the Caribbean, and quite different from other wetlands in the United States,” Trexler said. “There are no other karstic Caribbean wetlands as large as the Everglades.”

The Everglades were once much larger. They drained wide, shallow, slow-moving sheets of water through a range of ecosystems from Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River Floodplain, all the way to Florida Bay. But throughout the 1900s, people drained areas for agriculture and development and started building structures to manage the water for a growing coastal population. A small fraction of the original Everglades was designated as a National Park in 1947. “People have been building canals and levees in the Everglades to divert water and store the wet-season accumulation for use to recharge urban aquifers to the east during the dry season,” Trexler said. “These features are clearly visible in both images, and are the focus of efforts to restore the ecosystem and regain ecological functions lost by compartmentalizing and diverting water from large areas.”

acquired October 17, 2014
Researchers have shown that freshwater diverted from Shark River Slough, for example, can reduce the amount of freshwater that reaches Florida Bay. Less freshwater, in turn, affects the salinity and biology in coastal areas. When these images were acquired, South Florida was late in the wet season, which runs through November. Water depths in both images were about average for the time of year.

Satellite View Shows Changes
Many of the canals and much of the urban growth started before the advent of Earth-observing satellites, but there are still notable changes to the landscape since 1985. The tan-colored area of urban development (Homestead) east of the park has expanded. A series of large green areas also show up in the 2014 image, forming a nearly straight line along the western side of the developed area. Trexler notes that these are water retention areas, created to hold freshwater and create a barrier to seepage from the Everglades out of the park.

Inside the park, you can see a green patch of vegetation called Pine Island (also the location of the park headquarters). Other bright green areas in the 2014 image are restoration areas. These are areas where there was a large-scale removal of invasive plants and the natural wetland habitat was restored. 

NASA Earth Observatory images by Jesse Allen, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey. Caption by Kathryn Hansen with image interpretation by Joel Trexler.

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next