Thursday, March 19, 2015
Everglades degradation comes from at least three anthropogenic effects.
Before I explain the anthropogenic effects, consider the following definitions. From past experience, I understand “degradation” to mean “take away, deplete, or reduce.” So, throughout Florida history, people took away or removed resources from the Everglades. “Anthropogenic” can mean “man-made” or “an activity of man.” Therefore, you can restate the paper’s argument like this: there are at least three man-made activities (behaviors) that depleted the Everglades.
The first man-made activity that started the degradation of the Everglades was wide-spread canal-building. In about a 115 years, from 1900 to today, Florida’s population went from about 500,000 to more than 17.8 million people (Everglades 1, slide 28). As waves of new-comers settled into Florida, they needed a place to stay and work, and food to eat. So, around the 1880s, developers embarked on a program to remove the muck (really, peat soil) from Florida’s wetlands for the purposes of “agriculture and navigation (Everglades 1, slide 37).” Around this time period for example, developers drained water from a “channel connecting Lake [Okeechobee] to Caloosahatchee River (Everglades 1, slide 37).” The short term impact of this channel drainage: the canal builders dumped the fresh water into the ocean, a waste of a useable resource as drinking water (Everglades 1, slide 37).
The canal-building boom proceeded in distinct time periods, known as phases. The 1880s started the “Lake Okeechobee Phase (Everglades 1, slide 38).” During this phase, Florida got permission to develop many acres of land from the federal government. As a consequence, drainage took place around the Lake Okeechobee (Lake O) area (Everglades 1, slide 38). The next phase was the “Muck Canal drainage phase (Everglades 1, slide 39).” From 1905 to the 1930s, developers removed tons of peat...