Welcome to my Website and Blog Our Wetlands in Florida. This site is meant to inform readers about the importance of wetlands or land that is partially or fully submerged in water for most of the year. Florida was once mostly a wetland consisting of swamps, marshes, estuaries and shallow bodies of water south of Orlando that flowed south towards the Everglades. Wetlands in Florida and in other states filter and clean the water we drink, and provides a healthy habitat for wildlife. Included in this blog/website are photos of parks, preserves and wildlife that depend on healthy wetlands. Browse around to the different posts and pictures by clicking on one of the recent posts, categories or the archives. I have included many links to other websites if you want to learn more about a specific topic. The pictures are originals that I took with my digital camera unless otherwise noted. Click on pictures for larger images. Comments are appreciated and make a blog more interesting to readers. Thanks for visiting. – Dave Zuhusky
Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation Observation Tower
The Sanibel & Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) is dedicated to the conservation of coastal habitats and aquatic resources on Sanibel & Captiva Islands. The SCCF manages over 1,300 acres of land on the islands and owns an additional 500 acres on nearby Pine Island. The SCCF Marine Laboratory conducts research on areas including seagrasses, mangroves and harmful algal blooms, fish populations and shell-fish restoration. SCCF’s RECON (River,Estuary, and Coastal Network) network of seven in-water sensors provides real-time hourly readings of key water quality parameters over a 90 mile area.
The SCCF also offers educational programs for people of all ages from beach walks to boat tours, wading trips, kayak trip tours and classroom based activities. There is a great trail to hike and walk where you will see a lot of the native trees, plants and wildlife from the islands. The SCCF’s 4 miles of trails also has an observation tower where you can see a large part of the preserve. The visitor center has a touch tank of marine life, butterfly house and nature shop. The SCCF also has a Nature Plant Nursery with a wide variety of plants for sale. www.sccf.org
click on image for bigger picture
Turtles at Six Mile Slough Preserve
A wetland is an area that is covered by water part or most of the year. A swamp is a good example of a wetland because it is submerged most of the year by rainfall, sheet flow of water or underground springs. Marshes are wetlands that are covered by water for a shorter period of time and may be dry for part of the year. The Everglades National Park or “River of Grass” in Florida is one of the best known examples of wetlands because its ground is covered with water for most of the year. Soils in Wetlands are called hydric or alluvial which means they are covered by water most of the year and thus have different kinds of plants and vegetation. Other types of wetlands may be called marshes, estuaries bogs, bayheads, cypress domes, stands and sloughs, or wet prairies. The Univ. of Florida IFAS does a lot of research into the ecology of wetlands and have a good description of wetlands and their importance. The picture shown above is a pond at Six Mile Cypress Slough in Ft. Myers. A slough is a slow moving swamp channeling the water downstream.
Pond at Six Mile Cypress Slough – click on picture to enlarge
Our Wetlands which are composed of Estuaries, Marshes and Swamps are vital to the health of Florida. Our Wetlands help to let rainwater seep into the ground and recharge our aquifers where we get much of our drinking water. With a population of 19 million people in 2014 and growing fast we cannot jeopardize our health and future water supplies by over developing the land with impervious surfaces like roads, parking lots, residential and commercial developments. We need to keep green spaces likes parks, marshes, swamps, lakes and other areas alive and growing in number to support ourselves and our important habitats for wildlife. The University of Florida IFAS has a good website describing basic facts of wetlands. You can scroll through this website and see various kinds of wetlands.