There are no other Everglades in the world. They are, they always have been, one of the unique regions of the earth; remote, never wholly known. Nothing anywhere else is like them
—Marjory Stoneman Douglas
The largest tract of wilderness east of the Rocky Mountains is located in south Florida within Everglades National Park. Simply put, it protects more subtropical land and water than anywhere else in the United States, but such a basic description doesn't offer justice to the poignant significance it offers our nation.
From a biological perspective, it is home to some of the most rare and endangered species in the U.S.: the West Indian manatee, the American crocodile, and more than a dozen others. It is one of the most significant corridors and stopovers for migrating species. And it is home to the largest mangrove ecosystem in the Western hemisphere.
But from a human perspective, this place offers educational, recreational, and inspirational opportunities found nowhere else in the world. NPCA encourages you to visit this place and experience the Everglades in the way that best suits you—whether on a multi-day backcountry trek through the Wilderness Waterway or a casual visit to the park’s many rich wildlife viewing sites. Regardless, we invite you to learn more about this unique American resource, and the threats that face it, so that this "river of grass" flows strong for generations.
—Jeff Bransford, NPCA
NPCA at Work in the Parks
NPCA is working to protect and restore the vast, wild areas of the Everglades by being a leading voice in restoration projects such as the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) authorized by Congress in 2000. NPCA's Sun Coast Regional Office is actively engaged in six key projects to help restore Everglades National Park and fund those restoration projects throughout the region. NPCA’s Sun Coast Region also works on outreach, funding, and conservation projects to protect Florida Bay, an estuary on the southern tip of the park that serves as a marine wilderness and a haven for diverse wildlife.
If You Go
Birds are one of the park's key attractions, and with 366 species to observe, including the stunning roseate spoonbill. Other attractions include boating, snorkeling, camping, and hiking.
Like the "rivers of grass" that dominate the Everglades landscape, hurricanes are a recurring and natural part of the ecosystem in South Florida. Recently, hurricanes Katrina and Wilma devastated the area known as Flamingo in Everglades National Park. All existing structures, including the visitor center, lodge, restaurant, and cabins, were severely damaged or destroyed. NPCA is working to ensure that the redevelopment will enhance the visitor experience, include "green" technologies, and restore the natural habitats of America's Everglades.