Florida Coastal Everglades Long Term Ecological Research
Florida Coastal Everglades LTER - Everglades History and Culture
Everglades History and CultureEverglades History and Culture

Everglades History and Culture

External Links

      "Through the years, colorful characters have populated, explored, plundered and preserved South Florida. Some historical figures include the people of the Glades, who migrated to the lower peninsula at least 11,000 years ago; Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon, who came to Florida searching for the Fountain of Youth, eventually dying from a native's arrow; and Black Caesar the pirate, who ambushed sailing ships passing his refuge at present-day Caesar Creek. Nineteenth-century South Florida welcomed naturalist John James Audubon and 20th-century Florida would not be the same without writer and conservationist Marjory Stoneman Douglas." (American Park Network)
      A simple time line demonstrates that although native peoples have inhabited the Everglades since 10,000 B.C., the destruction of Everglades really only began in the 1800's when settlers realized the potential for making money on South Florida land deals and agricultural products. This time line has been modified from work done by Meghan Risser, with the UM School of Communication, in connection with The Water Project: Oasis in Crisis project. We invite you to learn more about the history of the Everglades by following the time line and by exploring our listings of external Everglades history and cultural links. Please note that these links are on websites outside of the Florida Coastal Everglades LTER website and will open in a new window.
3000 B.C
The increasing climate of the Post Glacial period led to the development of the subtropical terrain in the Everglades such as the cypress swamps and hardwood forests.
The first settlers arrive to South Florida from Europe.
1845 Florida becomes a state!
The destruction of the Everglades begins. The potential of South Florida’s land does not go unnoticed for long. The potential for making money essentially begins the draining and dredging projects of the South Florida wetlands.
The success of the drainage system proved the land around Lake Okeechobee to be productive for both sugarcane and rice crops.The City of Miami was officially founded.
With the enactment of a board of drainage commissioners from the Florida Legislature, the Everglades Drainage District was established.
1917 Four canals, dissecting the Everglades were created.
Sugar cane, one of the first crops grown commercially in the Lake Okeechobee area flourished, creating an increase of commercial agriculture activity. The increased activity elevated the population to 2000 residents.
Existing canals were deepened and water control structures were constructed in major canals.
1.3 million acres were dedicated to the Everglades National Park, by President Truman. Making it the first national park established because of its biological wonders.
The Everglades were divided into three Water Conservation Areas upon the completion of a system of canals and levees.
The Friends of the Everglades was established by Marjory Stoneman Douglas.
The spread of cattails, a breed of weeds that thrives on phosphorus, across the northern Everglades was a result of the decision to pump storm water from the Everglades Agricultural Area into the Water Conservation Areas, instead of Lake Okeechobee.
Authority was given to the State Department of Environmental Regulation to protect wetlands and surface water of the state for public interest, by the Warren Henderson Act in Florida.
Worried about the restoration and protection of the Everglades, the Everglades Forever Act was enacted by the Florida Legislature. In order to improve water quality in the Everglades, it was mandated by the act that Stormwater Treatment Water Areas (STAs) were to be constructed. Over 20 years the sugar industry agreed to pay $320 million, while the taxpayers were expected to pay the rest.
President George W. Bush and Florida Governor Jeb Bush signed an agreement on January 9 providing a total of $7.8 billion for the Everglades restoration project. The federal and state governments will share the cost.

Other LTER sites:
Website Map Privacy Policy  | En Español
National Science Foundation logo This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation through the Florida Coastal Everglades Long-Term Ecological Research program under Cooperative Agreements #DEB-1832229, #DEB-1237517, #DBI-0620409, and #DEB-9910514. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
Please address questions or comments about this website to: fcelter@fiu.edu.
LTER Network logo