Florida is in the midst of a colossal multi-billion dollar project to restore the Everglades, a flowing, patterned wetland, once larger than Delaware and Rhode Island combined. This comprehensive plan has been clouded by politics and, more important, challenged by the absence of a clear "original conditions" yardstick against which to measure restoration progress.
A group of experts at the South Florida Water Management District have united in an effort to mitigate this dilemma. Using survey notes, historical maps, photos, and firsthand descriptions, they have reconstructed a vivid ecological--and hydrological--picture of the Everglades of the 1800s, before drainage of the swamp drastically altered the landscape. Painstaking documentation and cross-verification of the historic sources (included on a DVD) allow the reader a front-seat view of the process of "forensic" reconstruction.
Landscapes and Hydrology of the Predrainage Everglades advances the science behind Everglades restoration. This landmark work offers an invaluable lens for scientists and policy-makers into the technical aspects of this massive wetland. The work is equally accessible to the layperson, gathering in one volume the many and varied voices of the first Europeans to set foot in the Everglades.