FIGURE 1–1 Greater Everglades ecosystem. SOURCE: USGS, 2002a.

In the mid-1880s, Hamilton Disston, the heir of a Philadelphia family fortune, saw the future of the region in the production of fruits and vegetables to be shipped to burgeoning East Coast cities (Trustees, 1881). He spent a decade ditching, draining, clearing, and planting over 50,000 acres north and west of Lake Okeechobee. He and his crops would have had a virtual monopoly in the northern winter markets, but the economic conditions following

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