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Lord, 1993). The project then partitioned the remaining northern sawgrass and wet prairie (Figure 1-1) into conservation areas (Figure 1-2), separated by levees, designed primarily for water supply and flood control, with some provision for wildlife habitat and recreation. The Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) was created just south of Lake Okeechobee (Figure 1-2), facilitated by the construction of a dike spanning the entire circumference of the lake.
These and other projects were undertaken primarily for flood control, to support agriculture, and to provide dry land for development, and they have led to severe ecological consequences. Currently, by comparison with the earliest available estimates of the ecosystem and its components, populations of wading birds have declined by 85-95 percent; 68 plant and animal species are threatened or endangered; over 1.5 million acres are infested with invasive,
FIGURE 1-1. Historic and current Everglades vegetation. Source: Galloway et al., 1999.