The Beginning — the revival of a moribund ecological system: the restoration of the Kissimmee River


Old winding Kissimmee River
Old winding Kissimmee River and its estuaries supplying freshwater to the prairies, plant and animal life. Aerial. FAU. Public domain

The start of the rescue of the three-part system began with the restoration of the old sinuous Kissimmee River (above) and its network of a similarly sinuous web of estuaries sprouting in every direction, naturally supplying clean water for the surrounding  prairies, ultimately providing  water south  to Lake Okeechobee (“O”).

The first wrong man-made step had been the channelization of the Kissimmee River (above, left) to straighten it, to remove the curves, to restore the old flows (above, right) despite the absence of scientific evidence to substantiate it and without evaluating its effects on the ecology of the Everglades.  The first step in restoration would be to restore the sinuosity of the old River system to bring back the animals lost in the degradation of the prairies.


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