Big Cypress Half
And why it's so important to the larger whole

Someone I greatly admired told me:

“We can’t spend 100 percent of our effort on half the problem and expect to solve the problem.”

Listen to the song

More specifically, he was talking about Everglades Restoration and the need to spend more time, energy (and yes money) on fixing the hydrology of the Big Cypress half. Part of the issue stems from how Big Cypress National Preserve and the larger Big Cypress half of the pond has been framed. Long perceived as an separate and isolated watershed from the Everglades to the east, there is growing recognition that the Big Cypress Swamp and the Everglades — and most of all the restoration of all the freshwater and estuarine habitats they contain and feed — are tied together at the hip. The good news: The tide seems to be turning. And just in time. With all the success being achieved in other parts of the Everglades, the Big Cypress Swamp is the new and important frontier for getting the entire ecosystem right.

As for the video: It’s an interview about a song I wrote at the retirement of a long-time ranger who worked at Everglades National Park and Big Cypress National Preserve. Both the song and the interview explore what I call the Big Cypress Paradox — the contrary state of the swamp being described as so many people’s “favorite part of the Everglades” only to have it drop to the bottom of the list when the restoration money gets earmarked.

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