Carnestown climate change

Here’s two aerial shots of Carnestown.

Where is Carnestown you may ask.

Its essentially the intersection of Tamiami Trail and State Road 29. Everglades City is just a few miles to the south. Back in the day it used to be a busy train depot.

The first photo is looking due north. It’s startling to see how thickly mangroves have moved up from the south.

The second photo is looking east along Tamiami Trail. The black thrush along Tamiami Trail is a sign of brackish water conditions.

Both vegetation types follow the water: in this case sea water, invading upland into freshwater wetlands through canals and into the root zone from below.

The canals not only provide a conduit for saltwater to sneak farther upstream into the interior; by short-circuiting freshwater to tide, they also zap away at the strength of sheetflow that could potentially, if running at full stream, could help keep saltwater intrusion at bay.

Don’t forget that the greater Everglades is already draining less water that it used to — back in the day — because headwater sources have been cut off at the pass and rerouted to the coast (think Caloosahatchee and St Lucie).

So . . . whatever may come in the water of sea level rise:

In the short term, maintaining a healthy and robust sheetflow is one antidote for keeping it at bay.

That means bringing in more water in from the north, and making sure that once it hits the Everglades it stays in the Everglades, instead of leaking away down canals.
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