Swamp before canals
And strands reigned supreme

Canals are easy to ignore …

They are hair-line thin compared to the greater watershed.


This report challenges the old view

But a closer look reveals that canals and levees have played an oversized and often ignored (or at least under-appreciated) role in how water moves in the Big Cypress Swamp. For much of its history, the Preserve has been long imagined to be carved in the shape of a rain driven watershed, thus making it relatively immune to outside hydrologic alterations to the North, West and East.  In recent years, a paradigm shift has re-cast the Preserve in the new light that it is only “rain driven” because everything else (i.e. the North West and East) has been boxed out or drained away.  The imperative of this new paradigm is clear: Hydrologic restoration is vital to the ecological health of the preserve. 

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