• Pa-Hay-okee Overlook


    National Park Florida

Environmental Factors

Florida Bay

Even a small rise in sea level would affect the size, shape, and other characteristics of the basins in Florida Bay.

NPS photo by Lori Oberhofer

The Everglades comprise a vast, interconnected mosaic of distinct ecosystems. These diverse habitats are in a state of constant change, subject to the influences of a full suite of environmental processes. Geology, hydrology, air quality, water quality, fire regime, weather, and climate are but a few of the many natural factors that help shape the development of landscapes in the Everglades. The actions of humans also have a strong influence. The introduction of nonnative species, disruptive water-management activities, the disturbance of natural processes, climate change, and air, water, light, and noise pollution have all worked to undermine the integrity of the historic ecosystem.

Learn about specific environmental factors at the links below.

Air Quality

NPS photo

Air Quality

As a Class I area, Everglades National Park is afforded the highest level of air quality protection by the stringent requirements of the Clean Air Act.

Flooding at Flamingo from Hurricane Katrina

NPS photo

Climate Change

The difference between weather and climate is a measure of time. Climate change refers to changes in long-term averages of daily weather.


NPS photo

Disturbed Lands

Continued population growth and large-scale alteration of the south Florida ecosystem has greatly disrupted the historic order of the River of Grass.

Fire burning in Everglades National Park

NPS photo

Fire Regime

Fire operations, prescribed fire, and fire ecology are combined to maintain natural ecosystems while considering impacts to humans and habitat for threatened and endangered species.

Solution hole in karst

NPS photo


The landscapes we see today in Everglades National Park are the direct result of geologic events of the past and ongoing environmental processes.

Duck Creek hydrologic monitoring station in Florida Bay

NPS photo

Hydrologic Activity

Water quantity and quality are critical to the health of the ecosystems that support the myriad plant and animal species inhabiting the park.

Full moon over Flamingo

NPS photo

Lightscape / Night Sky

Everglades National Park is dedicated to protecting and sharing its nighttime skies for the enjoyment of current and future generations.

Partially cleared melaleuca stand

NPS photo

Nonnative Species

Invasive exotic species are seriously threatening the integrity of native communities in Everglades National Park and in all of south Florida.

Shark Valley Observation Tower

NPS photo

Scenic Vistas

The astonishing and somewhat deceptive flatness of south Florida allows for immense landscapes that are easily viewed with only a slight boost in elevation.

American alligator with mouth open wide

NPS photo

Soundscape / Noise

In national parks, the symphony of sounds is treated as a natural resource that is accorded the same level of protection as any other resource.

River of Grass

NPS photo

Water Quality

Peruse the variety of water-quality publications that are available for download as brochures, fact sheets, and technical reports.

Summer thunderstorm

NPS photo


The characteristic four seasons of the continental United States give way in south Florida to only two seasons: wet summers and dry winters.

Did You Know?