Ecosystems: Marine & Estuarine
Florida Bay, the largest body of water within Everglades National Park, contains more than 800 square miles (2,072 square kilometers) of marine bottom, much of which is covered by submerged vegetation. Seagrass and algae provide shelter and sustenance to numerous marine organisms, which in turn sustain the food chain that supports all higher vertebrates in the bay.
The hard bottom areas of the bay are home to corals and sponges, and lure anglers from around the world to try their luck with rod and reel. A wide variety of commercially and recreationally important fish, crustaceans, and mollusks thrives within the estuarine environment of the Everglades. The continued health of these marine environments is important in sustaining productive fisheries outside park boundaries.
Did You Know?
A pair of endangered wood storks need about 440 pounds of fish during a breeding season to feed themselves and their young. Everglades National Park serves as an important nursery ground for raising their chicks.