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?
Soft-shell turtles may not have the protective hard covering seen on other turtles, but they make up for that with relatively greater speeds in the water. Also, their long noses are well adapted for snorkeling. These amazing animals seem perfectly built for a life in the Everglades!