Audubon has worked for over a century to protect and restore America's Everglades. Famous for its abundance of bird life, the Everglades has faced many challenges. From the murder of Audubon Warden Guy Bradley by plume hunters as he fought to protect some of the Everglades’ iconic species, to the nearly devastating changes from the 20th century attempts to ditch, dike, and drain the watershed for development and agriculture, Audubon has led an unprecedented ecological intervention.
Audubon's work to restore the Everglades is focused on implementing the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan and other restoration projects to achieve ecological benefits and restore the characteristic abundance of wildlife. Our science and policy staff work together to advocate that sound science underpins plans for restoration and that projects stay focused on birds as a measure of success. The Audubon of Florida state office and Florida’s 44 chapters work with other partners and local, state and federal decision makers to build widespread support for the largest ecosystem project underway in the U.S.
Here are some of the overall goals of Audubon's Everglades work:
· Restore freshwater flows to Florida Bay through Everglades National Park (ENP) to improve the conditions for the Roseate Spoonbill and other wading birds by reversing the effects of harmful flood control and water supply projects.
· Improve the hydrology of the Northern Everglades while improving the quality of water entering Lake Okeechobee, using the Southern Bald Eagle as an indicator of progress toward reaching these goals.
· Manage Lake Okeechobee in a way that balances the needs of consumptive users and the environment and reduce pollutants flowing south from Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades Agricultural Area. Restore flows through the Water Conservation Areas that connect Lake Okeechobee and ENP using the Everglade Snail Kite, Roseate Spoonbill, and other wading birds as indicator species.
· Protect and restore the watershed of Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, the Big Cypress National Preserve and surrounding areas in the western Everglades. Restoration and conservation activities in this area, which is a key part of the native habitat for the Wood Stork, can be measured by that species’ population in the region.