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Urban Ecosystems, 3, 305­343, 1999 c 2000 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Manufactured in The Netherlands.

Human­environment interactions in South Florida's Everglades region: Systems of ecological degradation and restoration

WILLIAM D. SOLECKI Department of Earth and Environmental Studies, Montclair State University, 350 Mallory Hall, Upper Montclair, NJ 07043, USA JOHN LONG Population Division, Bureau of Census, Washington DC 20233, USA CHRISTINE C. HARWELL and VICTORIA MYERS Center for Marine and Environmental Analyses, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Miami, FL 33149, USA EZRA ZUBROW Department of Anthropology, SUNY Buffalo, 380 Millard Fillmore, Ellicott Complex, Buffalo, NY 14261, USA with TOM ANKERSEN University of Florida, School of Law, Center for Government Responsibility, 230 Bruton Gear, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA CHRISTOPHER DEREN Everglades Research and Education Center, P.O. Box 8003, Belle Glades, FL 33430, USA CAMILLE FEANNY Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Miami, FL 33149, USA RICHARD HAMANN University of Florida, School of Law, Center for Government Responsibility, 230 Bruton Gear, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA LEWIS HORNUNG U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, Jacksonville, FL 32232-0019, USA CELESTE MURPHY¶ Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Miami, FL 33149, USA GEORGE SNYDER Everglades Research and Education Center, P.O. Box 8003, Belle Glades, FL 33430, USA


whom correspondence should be addressed. address: Harwell Gentile & Associates LC, Coconut Grove, FL 33133. Current address: World Wildlife Fund, 1250 24th Street NW, Washington, DC 20037-1175. Current address: CNN Environment Unit, 1 CCN Center, NW, Atlanta, GA 30303-2762. ¶ Current address: Florida Gulf Coast University, 10501 FGCU Boulevard South, Ft. Myers, FL 33965-6565.




Abstract. This chapter examines the societal drivers of environmental change in South Florida's Everglades region during the past 150 years. This historical geography is developed through the use of a conceptual framework constructed to facilitate the analysis of human­environment interactions and nature­society systems of ecological degradation and restoration at the regional scale. The framework is composed of four basic interlinked components: interaction mechanisms (e.g., land use, direct resource utilization, pollution and external inputs, resource competition), feedback mechanisms (e.g., basic needs, quality of life, environmental ethics), control systems (e.g., governmental regimes, legal institutions, resource management), and the societal context (e.g., population and demographic patterns, social structure and organization, technology, economic conditions, societal values). A primary objective of this chapter is to determine the presence and importance of each of these components during the process of environmental change over the period of study--1845 to 1995. Data for the analysis are drawn from primary and secondary sources on the environmental, social, economic, and political history of South Florida. The results indicate that although elements of each component were present throughout the entire period, different elements of each component play more significant roles at differing moments. The shifts in importance are used to define four periods of environmental change within the region. The periods are the following: (1) frontier settlement (1845­1900), focused on basic needs acquisition and direct utilization of the resource base; (2) drainage and land conversion (1900­1930), focused on population and economic growth, land use change, and increased resource management and competition; (3) flood control and consolidation (1930­1950), focused on inputs from external sources and infusion of advanced technology, the development of governance and social structures, and increased concern for quality of life; (4) postwar boom, flood control, and water supply (1950­1970), focused on accelerated land use change, increased pollution, and further heightened concern for local quality of life; and (5) period of limits (1970­1995), focused on pollution and resource competition concerns, a developing regional environmental ethic and amenity values, and environmental preservation governance strategies. Taken together, the five periods represent the differing nature­society systems through which South Florida's regional ecosystem was degraded and which is now entering a phase of restoration. Keywords: predrainage Everglades, geologic and climatic process, regional hydrology, natural disturbances

Introduction Although humans have inhabited South Florida for millennia, the population densities and basic subsistence life styles of the indigenous peoples had minimal effect on the dynamics of the natural system. The narrow coastal zone, an area preferable for settlement, was separated topographically from the natural Everglades by the almost imperceptible Atlantic Coastal Ridge that divided the coastal and Everglades watersheds. The Everglades were impractical for most human uses, as they were regularly subjected to flooding and fires, had too many mosquitoes, and would have required extensive drainage. From 1900 forward, the opening up of eastern South Florida by the construction of the coastal railroad and the initiation of major drainage activities led to a rapid increase in the manipulation of the South Florida ecosystem by human activities. Population settlement, hydrological reengineering, land conversion, agricultural expansion, and the burgeoning economic activities of South Florida were to transform much of the Everglades ecosystem. Beginning in 1900, South Florida underwent one of the fastest sustained population growth spurts of any part of the U.S. in history, increasing an average of over 100% per decade for the next six decades. In the process, roughly half the land was transformed to agricultural and urban uses. Simultaneously, the hydrological system in South Florida was altered by a series of water management features diverting much of the water that previously had gone into the natural system for the human system through a network of canals, levees,



and retaining ponds. In the process, the Everglades were transformed from a natural system into one that would be human dominated. This chapter introduces a conceptual framework of societal­ecological interactions. The objective of the framework is to facilitate analysis of the process of environmental change in a regional setting. Once introduced, the framework is then applied to a historical geography of ecological degradation and restoration in South Florida. General conclusions and notes for refinement of the framework and the account are presented. Conceptual framework for societal­ecological interaction To analyze the societal­ecological linkages in the South Florida/Everglades system requires a paradigm that facilitates the explanation of environmental change in a local ecosystem dominated by the human societal system (Keyfitz, 1994; Pickett, 1993). Traditional biologically based views of the ecosystem have been one-sided, viewing the ecosystem in isolation from human influences (Batisse, 1986). For example, in South Florida, the ecological sustainability goals for the Everglades National Park were formulated to achieve the most natural condition, protecting and sustaining critical ecological structures and processes that constitute the essence of the Everglades, without primary regard to effects and implications for the human sector. When human society is considered in these biological approaches, it is often within the context of the Malthusian view of population and resources. Under this view, the natural system has a certain carrying capacity. Population pressure on fixed natural resources is viewed as a major cause of environmental degradation. A leading formulation of this approach views society's adverse impacts on the environment as a function of population, affluence, and technology (Ehrlich et al., 1977). Following a strict interpretation of this perspective, any increase in population, rise in standard of living, or advancement in technology has negative effects on the environment. Many social scientists tend to reject the basic tenets of this view. After long and frustrating attempts at determining "optimal population size" during the 19th century, social scientists are particularly wary of a notion of "carrying capacity " for the human population. Some scholars view population growth as a positive factor in economic development (Simon, 1981) or at least as an impetus for innovation and technological development (Boserup, 1981). Although most social scientists accept the general principles of neoclassical economics that a market economy can substitute alternatives for natural resource scarcity caused by increased population demand, they recognize that population growth may have substantial negative effects on the environment since many factors may prevent the market from operating efficiently (Bilsborrow, 1992; Jolly, 1994). Current market mechanisms may not price resources efficiently to allow for the needs of future generations (Repetto, 1987). For other social scientists, the importance of institutional, social, political, and cultural factors overwhelm both natural resource and market issues in determining the real effects of human society on the environment (Blaikie and Brookfield, 1987; Murdoch, 1980). The emphasis of most of the social­ecological paradigms on the global or national scale makes them largely unsuitable for regional studies. Such a broad-scale approach makes research hypotheses hard to formulate and leads to ignoring factors such as the geographic



and social distribution of population and economic resources and their environmental implications. An emphasis on Biosphere Reserves and their surroundings requires local and regional rather than global approaches. With the exception of some descriptive studies done by anthropological human ecologists and political ecologists, local approaches are especially underrepresented in social/environmental research, and this notable lack has led to recent exhortations to "think globally and research locally" (Hogan, 1992). Traditional societal­ecological paradigms are limited with respect to the needs of this project. First, they are basically anthropocentric, i.e., concerned with the effects of environmental degradation on the societal sphere. Most focus primarily on the subsistence agriculture sector and on such human concerns as the degradation of agricultural land, deforestation, and water usage. Each of these concerns is treated in terms of their effects on humans (e.g., human health, or agricultural and labor productivity) and not in terms of their effects on the natural system per se. Even the more recent environmentally sensitive literature has been couched in the language of "sustainable development"--still a humancentered approach that views management of the environment as a means to continuing development of the social/economic system (Archibugi and Ninjkamp, 1989; Clark and Munn, 1986; Costanza, 1991). Since the focus of this project is on the sustainability of the natural system in the context of a human-dominated system, a model that treats both human and ecological sustainability is needed. Such a combination is particularly necessary in the "human-dominated system" that has an urban center close to a Biosphere Reserve. Consequently, we have adopted a dual approach that provides for overlap between the urban and ecological systems. Many discussions within the U.S. Man and the Biosphere (US MAB) project challenged the specific disciplinary paradigms, rejected narrow technical issues within given fields, and substituted a generic framework that permits a true interdisciplinary approach to each topic. The resulting general framework provides a checklist for the important factors to be addressed in each research project, although it does not provide a specific analytical model (most of which require the acceptance of specific disciplinary paradigms). It also should be noted that the framework was specifically developed for the understanding of the South Florida/Everglades system and should not be seen as a general framework (e.g., those produced by Blaikie and Brookfield, 1987; Burch, 1988; or Gunderson et al., 1995) that could be transferred easily to other sites. (Note: For a fuller discussion of the specificity and limitation of the proposed framework, see C. Harwell et al., this volume.) The analytical framework proposed owes a considerable intellectual heritage to ecologists from both the sociological and biological disciplines (e.g., Hawley, 1950; Odum, 1973), but with a sufficiently broad scope to permit inclusion of other concepts that may not be incorporated in human ecological models. This framework includes both natural and social orientations by expanding upon early human ecologists' paradigms such as Duncan's (1959) emphasis on population, organization, environment, and technology. The proposed framework (figure 1) views the interactions between the human population and the natural system as mutual. In one direction, the human system affects the natural system through various interaction mechanisms. In the reverse direction, we have identified feedback effects by which the natural environment supports, similar to Odum's concept of "nature's subsidies," and benefits the societal sector. The societal sector can be divided into a social context module and a control module that includes institutions that regulate the interaction of the human sector and the natural sector.



Figure 1.

Framework of human­environment interaction.

Interaction mechanisms The human system can affect the natural system through one of four interaction mechanisms: land use, direct utilization, external inputs, and resource competition (figure 2). Each of these mechanisms has its own characteristics in terms of permanence, reversibility, and breadth of effect. Land use Conversion of land from its natural state to human uses is the most permanent and often irreversible effect that humans can have on the natural landscape (Jolly and Torrey, 1993). Once land has been converted from its natural state to either agricultural or urban uses, it has been essentially removed as a habitat for most species except those specifically cultivated or nurtured by humans or those that can adapt to the radically altered environment attendant with human settlement. The radical alteration of the landscape leads to a markedly different human-dominated environment. The process of transformation from natural to agricultural to urban (and occasionally in the reverse direction) provides an important part of the analysis of societal­ecological interactions. These transformations are particularly important within the context of Biosphere Reserves (Walker et al., 1996). The very creation of the Biosphere Reserve requires some accommodation in decisions about land use for human and natural sectors. For example, the creation of the Everglades National Park required the acquisition of land to be dedicated



Figure 2.

Societal, environmental, and demographic interactions in South Florida.



to the natural system. In surrounding buffer areas, land may or may not remain in a natural state, but it should be used in a manner compatible with protection of the core. Direct utilization Land can remain unconverted but still be affected by direct human uses. Such uses include hunting, harvesting, fishing, recreation, and even mineral extraction. These uses take place without permanent human settlement but often with substantial impacts on plant and animal populations. Some major threats to species extinction in the Everglades from direct utilization are illustrated during the early 20th century when plumage hunters around Flamingo at the southern tip of the Everglades depleted massive flocks of wading birds (Tebeau, 1990), or later in the century when motorboat users scarred and killed manatees cruising near the surface of the water. Today, the Everglades Biosphere Reserve is limited to such direct uses as daily recreational use and fishing. These involve human activities that take place directly in the Biosphere Reserve and depend on careful management to minimize impacts on the environment. While almost any human use has some degree of negative impact on the pristine state of the ecological system, these low-impact uses may serve as opportunities for the public to experience the resource. Through this experience the public will come to value the resource personally, thus becoming a feedback mechanism providing a very important source of support for the maintenance of the Biosphere Reserve. Pollution and external inputs External inputs from the societal system to the natural system occur when by-products of human activities are transmitted to systems where they do not naturally occur. Pollution and fire resulting from human activities are the most common forms of external input. Harmful residuals of both productive and consumptive activities can have major negative effects on the natural ecosystem. In a well-designed Biosphere Reserve, the buffer areas should prevent much pollution from entering the core. However, in the Everglades, where the surrounding agricultural and urban areas often come right to the park boundaries, the damage from such pollution can be significant. For example, even where there is the buffer of the Water Conservation Areas, phosphorus runoff from the Everglades Agricultural Area and Lake Okeechobee have increased the cattail (Typha latifolia) population, at the expense of the natural historical sawgrass (Cladium jamaicense) communities, in the northern portion of the Everglades. Toxic chemicals such as mercury and environmental hormones (i.e., partially degraded products from organic chemicals used for pest control) may be responsible for contamination and reproductive effects on fisheries and wildlife. Another type of external input is the introduction of nonnative (exotic) species. Human introduction of exotic plants and animals either for decorative and domestic use or as direct attempts at habitat transformation can over time cause major transformations to the natural ecosystem. The introduction of Schinus terebinthifolius (Brazilian Pepper), Melaleuca quinqueneruia, Casuarina equisetifolia (Australian Pine), and other exotic species into the South Florida environment may have been more destructive to the Everglades environment than the chemical pollution often blamed for environmental degradation.



Resource competition Often the human sector and the natural sectors compete for the same resources. A prime example is the competition for water. Human diversion of water from the natural system for reasons of drainage, flood control, or water supply can reduce the viability of the natural system. This competition can occur in normally wet areas as well as in arid regions. In the Everglades, use of water by agriculture or for urban water systems and diversion for flood control limits the availability of water flow into the Everglades Biosphere Reserve compared to predrainage inputs. To the extent that protection of water for the natural system is perceived as promoting the well-being of the human system as well (in that storage capacity of the Everglades adds to the protection of the urban and agricultural water supply in South Florida), these interactions may lead to increased societal support for the maintenance of the natural system. But when the water control needs of society (or part of society) conflict with the supply of water to the natural system, the ecosystem's sustainability may be severely threatened as conflicts over resource allocation occur. Feedback mechanisms The social costs or benefits of attaining a sustainable ecological system can be measured by the feedbacks such a system provides to the human system. The feedback effects include the supply of basic needs, improvements in human quality of life, and the satisfaction of an environmental ethic (figure 2). Basic needs The natural environment provides the basic needs for sustenance of the human sector, either directly or indirectly by transformation or import from other natural environments. These needs range from food and shelter to water supply and sources of income. Where the natural environment can provide those needs without land transformation, there is a vested interest for the human sector to preserve the land. When higher returns can be obtained by transforming the natural sector to human uses (agricultural or urban), then the natural environment is imperiled. In South Florida, only a fraction of the basic human needs of the area's population comes directly from the local environment. One case where the environment does provide these basic human needs is the protection that the preservation of the upper Everglades provides for the water supply for agricultural uses and for the urban population. Continual replenishment of the aquifer from the Everglades is necessary to provide freshwater and to prevent saltwater intrusion. Equally important, indirect provision of basic needs comes from the dependence of the local tourism-based economy on a healthy ecosystem. The Everglades provides a natural attraction for tourists going to regional parks, the surrounding recreational areas, and to the fishing areas of Florida Bay. The importance of tourism for the South Florida economy cannot be overestimated. Quality of life The natural system's principal feedback now may be the maintenance of quality of life in the region. Local residents receive significant benefit from the recreational opportunities, scenic



attractions, and the preservation of open space and wildlife. Much of what makes South Florida a uniquely attractive place in which to live comes from the moderating climatic effects of a naturally wet Everglades. Scientists have debated over the past several decades the implications that the loss of the Everglades would have on South Florida's climate (Kushlan, 1987; Walter et al., 1992). Even if local-scale climate shifts did not occur, there is good reason to believe that a large-scale loss would markedly degrade other aspects of quality of life in the region, such as from loss of recreational opportunities. Environmental ethic Perhaps the most difficult feedback area to measure is one that might be called the intergenerational equity associated with the preservation of environmental quality. This area of feedback would come from the satisfaction of the preservation of an area even for those who are not currently able to take advantage of its amenities. The establishment of the Everglades as a World Heritage Site is an example of the high value placed on this resource by segments of society that are unlikely to benefit directly from the resource. This type of value is noneconomic; it is rather ethical and spiritual and reflects positive feedback from "doing the right thing." South Florida is currently in the midst of a path-breaking attempt to reverse years of environmental damage. The ecosystem restoration project of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the 1996 Farm Bill, which authorizes the purchase of a portion of the Everglades Agricultural Area to return to water storage and partial restoration of the traditional natural hydrological system at the cost of several hundred million dollars, represent some of the most impressive results that a renewed environmental ethic can have on society (M. Harwell et al., this volume).

Control system The direct mechanisms for the interaction of the human and natural systems discussed above are regulated by many human institutions that we aggregate and refer to as the control system. These institutions include the governance regime, legal institutions, and institutions for resource management (figure 1). Governance regime The governance regime includes formal governmental institutions at all levels, but it also includes the more informal participatory mechanisms and market-oriented approaches that affect human behavior. One major aspect to be investigated is the use of government-sponsored market solutions to many of the adverse aspects of the human­ecological interaction, such as financial incentives to infill urban areas rather than converting suburban land. Legal institutions A specific type of regulation of these interactions occurs within legal institutions. Here we must consider a number of issues, including property regimes, legal constraints, and administrative regulations. Environmental law itself is now a well-developed field, but



consideration must also be given to the broader issues of property law and private property rights. Resource management Clearly, agencies responsible for resource management and regulatory oversight, including national parks, zoning commissions, and water management agencies, play a vital role in regulating the interaction mechanisms between the natural and human systems. Review of the major past, current, and future resource management strategies in water management, land management, planning, and zoning is vital to gaining a complete understanding of the entire system of interaction. For example, the report of the Governor's Commission (Governor's Commission, 1996) recommended changes in water management but linked them closely with changes in urban zoning and planning. Societal context Both the interaction mechanisms and control systems operate within a social context that must be understood if the entire system is to be specified properly. There are five major aspects of the social context: population and demographic patterns, social structure and organization, societal values, technology, and the economy (figure 1). Analysis of the social context does not pretend to cover the entire gamut of societal concerns, but only those that have major effects on society's interaction with the environment. Population and demographic patterns Most discussions and arguments about human effects on the environment focus on the absolute size of the population (Jolly, 1994). For local societal­ecological analysis where spatial issues are paramount, the spatial distribution and settlement patterns of the population are even more important than the total size. Obviously, settlement in the core of an ecologically sensitive area is much more damaging than settlement in the periphery. Thus examination of detailed population trends for distinct areas within and surrounding a Biosphere Reserve is important. In addition, studies of migration patterns should help reveal trends in current and future population growth. Social structure and organization Similarly, demographic, social, and cultural aspects of the population have major effects on the sustainability of the natural system. For example, shifting migration trends can bring in populations that have strong differences in economic and social characteristics. Each new population group may arrive with different expectations about their local and regional environments. A less-affluent group may be far less likely to show environmental concerns if their basic drive has to be for sustenance. These relations are mediated by formal and informal social institutions that emerge and develop within societies and other levels of social organization. Technology Technology has a mediating effect on the interactions between the human and the natural systems. Technology can be negative in its capacity to alter more natural resources and in



its polluting characteristics, or in its ability to permit more people to locate in otherwise undesirable but ecologically sensitive environments (e.g., via air conditioning). On the other hand, technology also provides the capability for changing current methods of human behavior (e.g., recycling), organization (e.g., reducing plastics and paper in packaging), and production (e.g., energy conservation in manufacturing) in ways that minimize the effects of human activity on the environment. In South Florida, the technology of flood control and water management has played a major role in determining human impacts on the environment, as have technological changes in agriculture and urban settlement. Economy The major sources of economic support for the human system determine the range of possibilities for human­environmental interactions. If agriculture and manufacturing are major factors in supporting the region, then agrarian and manufacturing interests will be critical in determining the feasibility of land use changes. Sources of income from outside the region (e.g., international banking), such as transfer payments (e.g., retirement income) and financial remittances from productive activities outside the region, give a much broader leeway in deciding the future patterns of land management and resource use. The environmental effects of current agricultural usage in the core, buffer, and periphery will be determined by crop types, land use, and agricultural practices. Similarly, the major industrial activities in the region (extraction, manufacturing, and commercial activities) will have varying effects as sources of pollution, such as tourism, which affects transportation use. In South Florida, the relative lack of large polluting industries and the presence of significant outside sources of income that are not tied to exploitation or conversion of the local natural sector provide a favorable situation for environmental protection and preservation. Societal values An integral part of the societal context involves trends in local and national environmental values (both those expressed directly and those that form the underlying culture and ideology of the society). Special interest will be shown on the effects of these values and ideologies on sustainability and on the extent to which changes in societal values alter the relative importance of economic and other factors in the social context. Differences in values among various socioeconomic groups and changing environmental values over time have major effects on the long-term sustainability of the ecological system. In fact, a broad societal­ecological approach should also explain the human decision to save the ecosystem as an implicit part of the procedure.

Stages of human­environment interaction At different stages of economic development of settlement, different parts of this model become relatively more important. In the case of South Florida, society's principal interaction mechanisms shifted from the direct use of natural products of the environment to conversion of land from natural to agricultural and urban uses, to redirection of water flows, and finally to external inputs such as pollution from agricultural activities (figure 2).



Similarly, the feedback of these natural changes to the human system also progressed during this period. While the Everglades' relative contribution to the basic food and shelter needs of the South Florida population declined, its importance as a water supply and assurance of quality of life increased. Perhaps more importantly, the uniqueness of the Everglades became significantly more valuable to a society that was developing an ever stronger environmental ethic. A more detailed look at these historical changes over time can be seen by examining several different periods in the development of the societal­ecological interactions in South Florida. These periods and the components of the social model that were most important during each period are as follows: 1845­1900: Frontier settlement--basic needs; direct utilization 1900­1930: Drainage and land conversion--economy; land use; population; resource management and competition 1930­1950: Flood control and consolidation--external inputs; governance; quality of life; social structure and organization; technology 1950­1970: Postwar boom, flood control, and water supply--land use; legal institutions; pollution; quality of life 1970­1995: Period of limits--environmental ethic; governance; pollution; resource competition; values 1845­1900: South Florida as frontier The natural system of South Florida, in comparison to other areas of the eastern U.S., remained relatively unaffected by humans until late in the 19th century. Because it was a hostile, swampy wilderness off the path of western human migration, South Florida was one of the last frontiers in the eastern U.S., and it remained sparsely populated well into the 20th century (see Gannon, 1996, for a recent history of this period). Florida was one of the last territories east of the Mississippi River to become a state. When it became a state in 1845, few nonnative inhabitants lived south of Lake Okeechobee, and the entire population of Florida was less than 80,000. Throughout this initial period, several themes dominated the interaction of the natural and social system. The societal context was one of low population and an almost subsistence economy. The control system was relatively weak, with only minimal governance and legal institutions functioning. Society's principal interaction with the environment was one of direct utilization and limited land conversion. The natural system was minimally changed by human activities, with the notable exception of some rapid declines in the bird population caused by plumage hunting. Clearly, the major feedback of the natural system to the human system during this period was the provision of basic needs. The societal context in which South Floridians lived in the late 19th century was that of refuge and subsistence. Both Native Americans and early settlers laid claim to enough land to survive and to provide for their families. Their values centered on self-survival, and little, if any, greater environmental ethic existed among the settlers, who viewed the natural resources as limitless in the context of their own needs (Carter, 1974). Key West



was the largest city and a major stop on the Gulf of Mexico trade route because of its deepwater port, but the island settlement was cut off from the rest of South Florida. Only small settlements dotted the coastline between where the present-day cities of Palm Beach and Miami are located. Native Americans who once inhabited near-coastal or more northerly areas were pushed to the interior of the peninsula during the Seminole Wars from 1835 through 1858, many settling in the Everglades. Writers from the late 18th through the 19th centuries wrote of Florida as a land of great attractiveness and ease of living, though not without the challenge of adventures (Bartram, 1951; Carter, 1974; Willoughby, 1898). Agricultural activities accompanied human occupation of South Florida from the earliest times, most based on introduced plants and animals. Settlers of European descent generally farmed small parcels on the coastal ridges and raised cattle inland. Various native peoples, such as the Seminole and Miccosukee tribes, were known to grow fruits, vegetables, and even some sugar cane (Saccharum spp.) on tree islands in the Everglades (Dovell, 1947). Such farming activities primarily were uncoordinated, independent ventures except for pineapple, sugar, and orange production, which emerged as important crops in the latter part of the 19th century and were mostly shipped to northern U.S. markets (USDA, 1884). Drainage of the Everglades for agricultural development was an early public policy goal of Florida. Governors and legislators were largely wealthy land owners and attorneys who actively pursued direct public and private investment in drainage and land acquisition. Shortly after statehood in 1845, a study was conducted for the U.S. government to determine the feasibility of draining the Everglades. The environmental values of the times are well summarized in this report by consultant Buckingham Smith. While Smith acknowledged the beauty and awe of the Everglades, he reported that "if the visitor [to the Everglades] is a man of practical, utilitarian turn of thought, the first and abiding impression is the utter worthlessness [of the region] to civilized man, in its present condition" (Carter, 1974). However, he also expressed the view that Everglades drainage would enable the cultivation of crops such as tropical fruits and sugar cane that could not be grown elsewhere in the United States. This utilitarian perspective dominated the conceptualization of the Everglades for much of the next century. In 1845, more than two-thirds of Florida's land was owned by the federal government, but the Swamp and Overflowed Lands Act of 1850 transferred ownership to the states of all lands below the ordinary high-water elevation. Under this act, Florida ultimately acquired about 9 × 104 km2 of land for conveyance into private ownership and reclamation. This in turn allowed the states to sell the lands to private interests for drainage and to utilize the proceeds for internal improvements. By virtue of statehood and the public trust doctrine, Florida had also gained title to submerged lands, i.e., all tidelands and lands below the ordinary high-water mark of navigable streams and lakes. This act was the initiation of the long history of water management and drainage in South Florida (Carter, 1974). The development of the State of Florida lands was strongly promoted during the latter part of the 19th century. The Florida legislature immediately attempted to divest itself of title to all of the submerged lands of the state. The swamp and overflowed lands were turned over to a Board of Internal Improvement for disposition. Bankruptcy of a state fund in the aftermath of the Civil War ultimately led the trustees to promote the sale of lands in South Florida to gullible out-of-state investors to save the state from financial bankruptcy (Blake,



1980). For example, in the 1880s approximately 1.6 × 104 km2 of land in the Kissimmee River and Caloosahatchee River basins were sold to a northerner, Hamilton Disston, with the understanding that the land would be drained and made "productive." Disston constructed a series of small canals connecting several lakes in the upper Kissimmee River basin. Wetseason rainfall flooded virtually all of the Kissimmee River basin well into the dry season. The canals were intended to facilitate drainage into the Kissimmee River and ultimately into Lake Okeechobee. Disston created the first direct outlet from Lake Okeechobee to tidewater as a short canal constructed to connect the lake to the headwaters of the Caloosahatchee River. Even given these initial activities, toward the end of the 19th century much of the land cover in southern Florida remained little altered. In most respects, the integrity of the natural Everglades and adjoining watershed areas was still largely intact, and only small areas had been converted to agricultural and other human-dominated land uses. By 1900, probably less than a thousand people lived in the Everglades watershed area south of Lake Okeechobee. 1900­1930: drainage and land conversion begins Beginning in 1900, the construction of a coastal railroad and the initiation of major drainage activities south of Lake Okeechobee led to a rapid increase in the human manipulation of the South Florida ecosystem. Wealthy capitalists within Florida and from northern cities took advantage of cheap land prices and government incentives to establish an extensive agricultural area south of Lake Okeechobee, and coastal resort communities and port cities from Palm Beach through the Florida Keys. South Florida's population increased tenfold between 1900 and 1930, marking the beginning of what would be exponential growth over the next six decades (Marth and Marth, 1993). The beginning of large-scale Everglades agriculture At the turn of the century, the State of Florida wanted to encourage settlement in South Florida but still lacked the money to provide the infrastructure, particularly the water control, necessary for that settlement (figure 3). Therefore the state granted land to various developers or sold it to them at a very low price for the purpose of drainage and resale to would-be settlers (Hanna and Hanna, 1948). Governor Napoleon Bonaparte Broward, a Progressive-Era politician, was elected in 1905 on a platform advocating further Everglades drainage. The institutional mechanism to accomplish further drainage was the Everglades Drainage District (EDD), headed by the governor and cabinet, and authorized to levy ad valorem taxes to finance the construction of drainage works. By 1917, the EDD had completed construction of four major canals from Lake Okeechobee through the Everglades to tidewater: the Miami, North New River, Hillsboro, and West Palm Beach Canals. The canals served two basic functions: drainage of Lake Okeechobee to reduce the frequency and volume of inflows to the Everglades, and direct drainage of water in the Everglades to tidewater. The canals were constructed diagonally across the flow path of the Everglades and served to collect surface water and convey it directly to tidewater. There were no water control structures on these canals. By 1925, the EDD had completed construction of the St. Lucie Canal from Lake Okeechobee



Figure 3.

South Florida in 1900.

eastward to tidewater. Unlike the Everglades Agricultural Canals, which were constructed at least partially along the alignment of natural creeks or rivers through transverse glades, the St. Lucie Canal was constructed through uplands with no natural drainage patterns. It served the single purpose of draining Lake Okeechobee. During these decades, thousands of people were persuaded to buy land in the Everglades for the purpose of farming. Evidence of the potential for farming was drawn from experience gained along the south shore of Lake Okeechobee, where the soil is a mixture of mineral lake sediments and organic matter from submerged vegetation (Snyder, 1994). Reports of the high productivity of these soils probably were accurate; however, only a few kilometers from the lake and extending a hundred or more kilometers southward, the soils are drastically different. Throughout most of the upper Everglades, the soils are derived mostly from the detritus of sawgrass (Cladium jamaicense) and other plants that grew under oligotrophic conditions. This gave rise to very infertile soils which, combined with drainage that often was either inadequate or excessive and with episodic lake overflows, resulted in the failure of virtually all small farms more than a few kilometers from the lake.



There were several corporate farming ventures in sugar cane production during the 1920s (Dovell, 1947). Land and mills for a sugar industry were developed south and east of Lake Okeechobee, around the towns of Canal Point, Clewiston, and Moore Haven. From the beginning, sugar cane quickly became primarily an agribusiness plantation crop, rather than a commodity of family farms. Although several of these ventures failed, they clearly demonstrated the potential for growing sugar cane in the Everglades. In general, the more highly capitalized firms were able to survive the struggles of farming in the region. In the 1920s, the U.S. Department of Agriculture established the Sugar Cane Field Station at Canal Point to make hybridizations for the development of new sugar cane varieties for the Louisiana industry (Herbert, 1971). Later, with the expansion of the Florida sugar cane industry, the Canal Point station would play a major role in increasing productivity through the development of cultivars especially suited to the Everglades. The railroad and the expansion of coastal development The influx of investors changed the landscape and cultures of the small coastal communities as well. Just as some northern capitalists viewed the Everglades as swampland to be conquered for large-scale agriculture, others viewed the pristine Atlantic coastal ridge, with its adjacent shallow waters and barrier islands with broad, sandy beaches, as a tropical paradise that would attract vacationers and seasonal and full-time residents. Consequently, as small agricultural towns cropped up on the south shore of Lake Okeechobee, coastal settlements became cities. The northern capitalists brought railroads, electricity, and other modern conveniences that helped shield residents from the natural environment, permitted them to import supplies more easily, and created a service-based economy that would emphasize tourism and trade. One of the principal and most successful advocates for northern investment in South Florida was Miami's Julia Tuttle. In the winter of 1893, a severe freeze killed citrus crops throughout North and Central Florida, driving citrus producers southward. Tuttle offered Henry Flagler, who was constructing the east coast rail line that had reached Palm Beach, half of her land and convinced other prominent Miami and Fort Lauderdale citizens to do so as well to encourage Flagler to extend his railroad to Miami. Flagler continued the project all the way to Key West, thereby putting in place the technology to aid the expansion and urbanization of the region (Chapman, 1991). Wealthy new landowners settled large tracts of land in South Florida, usually adjacent to rivers leading to the sea (e.g., Henry Ford and Thomas Edison on the Caloosahatchee River, Fort Myers; the Rockefeller family home on the intracoastal waterway in Ormond Beach; in Coconut Grove, David Fairchild and John Clayton Gifford [Gifford, 1972]). These new residents retained strong interests in the maintenance of the natural amenities of the region. Gifford and Fairchild became local civic leaders, as well as internationally renowned conservationists, and influenced the development of conservation ethics in South Florida from the turn of the century until the late 1940s. South Floridians during this early settlement period also maintained a close and direct relationship with the natural environment. Along with the subtropical beauty, they suffered the daily discomfort of intense heat and humidity, mosquitoes and fleas. South Florida was regularly subject to yellow fever epidemics. Major hurricanes in 1906, 1919, 1926, and


Table 1. Population of Southeast Florida (includes current area of Broward, Dade, Monroe, and Palm Beach counties). Year 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 Population est.20,000a 39,073 86,092 228,454 401,600 723,662 1,545,020 2,289,471 3,283,712 4,134,124 Percent growth -- -- 120.3 165.4 75.8 80.2 113.5 48.2 43.4 25.9


a Approximately 18,500 of these residents lived in Key West, Monroe County. Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, U.S. Census of Population.

1928 caused massive property destruction and deaths throughout South Florida (Chapman, 1991). The 1928 hurricane sent water from Lake Okeechobee surging over the existing levees and spreading through the nascent communities along the southeast shore of the lake, killing over two thousand people and destroying homes and businesses and much of the livelihood of the residents (Blake, 1980; Will, 1984). Overall, the period 1900­1930 laid the foundation for the extensive growth and development of South Florida. Despite the impediments to growth from hurricanes, heat, disease, and insects, the development of Miami and Miami Beach in the early 1900s produced a marked increase in the South Florida population to 229,000 by 1930 (Table 1). Most population growth concentrated east of the Atlantic ridge, except for that attracted by the agricultural opportunities in the newly drained portions of the Everglades. Rapid population growth and economic development led to a boom mentality. Resource management and governmental plans encouraged drainage and land conversion. While the region's new residents explored and exploited the natural resources, like Gifford and Fairchild and others, they also planted the seeds of an environmental ethic that would grow widespread in later decades. 1930­1950: flood control and land conservation The period from 1930 to 1950 was one of fundamental restructuring for the South Florida region. The late 1920s and early 1930s signaled the beginning of this significant change. The massive Florida real estate boom was winding down (as punctuated by the 1926 Florida real estate crash), and the agricultural frontier era was closing. In concert with these



Figure 4.

South Florida in 1938.

changes came the devastating hurricanes of 1926 and 1928, and the beginnings of the Great Depression. Restructuring dramatically changed the internal dynamics of the two emerging, yet separate, societal realms within the region: the urban system and the agricultural system (figure 4). These shifts also brought important changes to the nature of the human­environment interaction. They created conditions under which there could be an even greater level of functional separation between the everyday life of both the urban and the agricultural residents and their immediate natural resource base. The shifts also brought dramatically increased natural resource utilization and land conversion, which steadily increased throughout the 1930­1950 period and eventually began to increase dramatically in the 1950s. Applying technology: drainage and flood control as multipurpose water management The natural disasters of the late 1920s led to local outcries for improved protection. These local protests became translated in 1930 into Federal government action as exemplified by the construction of the Hoover Dike on the northwest shores of Lake Okeechobee, and the raising of the existing levees along the southern shores of the lake. The floods of the 1920s



were followed by droughts, soil subsidence, muck fires, and saltwater intrusion during the 1930s. Public well fields along the east coast became intruded by saltwater, and muck fires burned out of control for months in the Everglades. This series of droughts, like the floods of the late 1920s, equally demonstrated problems with water supply in the region. In some respects, the demands for Federal government intervention during this time signaled not only a technological shift in the water management regime but also a shift in the attitudes of local residents. Although concern over natural disasters had long been an issue in South Florida, the contemporary events offered graphic evidence of the region's vulnerability to major perturbations. These disasters led residents and decision-makers to restructure the legal and institutional framework for water management in South Florida and to agree that government agencies should act to prevent damage from future flooding as well as initiate drainage projects (Blake, 1980). The governmental response, to be known as multipurpose water management, brought at least two significant results. On a tangible level, the promise of flood protection meant that the prospects for increased development of the upper Everglades and west of the coastal ridge grew. On a more symbolic level, the societal attitude shift exemplified the recognition that dramatic alterations to the natural system were necessary to meet and allow for growing human demands. Agricultural development and research As the water- and flood-control projects continued throughout the 1930s, another set of technological innovations was applied to resolve a different difficult problem in South Florida: how to farm in a semitropical environment, something largely unfamiliar to U.S. farmers and other U.S. agricultural interests (Derr, 1989). Throughout the 1930s, much was being learned about overcoming the fertility limitations of the sawgrass muck soils through of the efforts of the Everglades Experiment Station in Belle Glade. Vegetable production, in particular, increased as a result of the research done at the station. In 1929, there were approximately 6,900 ha of vegetables in the area. By 1943, vegetables occupied 30,000 ha, which was nearly three-quarters of the total area in cultivation in the northern Everglades region (Elvove, 1943). Livestock production had also been limited by the infertility of the sawgrass soils. Even after overcoming some of the pasture fertility problems, cattle production still was limited by many other problems such as frozen winter pastures, foot rot, anaplasmosis, and extremely severe insect infestations, particularly by ticks (Kidder, 1979). Many of these problems, however, were resolved by the late 1940s with the development of new agricultural fertilizers and pesticides. A primary agricultural sector that failed to change significantly during the period was sugar. Sugarcane production remained constrained from the 1930s through the 1950s by government-imposed quotas (Sitterson, 1953). The area in sugarcane production increased from only 2,800 ha in 1930 to 15,300 ha by 1950. Although Florida sugar producers consistently petitioned the Federal government to increase their quotas, the only suspension of the Sugar Act occurred during World War II (Salley, 1986). Transportation infrastructure Another major development of the 1930­1950 period was the full integration of South Florida into the nation's transportation network. Although the development of the railroads



into the area over the previous several decades had dramatically increased access to the region, during the 1930s and 1940s two other means of transportation developed: all-weather federal and state highways, and airline companies and airports. The earliest major highways into the region were U.S. Route 1, which paralleled Flagler's Atlantic Coast Line railway; U.S. Route 27, a more interior road stretching across the southern end of the peninsula in a northwesterly to southeasterly direction; and Tamiami Trail, which cut east­west at the southern end of the peninsula. These three highways became the main arteries of a denser highway network that was developed during the 1950s and 1960s. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, southern Florida also became one of the birthplaces of the airline industry. By the late 1920s, Pan American Airlines started to make Miami the "Gateway to the Americas," and by 1930, Pan Am was competing with another Miamibased airline, Eastern Airlines (Chapman, 1991). The airline industry increased during the early 1940s, as preparation for World War II particularly affected the South Florida region. Because of the flat terrain and generally favorable year-round climate, Florida became an important area for pilot training. Many airfields were quickly developed and opened just before and during the war. In April 1941, the U.S. Army moved en masse into the Miami area. The Army would soon occupy over 140 hotels as barracks for a variety of Officer Training and Air Officer Schools. Throughout the war, tens of thousands of recruits were trained in the Miami area (Chapman, 1991). Shifts in human­environment interactions As these structural changes were taking place, the region's human population continued to grow, as did its impact on the physical environment. The most significant feature of this impact was continuation of the series of massive canal and levee building and land-draining projects. The work on these projects meant that by the late 1940s the historical path of water flow to the Everglades and South Florida was already dramatically altered. One of the key objectives of the projects remained as before, to prepare land for agricultural production and flood control. These projects enabled the beginning of the large-scale land modification and land conversion process in South Florida. The construction of levees and canals, and the degradation of existing rivers and sloughs, quickly brought dramatic changes to the regional hydrology and ecosystem. In many areas water tables fell, causing the drying out and modification of the soil and of the vegetative cover. Some of these areas were then opened as "reclaimed" land for residential development and agricultural production. The principal areas of initial land modification were directly south of Lake Okeechobee and around some of the developing urban centers. In the emerging agricultural area south of Lake Okeechobee, land in agriculture grew to over 55,000 ha by 1943 (30,353 ha of vegetables; 12,141 ha of sugar cane; 2,024 ha of pasture; and miscellaneous minor crops) (Snyder and Davidson, 1994). By 1938, three other large agricultural districts had been developed on lands just beyond the urban fringe along the Atlantic coast. Winter vegetables, such as string beans, tomatoes, potatoes, and celery, were the dominant crops in the three districts found along the Atlantic coast. Agricultural lands at this point made up approximately 15% of the whole Everglades region (figure 4). Population growth While population growth slowed from the boom years of the previous decades (1900­1930), growth was still substantial from 1930 to 1950. These new in-migrants, along with the



existing residents, were able to take advantage of the emerging technological innovations, such as the promise of flood control. The continued rapid growth of the Miami and Miami Beach area, as well as other locations, helped to bring the South Florida population to more than 400,000 by 1940 and to just over 720,000 by 1950. The new in-migrants included many groups: retirees, workers drawn by the growth in the South Florida economy, and a large number of WW II veterans, many of whom trained in the region and returned after the war to live (Strong, 1991). The 1930s and 1940s are associated with the growth in the numbers of middle-class tourists to the region. Their access was made easier by the increasingly efficient rail, highway, and aviation transportation networks and by effective marketing. Also included in the transient population were migrant farm workers who came into the region during the winter to harvest produce on the interior farms. Possibly hundreds of thousands of African-American and white migrant farm workers came into the region particularly during the Depression-ridden 1930s. A large number of Bahamians also worked on these farms (Carlebach and Provenzo, 1993). The vast majority of the population in the 1930s remained tightly clustered within a few urban nodes located along the Atlantic coast. Only near Miami had the population moved more than several km inland. The amount of the land converted for urban land uses remained small, taking up no more than a few percent of the whole watershed area. During the 1930s, as population growth continued, the urbanized areas remained concentrated to the east side of the Atlantic Coastal Ridge. By 1940, only about 20% of this population was more than 8 km from the coast, based on populations east and west of the current Interstate-95, which largely parallels historic U.S. 1 (Shultz, 1991). During the 1940s, however, this growth began to spread across the ridge, with almost 30% west of this line (Shultz, 1991). Although the agricultural expansion and population growth of this period taxed the likelihood of sustainability of the natural system, a small counter-movement continued to grow that was dedicated to the preservation and restoration of the Everglades. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, conservationists wrote on the human impact on the Everglades and on the need to create a national park. Marjory Stoneman Douglas' (1947) book, The River of Grass, the most famous of these writings, described the environmental degradation that had occurred by that time. In response to these calls, the Everglades National Park (ENP) was created in 1947. This Federal action, supplemented with additional acquisitions for the park, provided a large contiguous land area protected from human encroachment. However, the park only comprised 20% of the original Everglades. Also in 1947, the Everglades Drainage District proposed another series of water supply, flood control, and conservation plans. These proposals included the establishment of Water Conservation Areas, the lease of lands to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for wildlife protection, and the donation of lands to the Everglades National Park. Landed political interests opposed to paying ad valorem taxes for such purposes stymied these plans until a series of hurricanes and storms flooded much of the South Florida area for up to six months in 1947 and 1948. The extensive flooding forced government officials and local residents to revisit these proposals and the future of the Everglades (figure 5). A stage set for growth The late 1940s storms put into play a chain reaction that ironically both helped preserve the land of the Everglades but also seriously disrupted the water supply that sustained the



Figure 5.

Extent of flooding during the 1947­1948 floods. After Light and Deneen, 1994.



natural system. Under congressional authorization resulting from local economic and political pressure, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers established an extensive public works project known as the Central and Southern Florida (C&SF) Flood Control Project. Although a number of drainage projects had been tried in the Everglades area since the early 1900s, the C&SF project was a major turning point for water management in the region. The authorized purposes of the project served objectives beyond flood control and water conservation, including prevention of saltwater intrusion, improved navigation, preservation of fish and wildlife habitat, and water supply for ENP. Although there was no Congressional prioritization of project purposes, flood control and water conservation were generally the guiding principles in project design. The project authorization required the state to establish an agency to represent local interests in the design and financing of the project. This led to the establishment of the C&SF Flood Control District (later combined with the Okeechobee Flood Control District and reorganized as part of the 1972 Water Resources Act to become the South Florida Water Management District [SFWMD]) to serve as the local sponsor for the project. Since 1948, there have been 12 additional congressional authorizations that have added or modified components of the C&SF Project. The project encouraged agriculture to expand further south of Lake Okeechobee and in some areas to the east, as well as the formal creation of the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA). Urban development, assured of flood protection and water supply, would expand rapidly on the Atlantic Coast Ridge and in the East Everglades. Simultaneously, a large part of the historic Everglades was assured of some level of environmental protection in the Water Conservation Areas (WCAs), one of which (Loxahatchee) was leased to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for a national wildlife refuge. Some evidence of the land cover shifts caused by these developments already were apparent by the early 1950s (figure 6). Although the vast majority of land altered by human uses until the early 1950s was the result of agricultural production, the amount of urban land had begun to increase significantly. Much of the increased urban growth occurred in Dade and Broward counties, particularly as in-fill in and around the cities of Miami and Ft. Lauderdale. Another significant trend was that rapid urban growth had taken place in both coastal and noncoastal (i.e., inland) communities. The noncoastal growth was particularly significant because, for the first time, urban land use demand began to out-compete agricultural land use demands over a large area. As a result, farmland was being converted to residential, commercial, and industrial land uses. Possibly in response, new agricultural land was being developed even further inland, moving off the upland pine forests along the coastal ridge into the interior wet prairie and sawgrass marsh areas. The years from 1938 to 1953 also showed a rapid enlargement of the agricultural area south of Lake Okeechobee. Conversion was particularly evident along the major canals (e.g., Okeechobee Canal, the Hillsboro Canal, and the North New River Canal). 1950­1970: rapid growth and environmental degradation The 1950 to 1970 period was one of tremendous growth for the South Florida region. Although earlier decades had greater percentage increases in population, the 1950 to 1970



Figure 6.

South Florida in 1953.

period had the greatest absolute increase in population to date. The agricultural sector also grew dramatically during the period. The value of agricultural product sales in South Florida as a percentage of all farm sales in the U.S. more than doubled from the period 1949 to 1968 (Winsberg, 1991). During the 1950s and 1960s, the South Florida region began to develop much of its contemporary form with respect to socioeconomic conditions and land use patterns. The southeast section grew especially quickly and attained the status of a major metropolitan area. By the late 1960s, the Miami area had gained many characteristics of a large and diverse metropolitan region, even though the major Latin migrations had not yet occurred. For example, in 1966 Miami became home to its first professional sports team, the Miami Dolphins; in 1968, the Republicans held their National Convention at Miami Beach; and in the same year Miami experienced the first in a series of major race riots. By the close of the 1960s, residents and others also recognized that the ecosystem of South Florida was under severe stress.



Population growth and change From 1950 to 1970, the South Florida population increased from three-quarters of a million to just under 2.3 million (Table 1). The increased availability of flood-controlled land was a direct factor in this growth, as were national and international in-migration and tourism, increased retirement incomes, the dynamic growth of South Florida commercial interests, and the growing availability and affordability of air conditioning, which permitted yearround comfortable living. The greatest source areas of in-migrants were the Northeast and Midwest of the U.S. and increasingly from Caribbean and Latin American countries, particularly Cuba. The population growth meant dramatic increases in the local demand for land, much of this in the noncoastal areas. By 1970, almost half the population was located west of Interstate-95 (Shultz, 1991). Much of the housing development to accommodate the region's new residents was in the form of land-intensive, low-rise, single-family dwellings. As the population of South Florida grew, so did the local economy, which was a more service-based economy than many other parts of the U.S. The percentage of South Florida's work force in 1970 employed in service-related industry was several times higher than the national average. The service-based economy was important with respect to the local natural resource demands. Given that the economy had very recently and quickly developed and that integration into the national economy was so complete, South Florida rapidly moved through the stages of development during which populations typically place heavy direct demands on the local natural resource base. For example, by the 1950s, most food for the resident population could be brought in, and heavy industry and concomitant pollution of the environment were very limited. Other than the basic demands for water and land, South Florida's human population could coexist with its environment and did not need to exploit it directly to create economic growth or employment opportunities. Furthermore, the rapid in-migration and emergence of an economy based mostly on federal money transfers, oceanbased tourism, and other services created a society with a heavily urban and coastal-focused consciousness and bias. The South Florida society of the 1950s and 1960s was largely detached from the inland Everglades. Other than tourism to ENP, the Everglades continued to be seen by most residents as a vast swampland filled with alligators and mosquitoes. Most urbanites likely failed to understand the dependence of the growing metropolitan area on this region to the west. Agricultural growth and consolidation Whereas the link of the natural land to the urban realm began to seem weaker, the link was strong in the agricultural sector. Agricultural growth during the 1950s and 1960s was particularly vigorous because of the increased national demand for fresh winter produce, which in the U.S. could only be grown in Florida and a few other extreme southern areas. Markets for Florida's winter vegetables and fruits grew as the region's transportation and product distribution system became more integrated into the affluent markets of the Northeast and Midwest. Residents in these areas increasingly wanted and could afford fresh winter produce (Winsberg, 1991). Also, during this period the definition of two primary agricultural areas--the area south of Lake Okeechobee and the Atlantic Coast Ridge area--continued. The most significant crops grown in the EAA during the 1950­1970 period were sugarcane and a variety of vegetables. Sugarcane became increasingly important, both in number of



hectares planted and in the value of production. Most of the farms in the EAA by this time had become large-scale agribusiness operations. As agricultural production became more intensive and extensive in the EAA, some limitations of the area, such as soil subsidence, also were being recognized. Organic muck soils are decomposed by aerobic microorganisms when they are drained. This loss of organic matter, which comprised the bulk of the volume of the soils of the EAA, resulted in a reduction of the surface elevation, thus giving rise to the term "subsidence." The mucklands are underlain by hard limestone bedrock. Whereas portions of the upper Everglades had predrainage soil depths of over 3 meters, depths of less than 1 meter became common in these areas (Stephens and Johnson, 1951). Before the creation of the EAA, the emphasis of water management had been on drainage only. The rate of accelerated soil subsidence was later recognized to be directly related to the depth of the water table. It was argued during the early 1950s that by creating a water system that allowed for the control of the water tables, soil subsidence could be reduced by maintaining water tables as high as are compatible with crop production. It also was recognized that some soils in the Everglades already were too shallow over bedrock to sustain agriculture over a long enough period to pay for the water control project, or were of a physical composition that was unsuitable for agriculture. The EAA boundaries were drawn to exclude these soils, which were instead included in the adjacent WCAs. The impetus for the Everglades to become the greatest cane sugar­producing area in the U.S. was the Cuban Revolution in 1959. At that time, sugarcane production in the Everglades occupied 19,000 ha and was processed in three mills. The U.S. had depended on Cuba to supply a large portion of the nation's sugar demand, but the embargo of Cuban produce after the Revolution and the tariff rate increases on imported sugar ended that. Coincidental with the embargo was the influx of Cubans to Florida. Many were experts in all phases of cane sugar production, and a few also had the wealth and expertise to invest in Florida's cane suger industry to help meet the domestic demand. Sugar cane production increased spectacularly. By 1963 there were 55,800 ha of sugar cane in the Everglades, which increased to 92,000 ha by 1965, 121,000 ha by 1979, and 162,000 by 1987 (Salley, 1986). The increased opportunity for sugarcane production came at the expense of other EAA agricultural activity, particularly the cattle industry, which declined significantly during the 1960s. Finishing a human-dominated hydrologic system Increased demand for Florida's agricultural produce and in-migration during the 1950s and 1960s further pushed the demand for increased water supply and flood control. A primary priority in design and construction of the Central and South Florida Project was the Eastern Protective Levee. The intent of the levee was to prevent floodwaters in the Everglades from flowing east toward developed areas. The creation of the levee established a physical and psychological boundary between the remaining natural Everglades and developed areas to the east. (For the most part, the levee still serves this function, with a notable exception being the "8.5-Square-Mile" residential area and the Rocky Glades Agricultural Area in southern Dade County where development has occurred west of the levee.) The levee was located some 8 to 15 km further west of the normally flood-free area. In this newly bounded settlement area, the population was for the first time guaranteed protection



from floods. The result was substantial population movement west of the Atlantic coastal ridge into the Everglades. On the other hand, the limitation of settlement to areas east of the levee has had much the same effect as the establishment of the park, i.e., preserving large quantities of land in the former natural hydrological system from the incursion of human settlement or agriculture, thereby limiting population expansion to within about 20 to 30 km of the coast. The second focus of design and construction was directed at flood protection for the section of the EAA immediately south of Lake Okeechobee. This consisted of improvements to the agricultural canals and construction of pump stations at their northern and southern ends. The plan provided the capability to remove excess flood waters (up to 2 cm per day of runoff) from the EAA. The northern drainage area for each canal was to be pumped northward to Lake Okeechobee, and the southern portion of the drainage area was to be pumped southward to the WCAs. These features were completed by 1959. These flood waters provided for water conservation for urban and agricultural water supply and for prevention of saltwater intrusion into groundwater well fields. Flood control for areas east of the Eastern Protective Levee was provided by developing an adequate conveyance capacity to remove excess water out to the Atlantic Ocean. A series of east­west canals were constructed from the Eastern Protective Levee to drain into estuaries for this purpose. The flood control and water conservation phase of water resources development also included construction of improvements to the Lake Okeechobee levee (Hoover Dike) and construction of water control structures along the coastal canals to control water levels and prevent overdrainage. Land use and land cover change: moving toward the contemporary form The impact of these processes on the region's land-use patterns was dramatic. A comparison of figures 6 and 7 illustrates that tremendous change took place from the early 1950s to the early 1970s. Two of the more obvious shifts were the rapid increase of agricultural land in the EAA and the increase of urban-oriented land. For the first time, an almost continuous strip of urban development emerged along the Atlantic coast. Urban land uses had become well established in the extreme southeast part of the region, particularly around the cities of Miami and Fort Lauderdale, and along the entire coastline heading northward to West Palm Beach (figure 7). By 1973, 26% of the region's land was in agricultural production and 8% was urbanized. The rapid urbanization along the Atlantic coast led to three other important land-use shifts. From 1953 to 1973, most of the remaining upland pine forests and near-shore agricultural areas were converted to urban land uses. In 1973, just a few remnants of the coastal pine forest were evident, and agricultural production increasingly was found only in isolated pockets situated between the urban fringe and the public conservation lands to the west. In sum, agricultural lands were largely reduced to serving as a transition zone between the urbanized coast and the interior Everglades area. As the agricultural land was converted to urban land uses, other lands typically in even more inland locations were placed under agricultural production. These shifts were particularly evident in the southern portion of Dade County and in a stretch of territory running northward from the Broward­Palm Beach county line to an area north of what had become designated as the Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge (WCA1).



Figure 7.

South Florida in 1973.

Natural system effects and growing resource conflicts The designs of most of the water projects during the 1950­1970 period were solely to support human needs and seriously compromised two major characteristics of the natural Everglades: they further interrupted the sheet flow and eliminated much of the dynamic storage capacity of the system to reduce flood risks. Management of the C&SF project tended to even out the flow through the system, reducing both the temporal (seasonal and interannual) and spatial differences in water flow so important for habitat heterogeneity. These effects were to lead to a marked degradation in the Everglades. From the 1950s forward the Everglades was no longer "natural" but "human-dominated." Given the importance of hydrology to the sustainability of the Everglades and the location of the EAA in the middle of the freshwater flowway, water management for the EAA greatly affected the South Florida environment. To produce viable commercial crops, the historic wet­dry seasons of South Florida required the EAA to be pumped for drainage in summer and for irrigation in winter. This pumping and disruption of normal surface flow patterns led to nutrient enrichment of the WCA fringing the EAA and to the drawdown of the water storage capacity of the conservation areas in some especially dry years.



Agriculture-related nutrient problems also have affected the natural system. As the natural system is oligotrophic (low-nutrient), any additions from fertilizers used for agriculture, dairy farming, and landscaping have enriched the system and caused changes in the natural vegetation patterns. The potential for conflicts over water quantity and quality between ENP and the C&SF project was recognized early but was ignored until the southern dikes had been completed and the gates closed to fill WCA 3A. A series of droughts during the early and mid-1960s (1961­1964), extensive muck and grassland fires, and water supply shortages in south Dade County adversely affected the ENP and resulted in project modifications even before completion of the C&SF comprehensive planning process. These modifications were referred to as the ENP Emergency Conveyance Canals. Their purpose was to convey discharge water from Lake Okeechobee through the WCAs. 1970­1995: limits to growth and the politics of ecosystem restoration in South Florida As with the earlier periods, the years between 1970 and 1995 were associated with tremendous change for South Florida. Absolute population growth continued at a rapid rate, huge tracts of land were converted to urban and agricultural land uses, and the demand for natural resources grew. It became apparent that the Everglades ecosystem was increasingly threatened. Two points became issues for discussion. The first point was that the rate of growth and increased degradation could not continue over the long term. The great ecological costs of rapid growth were becoming apparent (Derr, 1989). An increasingly wide circle of individuals and groups recognized this and began to define it as the major environmental and social problem facing South Florida. Another closely related issue was that the current pace of development was untenable over the long term, and the nature of growth in South Florida needed to be different. It was increasingly discussed in the public and private sphere that the region's human population and the natural environment needed to be linked in a more sustainable relationship, one that allowed for the restoration and continued maintenance of the Everglades ecosystem and for continued economic growth in the South Florida region as a whole. In-migration and land conversion As before, the two driving forces for land use modification and conversion were increased national demand for Florida's agricultural produce and increased in-migration. The population of the four southeast Florida counties was almost 2.3 million by the year 1970, 3.3 million by 1980, and 4.1 million by 1990 (Table 1). Huge in-migrant streams came from the Northeast and Midwest of the United States and from other countries, again particularly from Latin America and the Caribbean basin. Significant amounts of inland land-use conversion were driven by the construction of large-scale planned communities, many of them retirement communities. By the late 1980s, the basic pattern of the land use remained the same; however, the shifts seen in the earlier 1950­1970 period intensified (figure 8). The continuous strip of urbanized land along the Atlantic Coast became more clearly defined and pronounced, and dominated the roughly 150-km stretch from northern Palm Beach County to southern Dade County. Much of the conversion to urban land uses from the 1970s to the late 1980s occurred on lands within the already settled areas. The agricultural zone separating the coastal settlements



Figure 8.

South Florida in 1988.

from the interior Everglades had been significantly reduced. In contrast to the coastal urban development, far interior land-use shifts were associated with agricultural conversion. The amount of agricultural land increased in the EAA. Other, much smaller, conversions to agriculture took place on the eastern coastal region on a broken string of parcels, often just along the edge of the publicly held lands. Agricultural development and economics The continued rapid population growth and land conversion meant dramatic shifts in the agricultural economy of many areas within the region. Particularly in the urban­rural fringe of Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties, increased urban demand for land and rising land values meant that a significant amount of the agricultural land was converted either to urban land uses or to higher value crops, as in the replacement of vegetables by higher value nursery products. In general, the agricultural sector increasingly became open to land speculation and tenant farming, where farmland was purchased by land development



companies and then leased back to the farmers, keeping property taxes low while not limiting prospects for future development. The other large agricultural production sectors also experienced tremendous change during this period from a variety of causes. For example, winter freezes in more northerly locations in the state accelerated the development of citrus production in many areas in South Florida, particularly in Hendry County. Furthermore, the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has had a tremendous impact on South Florida vegetable growers, particularly tomato growers and packers, who now face competition with less expensive winter produce imported from Mexico. The sugarcane industry also was under stress, though its profitability continued. The negative publicity surrounding sugar's association with the continued phosphorous pollution in the Everglades, and the growing possibility that the federal government might change the price support structure for sugar, combined to put indirect political pressure on cane growers. The backdrop for these developments was the increasing recognition that the EAA muck soils are a quickly declining resource and that within the next several decades would become degraded to the point that sugarcane production will no longer be viable in large sections of the area. Water supply and patterns of conveyance As the land resource demands and resident population increased, the pressure on the hydrologic system intensified. Water resource concerns revolved around two central issues: (1) water storage, having either too much or too little; and (2) water quality. By the late 1960s, most of the major construction outlined by the EDD and the C&SF project had been completed. Water resource managers already had begun to shift their attention to other major water-related problems, such as the lack of resilience of the system to perturbations like drought, the impact of the significantly altered flow to and within ENP, the increased problem of water pollution brought from urban areas and from agricultural runoff, and the increased demand for water from the growing human populations along the Atlantic coast. The administrative and engineering response to these issues has dominated the past 25 years of water management in South Florida. The Flood Control Act of 1968, for example, authorized the construction of the South Dade County­Everglades National Park Conveyance Canal System. The purpose of this system was to meet urban and agricultural water supply demands for south Dade County and to provide water deliveries to ENP even in up to a 10-year drought. An important result of the 1968 act was that it established the federal interest in ENP water supply by allocating the total cost of structural and operational actions required for this purpose to the federal government. Just three years later, in 1971, Congress mandated minimum water flows to ENP, specified on a monthly basis. To accomplish these deliveries concurrent with conveying urban and agricultural water supply, several existing canals were enlarged, water control structures were added, and pump stations were constructed. Questioning the pace and nature of growth The emergence and growth in significance of the new water resource concerns and the institutional response showed that scientists, decision-makers, and the public were becoming increasingly aware of the suite of environmental problems facing South Florida and, in



particular, the Everglades. People increasingly recognized that the environmental problems would influence the continued economic growth of the region, particularly through effects on tourism. The obvious sign for the region's inhabitants that the regional ecosystem was in trouble was a sequence of highly publicized pollution events that took place during the 1970s and 1980s. In 1970, State of Florida studies showed that Lake Okeechobee was being polluted from nutrient runoff from dairy farms and cattle ranches north of the lake; in 1986, massive algal blooms spread throughout Lake Okeechobee; and in 1987, seagrass die-off was first noticed in Florida Bay. As the evidence of environmental degradation became stronger, the seeds were being set for a more vigorous and concentrated initiative for environmental protection. Starting in the early 1970s, a small circle of resource decision-makers, politicians, and environmentalists increasingly focused on the extent of the environmental degradation, the causes of the degradation, and its restoration. A series of debates were held in which the participants formed various camps. For example, environmentalists often were pitted against agricultural interests, the State of Florida, and the U.S. Corps of Engineers. Other major divisions included urban water­demand interests versus agricultural interests. As the political debates grew, empirical evidence of ecosystem degradation began to mount. By the early 1980s, three primary conditions of ecosystem degradation and resource conflict had been clearly articulated: (1) interruption of the natural periodicity of surface water flow and the seasonal storage of water; (2) change of the hydrology of the aquifer recharge, particularly the Floridan aquifer, which underlies much of the Everglades; and (3) increasing evidence of the impact of the agricultural runoff and urban settlements on the region's surface- and groundwater supplies. While it had been clear for decades that a thriving human community had become increasingly dependent on a highly structured water supply and flood control system, it was only in the 1980s that the previous externality costs of this system and associated water uses became more generally obvious. Rising environmentalism in florida and its characterization The rise in environmental awareness from 1970 to 1995 also was characterized by a shift in the valuation and perception of the natural resource base by many Floridians, particularly residents of South Florida. Although Florida has had a strong and vibrant core of environmentalists and conservationists since the latter part of the 19th century, it was during the past quarter century that heightened environmental values began to be shared by a large part of the general population. Throughout the region during the 1970s and 1980s, there was growing recognition of a decline in the environmental quality of the region, and a feeling of "paradise lost." Many surveys during the late 1980s and early 1990s showed that Floridians were concerned about the environment and supported stronger environmental protection, although during this period they were not optimistic regarding the future of their local environment. Most Floridians expected that the level of environmental degradation would be worse in the future, and that government was not adequately addressing these issues. A complicating factor is that while most Floridians characterized themselves as pro-environment, their commitment became qualified when specific issues of jobs, growth, and the economy were raised (Derr, 1989; Wilkes, 1995). This conflicting attitude of economics vs. ecology



illustrates one dimension of the challenge in forging consensus on ecosystem restoration in South Florida. In response to the growing pro-environmental attitudes of the public, institutions' environmental attitudes also have changed since 1970. A rapid evolution in the mind-set of the resource management institutions as well as an increase in the number of policy proposals to protect and restore the ecosystem of the Everglades occurred during this period. Most dramatic of these was a shift in policy perspectives of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Following the 1926 and 1928 hurricanes, the federal role in water control became predominate, as the state legislature created the Okeechobee Flood Control District and authorized its cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Since then, the corps had consistently acted to alter the natural hydrology. The first major shift in corps' responsibility toward the natural system came with the Everglades National Park Protection and Expansion Act of 1989 (U.S. Congress, 1989), directing the corps to improve the park's water delivery toward restoring the natural hydrologic conditions. The second major change for direction of the corps came with the Water Resources Development Act of 1992, providing authority for sweeping modifications to restore the Kissimmee River ecosystem. Other institutions with regional or local mandates also began to focus more on Everglades restoration. Within the meeting rooms of the SFWMD and local county water managers, county commissioners, and mayors, Everglades restoration increasingly became an issue of discussion and debate. While most officials were supportive of what they understood as the broad plan for restoration, they felt their ability to influence the process was limited and remained very hesitant about potential costs (Zubrow, unpublished manuscript). Development of policies to restore the Everglades In response to the increasing concern for the environment, the legal and institutional approach to Everglades management and protection has changed tremendously during the past 25 years. The era witnessed two fundamental changes: the shift in the administrative site of policy development, and the shift in the nature of policies themselves. The first change was the growth of the Federal government as a major player in the development of new ecosystem management policies, often forcing the State of Florida and other local institutions into proenvironment action. The second shift was associated with the development of a sequence of three new sets of policy initiatives. Early in the 1970­1995 period, most new policies focused on protecting and restoring specific components of the Everglades ecosystem, such as the groundwater resources or endangered species, and were implemented by a specific agency. By the 1980s, the new policies were more ecologically integrative and holistic yet still were implemented by single agencies. In the 1990s, cutting-edge policies remain integrative and holistic but now explicitly require interagency collaboration to be implemented properly (Milon et al., 1997). This institutional and policy development history can be broken into three periods: 1971­ 1983; 1983­1993; and 1993 to the present. The first period can be characterized by a set of mostly state-level policy initiatives, each of which were designed to address specific policy questions. The second, initiated by a water crisis declared within ENP, signaled the beginning of even greater federal involvement in the management of the Everglades and the beginning of a more comprehensive regional and ecological response to the problem. The



most recent phase, initiated by the declaration by U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Bruce Babbit that the Everglades will be used as a test case for ecosystem restoration and by the winding down of an intense federal vs. State of Florida lawsuit focused on the Everglades, was reflective of the movement toward a more cooperative and comprehensive long-term resolution of the problems. Increased general environmental awareness and concern, several highly publicized largescale development projects, and a serious drought helped foster what seemed like a crisis condition for the Everglades in the early 1970s. It was under these conditions that the era of greater State of Florida attention to and involvement in regional environmental issues started when Governor Askew convened, in the fall of 1971, the South Florida Water Management Conference to define solutions. The result was a call for comprehensive regulation of land and water use, stricter wetlands regulations, and other limitations on growth and development. In response, the 1972 Florida legislature enacted sweeping new legislation, each component designed to focus on a facet of the problems. The Water Resources Act (State of Florida, 1972a) provided for comprehensive water management throughout the state. A new agency, the SFWMD, replaced the C&SFFCD. Like its previous incarnation, the district was governed by a board of gubernatorial appointees and had authority to levy ad valorem taxes and to build and operate water management structures. The district also had extensive planning responsibilities and the authority to regulate consumptive use, aquifer recharge, the use of district works, and surface water management systems. Other legislation addressed land use issues. The Environmental Land and Water Management Act (State of Florida, 1972b), provided for state and regional review of Developments of Regional Impact and state oversight of areas of critical concern such as wetlands. The Florida Comprehensive Planning Act provided for the establishment of a state comprehensive plan, and the Land Conservation Act authorized the issuance of $240 million in bonds to purchase environmentally endangered and outdoor recreation lands, subject to approval by the voters in a referendum. As evidence of the environmental ethic of the time, 70% of the state's voters approved. Water crisis in the Everglades Even with these state-initiated measures, it had become clear to scientists by 1983 that the water management system was not adequately meeting the needs of the natural system. In fact, many project features constructed pursuant to the 1968 authorization for improving water deliveries to ENP caused the most serious problems. The extremely heavy rainfall that occurred throughout the project area during the winter of 1983 created what ENP staff concluded was an emergency situation that threatened the continued viability of the park's natural resources. In March 1983, the ENP superintendent proposed a seven point plan that called for major modifications to the C&SF project and its operation. It was soon obvious that implementation of this plan would have substantial impact on private property and the ability of the water management system to provide flood control and water supply. This plan and the ensuing debate signaled the beginning of the next phase of water resources development in the South Florida region. Unlike earlier periods, this phase in water resources development recognized the necessity of addressing the entire ecosystem. For example, in 1983 Florida Governor Graham



announced the "Save Our Everglades" program designed to make the Everglades function, by the end of the century, as it had in the early 1900s. Building on ideas generated by "Save Our Everglades," a more system-wide perspective developed within state and regional agencies and among members of the environmental community, which self-organized as the Everglades Coalition. In 1987, Florida extended the system-wide perspective by enacting the Florida Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM) Act designed to address large-scale water quality problems. The political origin of the regional SWIM plans was the massive algal bloom in Lake Okeechobee, but associated studies showing further nutrient-based threats to the Water Conservation Areas and Everglades National Park began a new era of state­federal interactions in confronting ecosystem management problems and opportunities. The politics and practice of ecosystem restoration A dramatic increase in federal involvement in the Everglades took place in 1988, when the U.S. government sued state agencies for letting polluted water flow into the Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge (WCA1) and ENP without a state permit. While the lawsuit was primarily initiated by the then acting U.S. Attorney for South Florida, on behalf of two of the region's national protected areas, ten national environmental groups eventually intervened. Although the State of Florida and SFWMD were the parties sued, the public debate focused around the responsibilities of the sugar growers and the construction of artificial wetlands for filtration. The lawsuit helped transform the political landscape of the Everglades ecosystem debate. Although it explicitly pitted the federal government against the State of Florida, all the major players used the lawsuit as a way of defining and sharpening their own positions. The differences between the various interest group positions became clear and distinct. Debate over the Everglades, specifically over the management of water, further fractured South Florida politics into various groups including old-timers vs. new immigrants; growth interests vs. environmental interests; agricultural vs. urban interests; coastal vs. noncoastal interests; and Native Americans vs. all others. As this political debate took place during the late 1980s and early 1990s, several concurrent events helped to increase the intensity of the discussions. During 1988 to 1991, Florida experienced another major drought, again highlighting the conflicts over water. In the late 1980s, scientific reports increasingly documented the dramatic degradation of the Everglades ecosystem, particularly with respect to the decline of the water bird populations and the extent to which exotic plant species have invaded the area. Also occurring during these years were other events that laid the foundation for the even more dramatic policy steps in the future. For example, in 1990 Congress ordered the corps to do another study of whether restoration of the Kissimmee River was possible. The study determined that it was possible, and in 1992 Congress authorized the corps to proceed with the restoration. This process was quickly seen by many as the prototype of the larger scale Everglades restoration project, which was anticipated to follow soon. In 1991, Florida Governor Lawton Chiles made an initial attempt at settling the lawsuit and agreed to have the state build 1.4 × 106 m2 of water treatment marshes. Farmers and others, identified as the major agents of degradation, claimed that it was not wholly their fault, and filed the first of more than a dozen lawsuits to block the plan. Also in 1991, the Marjorie Stoneman



Douglas Act was passed by the state legislature, requiring the SFWMD to complete the Everglades SWIM plan, apply for a five-year interim permit from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and initiate EAA regulatory rule-making procedures. Integrated ecosystem management and interagencies efforts The political framework for Everglades restoration was again altered in scope in July 1993 when Secretary of the Interior Babbit, at the annual Everglades Coalition meeting, stated that he intended to use the Everglades as a prototype for ecosystem management and restoration. A task force was organized at the White House level to examine ecosystem management strategies of all federal agencies with environmental or land use jurisdiction to determine how their activities could be interwoven to achieve ecosystem restoration goals. This call came in response to the understanding that single agencies or institutions, with often overlapping, conflicting, or inadequate jurisdictions and mandates, were inappropriate structures to address ecosystem-wide problems. Two major initiatives followed these actions: The Department of the Interior invited all federal agencies with jurisdiction in South Florida to join an interagency task force, authorized by a memorandum of understanding to coordinate federal efforts toward ecosystem restoration. This restoration reflects a major shift in federal level appreciation of the inherent inadequacy of small repair efforts in the face of system-wide ecological threats. State agencies and Native American tribes later joined the interagency task force. In a parallel effort at the state and local level, Governor Chiles created the Governor's Commission for a Sustainable South Florida to explore methods for enhancing long-term ecological health while sustaining economic and social progress. Federal agencies participated as nonvoting members in the commission's multiyear project. The Federal Interagency Task Force for South Florida Ecosystem Restoration and the Governor's Commission for a Sustainable South Florida were seen as mechanisms to establish a balance among competing interests of the natural system and the human social and economic systems. Conclusions: complexities in ecosystem restoration management Throughout the history of South Florida, society's relationship with the natural environment has undergone a series of transformations. Each transformation has set the seeds for a new pattern of resource perception and use. And, in turn, each new period of resource use set the stage for the next transformation. From an early pattern of survival and exploitation before 1900, the relationship quickly turned to one of land-use conversion mixed with major engineering efforts to dominate the environment and direct it toward human needs. The common perception was that the Everglades swamp wilderness could be drained and converted for large agricultural development. Secondarily, coastal locations were seen as sites of extensive urban development. More than 8×103 km2 of natural land were converted for agricultural and urban uses during the period 1900 to 1986 (Walker and Solecki, 1996). Coupled with the construction of drainage canals and levees, a human-dominated landscape was created. Yet as the dramatic consequences of these efforts to manage and alter the natural environment became clear, a rising concern about the effects on the quality of life, along with an increased environmental ethic, lead to a strong counter-movement. While



efforts to preserve the Everglades ecology have appeared throughout this century, these efforts have significantly increased since the 1960s. Gradual trends indicating ecological decline, punctuated by well-publicized environmental disasters such as red tides, pushed the local and regional decision makers and public to reassess the management of the region's ecosystem. The turmoil and major reassessment of society's relationship to the Everglades in the past 25 years has brought the region to a crossroads of yet another transformation, the outcome of which is still evolving. Acknowledgments This article is contribution number US MAB HDS 055 of the U.S. Man and the Biosphere (US MAB) Human-Dominated Systems Directorate (HDS) Series. Funding for this study was provided, in part, by the US MAB Program (Grant #1753100110) to the University of Miami with subcontracts to the University of Florida, Florida State University, SUNY Buffalo, and the University of Maine. US MAB is administered by the U.S. Department of State as a multiagency, collaborative, interdisciplinary research activity to advance the scientific understanding of human/environment interactions. Additional funding was received from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, MS (Contract #DACW 39-94-K-0032) and the U.S. Department of Commerce/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) through a UM/NOAA joint research project funded by the NOAA Coastal Ocean Program as part of the University of Miami-NOAA Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS NA67RJ0149: Task 3 Coastal Ocean Ecosystems Processes). This article does not necessarily represent the policies of US MAB, the U.S. Department of State, any member agency of US MAB, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, or the U.S. Department of Commerce/NOAA. References

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