Where do the Water Conservation Areas End, and Everglades National Park Begin? Indian River Lagoon

Map showing Everglades National Park boundaries as well as Water Conservation Areas north of the park and other areas. (Map courtesy of Backroads Travels website, 2013.)
Map showing SFWMD boundaries overall, as well as Everglades National Park, and Water Conservation Areas. (Map courtesy of Florida Backroads Travel.)

This week, in our attempt to save and be knowledgeable about the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon, we have learned about the STAs, Strormwater Treatment Areas, and the WCAs, Water Conservation Areas; today, will we will ask the question, “Where do the WCAs end, and where does Everglades National Park begin?”

After all, “send the water south” means to the Everglades…

The location of the WCAs, (http://www.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/pg_grp_sfwmd_landresources/pg_sfwmd_landresources_recopps_se_wca2_3)(https://loxahatcheefriends.comthe areas in light green-yellow in the above map, is confusing to me sometimes, as the Water Conservation Areas are “protected”as the Everglades, but they are not in Everglades Nation Park itself. Just yesterday, my River Coalition comrade, Karl Wickstom, commented on my post noting that  the WCAs are natural and not “built.”

He is right….

Nonetheless, they are managed and constrained….

On the Army Corp of Engineers’ Periodic Scientist Calls, the South Florida Water Management District is alway reporting how “full” or “not full” the WCAs are, so as to explain how much water “they have been able to send south/or not” through them…. The SFWMD has even created an amazing web site, that if you take the time to navigate, will teach you more than any of my blog posts ever can: (http://sfwmd.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapTour/index.html?appid=a9072c94b5c144d8a8af14996ce23bca&webmap=d8e767997b0d494494243ffbc7f6f861)

The point is: in order to save the St Lucie/Indian River Lagoon, we have to keep an eye on the “big picture,” saving the Everglades…or what’s left, as “Everglades National Park.”

We have developed and altered this area so much very little is remaining–the drainage of the land,  the redirection of the Lake Okeechobee’s waters through the estuaries, the construction of the Everglades Agricultural Area, as well as development of the coast and inland, is a testament to the impressive determination of humankind and our ability to alter our environment; but it is also an embarrassment of our inability to constrain ourselves or think long term. (See below.)

South Florida's southern Everglades, 1950 vs. 2003. (Map courtesy of SFWMD.)
South Florida’s southern Everglades, 1950 vs. 2003. (Map courtesy of SFWMD.)
Redirection of water to the estuaries. Late 1800 and early 1900s.(Map Everglades Foundation.)
Redirection of water to the estuaries. Late 1800 and early 1900s.(Map Everglades Foundation.)

So back to the original question, where do the WCA stop and Everglades National Park begin?  Well, looking at the map below, we can see that Everglades National Park “proper” pretty much starts right under the Tamiami Trail.  And we can tell from the other maps that the WCAs are above this area, as well as above the development on the south-east coast and inland areas of Florida, especially the City of Homestead. (See image 2 down.)

Knowing about the STAs, the WCAs and ENP will help us to save the SRL/IRL!

Everglades map.
Everglades map.

 

SFWMD's Home Page for Sending Water South. (http://sfwmd.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapTour/index.html?appid=a9072c94b5c144d8a8af14996ce23bca&webmap=d8e767997b0d494494243ffbc7f6f861)
SFWMD’s Home Page for Sending Water South showing STAs, WCAs, etc…(http://sfwmd.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapTour/index.html?appid=a9072c94b5c144d8a8af14996ce23bca&webmap=d8e767997b0d494494243ffbc7f6f861)
Everglades National Park at the south-westen tip of Florida. (Road map.)
Everglades National Park at the south-western tip of Florida. (Road map.)
Image denoting locations south and around Lake Okeechobee.  (Public image.)
Image denoting locations south and around Lake Okeechobee. (Public image.)
Map showing Everglades National Park boundaries as well as Water Conservation Areas north of the park and other areas. (Map courtesy of Backroads Travels website, 2013.)
Map showing areas natural and man-made in south Florida as well as the 16 counties that comprise the SFWMD.

Well, time to get to start my day; I hope you learned something that you did not already know! 🙂

____________________________

Everglades National Park: (http://www.nps.gov/ever/index.htm) 

Go to (http://jacquithurlowlippisch.com) and “search”  for WCA or STA to read more on these related topics.

4 thoughts on “Where do the Water Conservation Areas End, and Everglades National Park Begin? Indian River Lagoon

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