They’re restoring a river in Florida, restoring the natural habitats of more than 140 animal species

Wetland splendor around the restored Kissimmee River in Florida

The project has been running for more than 20 years and no less than 1,000 million US dollars have been invested. And, according to experts, this justified a lot of time and resources environmentalists: the fl managed to recover almost the entirety of the river, the Kissimmeewhich he lost from Okechobee Lake until the EvergladesAnd more than a hundred species have returned to the region that have lost their habitat.

Although it is one of the least known in the country, the Kissimmee he Watercourse very important. Until about 60 years ago, it was about 160 kilometers long and bred wetlands full of Wildlife. But since the 1940s, the population has been affected by flooding from the river and wetlands along with rainfall and hurricanes. The solution was to redirect a file Kissimmee in channel network and waterways to drain the land.

By the 1960s, the goal had been achieved, in an effort between local authorities and the federal government. And in the short term it was achieved: there were fewer floods. But there was also environmental consequences. What was lush river became a network of channels Nine meters, and wetlands They are gone.

What was it like with the canal, what did it look like with the river in its natural course. Before and after the Kissimmee River in Florida
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population Aquatic birds reduced by 90%; the number of bald eagles decreased by 70%. Dozens of types Fishand birds and Mammals They just disappeared. The aqueducts began to function as tubes that quickly carried water from Okechobee Lake to the ocean, which caused, in addition to animal species, a loss of soil properties, because the speed of liquidity prevented the earth from absorbing nutrients from the water.

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By the 1990s, there were many organizations that complained about environmental impact Fluval project, and managed to attract the attention of state and federal authorities. Since then plan to restore Kissimmee.

The Kissimmee River Saving Project sought to restore its natural meander
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Except for the first strait of riversouth lakeIt left a channel 100 meters wide and nine meters deep to prevent flooding in the area Orlando, the rest of the cycle has been restored. he they filled 35 kilometers from the canal, they turned to Cuts Sections of the ancient river and they returned More than 70 kilometers of natural roads meander in Watercourse.

“It is a triumph of imagination and a wonderful example of cooperation between the state and the federation,” he told the newspaper. National Geographic Shannon EstenosDeputy Minister Fishing, wildlife and parks in the interior department.

Historical photo showing how to cut a natural river course

According to reports in the area, there is already 50 species of fish On the restored river, near 70 species of birds to wetlandsmore than 20 species of reptiles and amphibians And Four types of mammals It can only live in wetlands that have disappeared before.

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Freddie Dawson

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