Everglades Timeline

The Everglades at Mid-Century (1948-1980)


everglades timeline




Congress established the Central and Southern Florida (C&SF) Project for Flood Control.The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was placed in charge of constructing the massive water delivery system for South Florida.


The Seminole Tribe of Florida was established in Hollywood, Florida.


Engineered structures constructed by the C&SF Project cut off the northern Everglades, now known as the Everglades Agricultural Area, from the central and southern Everglades.


On September 10, Hurricane Donna crossed Florida Bay and hit the southern coast with winds over 140 mph.


Revolution in Cuba fueled growth of the sugar industry in the Everglades Agricultural Area.


The Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida was established.


The Army Corps of Engineers began channelizing the Kissimmee River in the interest of flood control. Some 48,000 acres of marshland were destroyed. .


A system of canals and levees were completed, dividing the central Everglades into three Water Conservation Areas. The Florida Freshwater Game and Fish Commission assumed management of WCA 2 and WCA 3. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began leasing WCA 1, better known as the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, from the state.


On March 11, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service placed the Florida panther, the snail kite, and the Cape Sable seaside sparrow on the federal endangered-species list.


A defeated proposal to create a jetport in the Big Cypress, just west of Everglades National Park, galvanized the movement to preserve the unique swamp.


Congress designated Biscayne a national monument, citing its "rare combination of terrestrial, marine, and amphibious life in a tropical setting of great natural beauty."


Marjory Stoneman Douglas founded the Friends of the Everglades.


Congress enacted the National Environmental Policy Act, establishing the Environmental Protection Agency.


A period of extreme drought heightened awareness of water supply and environmental problems in south Florida. The Governor's Conference on Water Management in South Florida concluded that water quality was deteriorating significantly and that water quantity was insufficient during the dry season


With the opening of Disney World in Orlando, tourism surged in Florida.


Congress set the minimum water flow to Everglades National Park at 315,000 acre-feet per year following several years of extreme dry conditions.


The Army Corps of Engineers, as part of the Central and Southern Florida Project for Flood Control, completed the straightening of the Kissimmee River, Lake Okeechobee's largest tributary. As a result, some 45,000 acres of floodplain became pasture.


Florida Water Resources Act established fundamental water policy for Florida, attempting to meet human needs and sustain the natural systems.


The state of Florida began acquiring land to create Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve, the largest, deepest strand in the Big Cypress Swamp, to protect its unusual collection of rare plants and animals.


The Endangered Species Act authorized to conserve the ecosystems that host endangered or threatened species and to conserve endangered or threatened species themselves.


Big Cypress National Preserve was established.


The American crocodile, whose entire North American range is in and around Florida Bay and Biscayne Bay, was placed on the federal endangered-species list. At the time, the population was listed as 200 animals, with just 10 nesting females.


The C&SF Flood Control District was renamed to the South Florida Water Management District. The renamed agency assumed new responsibilities and challenges in managing water resources across the greater Everglades ecosystem. The following year, five water districts were established across the State.


On October 26, UNESCO, the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, recognized Everglades National Park and the Dry Tortugas as part of the international network of biosphere reserves.


The decision to pump stormwater from the Everglades Agricultural Area into the Water Conservation Areas, instead of into Lake Okeechobee, resulted in the spread of phosphorus-loving cattails across the northern Everglades


Everglades was designated as a World Heritage Site on October 24.


Congress authorized new acquisitions of keys and reefs in Biscayne Bay, and changed the national monument's status to a national park.


Timeline prepared by Gail Clement, University Librarian, Florida International University

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