Everglades National Park (1979)
United States of America

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This site at the southern tip of Florida has been called 'a river of grass flowing imperceptibly from the hinterland into the sea'. 

The exceptional variety of its water habitats has made it a sanctuary for a large number of birds and reptiles, as well as for threatened species such as the manatee. 

  • United Nations (Vienna) 2003. Panoramic view of Everglades. 

United Nations (Vienna) 2003. Panoramic view of Everglades.

USA 1947. Everglades National Park.

Everglades National Park was established in 1947, but originally authorized in 1934. Located in southern Florida, the park contains the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States. Located at the southern end of the Everglades, the park’s land and water area extends from Everglades City to near Fiesta Key in the Florida Keys, including Cape Sable, the southernmost point of the United States mainland. 

The region has both freshwater and saltwater areas and is noted for its distinctive plant and animal life. The forest contains at least six species of palm, as well as mangrove, cypress, live oak, and pine. 

Wildflowers, including orchids and water lilies, and giant ferns add to the beauty of the region. 

  • USA 1947. Everglades National Park. The White Heron "overlooking" a map of Florida, with Everglades marked on the map. 
Numerous species of birds are found, including white and blue heron, kingfisher, pelican, ibis, snowy egret, wild turkey, white-banded teal, brown mallard duck, and roseate spoonbill. Black bears, cougars, deer, and otters live in the park’s forests, and alligators, crocodiles, turtles, manatees [sea cow], and snakes thrive in the marshes and waterways. Sea trout, tarpons, dolphins, and sharks live in the marine section. 
  • USA 1956. Wildlife Conservation. Wild Turkey [Meleagris Gallopavo]. 

USA 1956. Wildlife Conservation. Wild Turkey (Meleagris Gallopavo].

USA 1971. Sea Trout. USA 1972. Brown Pelican. USA 1971. Alligator.
Although not directly related to the Everglades National Park, I cannot resist showing you this lovely sheet, featuring the Southern Florida Wetland. The sheet was released in 2006 and shows a great variety of bird life, particularly pelicans, storks and herons, in the subtropical surrounding. 

The pane shown contains nine different stamps. It is the eighth pane of this kind featuring "Nature in America". 

Immediately on the right I have shown the center-stamp, a rose pelican, on a commercially used cover, mailed from Florida to Denmark on 13th November 2006. 

USA 2006. Fragment of a commercially used cover, showing the Rose Pelican from the Southern Florida Wetland.

USA 2006. Pane of nine stamps featuring the Southern Florida Wetland.

Threats to the Site:
The site was inscribed on the List of the World Heritage in Danger in 1993 after the park's Superintendent informed the Committee of extensive damage to Everglades' ecology due to a number of causes including nearby urban growth, pollution from fertilisers, mercury poisoning of fish and wildlife, and a fall in water levels caused by flood protection measures. In addition, on 24 August 1992, Hurricane Andrew altered much of Florida Bay and its ecological systems and destroyed the park's visitor centre.

The inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger led to an increased federal funding for the restoration of the site. A major rehabilitation effort is currently underway with $US 8 million budgeted for ecosystem research. This is the largest budget allocation ever voted for research in a park in any part of the world. Legal actions and negotiations were undertaken to reduce pollution by fertiliser, an addition of 107,000 acres has been incorporated to protect the north- eastern part of the Park and structural changes in the water management system have been undertaken to restore the water level in this area.

As of 1998, US$ 26 million worth of land purchases have been completed in the East Everglades Expansion Area; an additional US$ 40 million are needed to finalise the total of 109,000 acres of additional land purchases foreseen as part of the program to expand the total extent of the Everglades National Park. On the other hand, it was noted, legislation introduced in the US Congress would permanently retain the presence of the Miccosukee Tribe within the Everglades National Park. Any agreement for providing a site for the Tribe's continued practice of its living culture may come into conflict with the restoration of water flows through the eastern Shark Slough (where the Miccosukee Tribe is located), considered to be a essential measure for the restoration of the overall Everglades ecosystem. 

Sources and links: 

Other World Heritage Sites in USA (on this site). Inactive links are not described on stamps. Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, section United States for further information about such sites. 

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Revised 19 nov 2006  
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