America's Everglades

Exploring Lake Okeechobee

Audubon has worked for over a century to protect and restore America's Everglades. Famous for its abundance of bird life, the Everglades has faced many challenges. From the murder of Audubon Warden Guy Bradley by plume hunters as he fought to protect some of the Everglades’ iconic species, to the nearly devastating changes from the 20th Century efforts to ditch, dike, and drain the watershed for development and agriculture, Audubon has led an unprecedented ecological intervention.

The most ambitious ecosystem restoration plan ever attempted is underway to provide the River of Grass with clean freshwater in the right place at the right time. Audubon's work to restore the Everglades is focused on implementing the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) and other restoration projects to achieve ecological benefits and restore the characteristic abundance of wildlife.

Our science and policy staff works throughout the ecosystem to ensure that sound science underpins plans for restoration and that projects stay focused on increasing target bird populations as a measure of success. The Audubon Florida state office and Florida’s 45 chapters work with other partners and local, state, and federal decision-makers to build widespread support for this effort.

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Here are some of the overall goals of Audubon's Everglades work:

  • Restore freshwater flows to Florida Bay through Everglades National Park to improve the conditions for the Roseate Spoonbill and other wading birds by reversing the effects of harmful flood control and water supply projects.
  • Improve the hydrology of the Northern Everglades while improving the quality of water entering Lake Okeechobee, using the Southern Bald Eagle as an indicator of progress toward reaching these goals.
  • Manage Lake Okeechobee in a way that balances the needs of consumptive users and the environment and reduce the pollutants flowing south from Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades Agricultural Area. Restore flows through the Water Conservation Areas that connect Lake Okeechobee and Everglades National Park using the Everglade Snail Kite, Roseate Spoonbill, and other wading birds as indicator species.
  • Protect and restore the watershed of Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, the Big Cypress National Preserve and surrounding areas in the Western Everglades. Restoration and conservation activities in this area, which is a key part of the native habitat for the Wood Stork, can be measured by that species’ population in the region.

Learn more about Audubon's work in the Greater Everglades, explore our current and past State of the Everglades Reports.

Northern Everglades
Conservation

Northern Everglades

The Northern Everglades encompasses the Lake Okeechobee watershed, the 3.3 million acre part of the ecosystem that serves as the headwaters of the Everglades.

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Lake Okeechobee and the Central Everglades
Conservation

Lake Okeechobee and the Central Everglades

Lake Okeechobee is the liquid heart of the Central Everglades.

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Florida Bay
Conservation

Florida Bay

The Everglades Science Center at Tavernier was established in the Florida Keys in 1938.

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Audubon's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
Chapters & Centers

Audubon's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

Experience the heart of the Western Everglades.

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Everglades Science
Conservation

Everglades Science

One of Audubon Florida’s greatest contributions for the Everglades is our research and monitoring that provides information about some of the most important issues related to the health of the ecosystem.

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State of the Everglades Report
About Us

State of the Everglades Report

Get the latest news from the River of Grass in this bi-annual review.

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News & Updates

Everglades Science Center Team Conducts Baby Spoonbill Surveys
News

Everglades Science Center Team Conducts Baby Spoonbill Surveys

The winter season means Roseate Spoonbill and wading bird surveys to the Audubon Everglades Science team.

Fish Sampling Provides Critical Data for Florida Bay
Everglades

Fish Sampling Provides Critical Data for Florida Bay

Long-term monitoring efforts at ESC track the changing trends in fish community dynamics over time.

Audubon Science to Help Inform Army Corps Efforts to Combine, Speed Restoration for Biscayne Bay and More
Everglades

Audubon Science to Help Inform Army Corps Efforts to Combine, Speed Restoration for Biscayne Bay and More

2020 brought the beginning of the Biscayne Bay and Southeastern Everglades Ecosystem Restoration Project (BBSEER).

Everglades Science Center Sheds Light on Water, Fish, and Spoonbill Fluctuations
Chapters & Centers

Everglades Science Center Sheds Light on Water, Fish, and Spoonbill Fluctuations

The semi-annual State of the Slough showcases how restoration projects affect South Florida ecosystems.

Defending the Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow
News

Defending the Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow

The Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow has received a lot of attention lately, and for all the wrong reasons.

Southwest Florida’s Picayune Strand Restoration Project Sees Final Phase Construction Start
News

Southwest Florida’s Picayune Strand Restoration Project Sees Final Phase Construction Start

2019 and 2020 have brought major progress to the largest ecosystem restoration project in the Comprehensive Restoration Plan: Picayune Strand.

Improving Critical Habitat for Endangered Everglade Snail Kites
News

Improving Critical Habitat for Endangered Everglade Snail Kites

With higher water levels on Lake Okeechobee this fall, Audubon anticipates a return to normal Everglade Snail Kite nesting in 2021.

Brighton Valley Project Removes Nutrients and Improves Habitat
Everglades

Brighton Valley Project Removes Nutrients and Improves Habitat

Audubon is a strong proponent of working with landowners to rehydrate historic wetlands to store more water in the Okeechobee watershed, for the good for birds, wildlife, and people alike.

Everglades Restoration Takes Three Big Steps Forward
News

Everglades Restoration Takes Three Big Steps Forward

The Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir water reservation regulations, the completion of the S-333N water control structure, and the award of a contract for construction on the L-67A levee will improve water flow in the River of Grass.

2019 Wading Bird Season Shows Some Success but also How Far We Have Still to Go
Everglades

2019 Wading Bird Season Shows Some Success but also How Far We Have Still to Go

It is no surprise that 2019's wading bird numbers declined from the previous year.

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