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By all measures, the famous Ghost Orchid at Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary was having another banner season this summer. In mid-July, the orchid entered its third week of blooming and sported eight flowers — and then it burst into the headlines once again.
Plants growing in Lake Okeechobee — both emergent marshes as well as submerged grasses — are a critical part of this ecosystem. In addition to providing habitat for fish and wildlife, these plants also help to take up nutrients that fuel algae blooms in the lake and the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries.
A study by a joint team of conservation biologists describes a steady decline of nearly three billion North American birds since 1970.
A land-use change request for the 100-acre parcel of wetlands and coastal hammock has been shelved.