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Everglades Foundation 'Stories' Bring Ecosystem into Focus

Artburst Miami, July 3, 2024

The endangered Amazon biome, spanning nine countries in South America, is the single largest remaining tropical rainforest in the world. It houses around 10 percent of the world’s biodiversity, and its river accounts for 15 to 16 percent of the world’s total river discharge into the oceans.

The critical role it plays in maintaining climate, globally, has earned it the title of Lungs of the Planet. The Florida Everglades, the subtropical wilderness known as the River of Grass, is our Amazon. Its expansive mangrove forests act as a carbon sponge that soaks up greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere.  It’s home to the largest continuous seagrass meadows on Earth, the oldest cypress trees on the planet, and over 350 different animal species. Its water systems sustain life for millions of people across the state as the source of drinking water and as the foundation of Florida’s economy.

Despite being declared a World Heritage Site, International Biosphere Reserve, and Wetland of International Importance, it’s one the most endangered systems in North America. So important is it to our survival, that Congress provided $425 million in its fiscal year 2024 funding for Everglades restoration. Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis committed $740 million in the 2024-2025 budget for Everglades restoration, and President Joe Biden recommended $444 million to restore America’s Everglades in his Fiscal Year 2025 President’s Budget request.

For its part, the Everglades Foundation has announced a new initiative, “Everglades Stories from Across the Watershed,”   to connect Floridians to the importance of this ecosystem in our everyday life.

Begoñe Cazalis, director of communications for the Everglades Foundation, has produced and directed a series of 20 engaging videos, each centering around a person who shares knowledge about the critical ecosystem, helping viewers understand what is at stake to lose.


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