While looking at the Palm Beach Post website this morning, I came across an article titled Bachmann open to drilling in Everglades if done without environmental damage. I was floored by the title, and even more so when I read the article. My first thought was, how can you drill in an extremely sensitive environment like the Everglades without damaging anything? I believe the answer is that you can’t.
Our water supply is both polluted and dwindling. On the Everglades Foundation website, you can find out more about Everglades clean-up. Over $1.8 billion has been spent on clean-up, but a dollar amount can’t define the damage—there is just too much of it.
Our negative impact on the Everglades goes all the way back to the nineteenth century. No one knew any better at the time, so they thought it would be a great idea to drain the Everglades in order to farm the land. Some political figures based almost their entire platform on the concept.
In 1881, a real estate developer named Hamilton Disston was the first to make the attempt. In 1904, Napoleon Bonaparte Broward (the man whom Broward County was named after) made a campaign promise to drain the Everglades. Due to Broward’s promise, a land boom occurred, and hunters came in droves to harvest the lovely and valuable feathers of Florida’s wading birds and track down any other exotic creatures they could find. No one realized what they were doing to the environment. If anyone had an inkling of the damage that was being caused, their voices were certainly ignored.
It wasn’t until the late 1960s that efforts to restore the Everglades began. So much has been done to South Florida already. There has been drainage of the land, destruction of native species, and the accidental (or sometimes intentional) introduction of destructive non-native species. So how can anyone really believe that there is a safe way of drilling for resources in the Everglades?
One could banter about politics for ages, and cite the numerous opinionated reasons why we should or shouldn’t drill for resources here or there or anywhere else. But the fact remains that the Everglades is a complicated ecosystem that must be protected. Be proud of the beauty that we have here in South Florida, and speak out against anything that could jeopardize that beauty.
These photos were taken by me, Rosa Sophia, and are copyright to me. Enjoy viewing, but please do not distribute.