Wood storks, roseate spoonbills, ibises and egrets are among the many birds that fly, paddle and wade through the Everglades.

They draw visitors, particularly photographers, to the ecosystem. But the Everglades' birds are important for another reason: The health of wading bird communities says a lot about progress on Everglades restoration.

George, a great white shark that was nearly 10 feet long and weighed more than 700 pounds when he was tagged a year ago off Nantucket, has paid a visit to Everglades National Park.

At about 5 p.m. Sunday, a satellite tracker picked up the shark when he surfaced off Highland Beach, a remote campsite in the park’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas Wilderness Trail on the southwest coast. It’s the second time the shark has been located close to shore. While tracking can be imprecise, a third inshore ping could provide insight into whether George is becoming a regular Florida tourist.

Everglades National Park is a World Heritage site, and it’s under siege from drought, invasive species and sea-level rise. 

John Davis, WGCU

Governor Rick Scott visited Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Collier County Oct. 23 to announce a proposed $1.7 billion investment in Florida’s environment next year. That’s a $220 million increase over the current budget. Environmental advocates are celebrating the recommendation, but whether state lawmakers will go along with the governor’s proposals remains to be seen.

Clyde Butcher

Oct 11, 2017
Courtesy, Clyde Butcher

Internationally renowned photographer and environmental advocate Clyde Butcher has been hiking deep into the Big Cypress National Preserve, the western Everglades and other natural Florida locations for more than 30 years, capturing his iconic black and white photographs of our region’s pristine wild spaces.