How Deep Is The Everglades National Park and Other Surprising Facts

The Florida Everglades is a national treasure that is home to numerous wildlife, and the preservation of the area is a main commitment in the State of Florida. These vast wetlands are an extraordinary sight to see for yourself, and it’s easy to realize why so many people travel from across the world to take in all the delicate ecosystem has to offer firsthand. By educating ourselves about the contributions the natural habitat gives to society, we can find ways to preserve one of nature’s greatest gifts and enjoy all that it has to offer. Everglades Holiday Park, an Everglades Gator Park in Fort Lauderdale, shares 5 things that you should know about the Everglades:


As the water starts to flow and collect in the Everglades, it gets stored in aquifers. The water that a majority of Floridians drink comes from these freshwater aquifers and is a major supply for the large state. It’s very important to keep the vast wetland preserved and healthy as we rely on this water source for South Florida.

The Role of Fresh and Salt Water in the Everglades

If there isn’t enough freshwater raining onto or flowing into the bay, salinity levels in the Everglades eventually rise and lead to hypersalinity problems, such as algal blooms and cloudy water.

The Everglades is a vast and unique wetland. Without water, it wouldn’t be the very thing that gives it its name. The wet season, which happens in summer, accounts for about 80 percent of the region’s average annual rainfall of 137 centimeters. Rainfall within the Everglades system can be dramatically different from year to year. Historically, some wet years have peaked at over 254 centimeters of rainfall, while some dry years have received less than 76 centimeters.

During the wet seasons, there are almost daily afternoon thunderstormshowers and occasional hurricanes. These rains bring a renewed fresh water supply to the region. Hurricanes, though they seem catastrophic at first glance, open new areas for plant growth, spread seeds, and mix and flush the waters of the shallow wetlands. The Everglades have adapted to the harsh regime of droughts, floods, and hurricanes that sweep Florida Bay.

Rainfall is the primary method by which water gets into the Everglades ecosystem, and evapotranspiration is the main process by which water leaves the ecosystem.

Additionally, water flow into the Everglades begins in the Kissimmee River, among others, which pours into Lake Okeechobee. If it’s left to its natural course, the water periodically spills over the lake’s banks and flows southward in a broad, shallow sheet. However, decades of heavy management have channeled the water away from the wetlands to make way for the development of South Florida.


A common misconception about the Everglades is that this body of water is just a swamp or a marsh. However, the Everglades is actually a slow-moving river that is constantly flowing. Water flows from north to south from Lake Okeechobee, and this body of water is also known as the “River of Grass.” This is why many people like to take a private airboat adventure tour here at Everglades Holiday Park.


The ecosystem is made up of nine main habitats: Hardwood hammocks, pinelands, coastal lowlands, mangroves, freshwater sloughs (the larger Shark River Slough and the smaller Taylor Slough), freshwater marl prairies, marine, and estuarine.

The hardwood hammocks are dense regions of shade trees that create canopies of overlapping leaves.

Pinelands (aka pine rocklands) are forested areas that often grow in exposed limestone substrate and depend on fire to clear out the hardwoods that grow faster and block out the light from pine seedlings. The Everglades National Park has instituted prescribed burns to mimic natural fire patterns and ensure pine seedlings have enough sunlight and space to grow.

Mangroves are groups of salt-tolerant trees that are partially submerged and have sturdy root systems. Everglades National Park is home to the largest continuous strand of protected mangrove trees in the Western Hemisphere. These forests are valuable to the ecosystem because their strong structure helps absorb intense wave energy from incoming storms. They also act as a carbon sponge, removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The mangrove forests are home to several crucial species of wading birds.

Coastal lowlands are also known as coastal prairies. They’re located between the tidal mud flats and drier lands of Florida Bay. They are well-drained regions with salt-tolerant vegetation.

Freshwater sloughs are low-lying areas of land that help channel the slow-moving marshy rivers through the Everglades to Florida Bay. There are two distinct sloughs within the park. The larger one is Shark River Slough and the smaller Taylor Slough.

The freshwater marl parties are characterized by their diverse, low-growing vegetation. In fact, they look very similar to freshwater sloughs, though the sawgrass isn’t as tall, and the water isn’t as deep.

Cypress trees are deciduous conifers that survive in standing water. In the Everglades, it’s common to find the trees growing in clustered shapes of domes, with the larger trees in the middle and the smaller trees growing around the edges.

The marine and estuarine habitats contain the largest body of water within Everglades National Park, known as Florida Bay. It is an area of 800 square miles wide with submerged vegetation. It is within the estuarine environment that commercially and recreationally important fish, crustaceans, and mollusks are found.


The wildlife in the Everglades is a vast mix of birds, mammals, and reptiles that call these wetlands home. While many of these animals thrive in this environment, there are various species that are in danger and are slowly becoming scarce. The Florida Panther is an example of an endangered species living in the Everglades. Constant development on surrounding lands causes further issues for endangered animals like these. Other endangered species include the Wood Stork and the West Indian Manatee.


The water level is only, on average, around 4 to 5 feet deep, and the deepest point is around 9 feet. While this river is shallow enough for people to swim in it, you should stick to riding in an airboat for your own safety. The abundance of wildlife living throughout the Everglades will be spotted no matter where you journey through – especially alligators.


Back in the 1940’s, there was oil found in the Park, and the area was actually previously owned by the Humble Oil Company. Even though there was once oil found, the company gave the area to the government as a result of poor quality oil. This National Park has transformed throughout the years, and the preservation of The Everglades is a main priority.

Unique Features of the Everglades Landscape

The Everglades are an entire world of incredible sights, species, plant types, and so much more. We could go on for many pages just describing its wonders, but let’s highlight a few key features that really make it stand out.

The Everglades are often called the River of Grass because of their vast system of slow-moving bodies of water that spread past the National Park boundaries. Over the years, there have been many attempts to fill in or drain the wetlands for the sake of homes and farms. These attempts have damaged and polluted the Everglades down to half its size.

There is a common misconception that the Everglades is a swamp, but it is so much more. For instance, consider the differences between marshes and swamps. While marshes are a type of wetland that lies along shallower rivers and lakes, swamps are often formed near forested areas that flood from nearby water sources. The plant and animal species also differ greatly between swamps and marshes, given the available plants and food sources. Finally, the soil content of swarms is much more nutrient-dense when compared to that of a marsh.

Threats and Conservation Efforts in the Florida Everglades

To this day, there are threats to the Everglades. It’s not just the development that’s crowding in around the edges; it’s also invasive species, such as the Burmese Python, that aren’t native to the Everglades. Thankfully, there are people who work with passion and eagerness to bring about change.

The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) is the largest restoration program underway in the entire South Florida region. The CERP was authorized by the Water Resources Development Act of 2000. It’s implemented by a federal-state partnership to restore, preserve, and protect the water resources of Southern Florida by addressing the timing, quantity, quality, and distribution of water.

Everglades National Park and its Significance

Everglades National Park is a world-renowned national park that protects the southern 20% of the original Everglades of Florida. The park is the largest tropical wilderness in the US, as well as the largest kind of wilderness east of the Mississippi River. On average, one million people visit the park every year.

The Everglades Park is the third-largest national park in the US after Death Valley and Yellowstone. In 1979, UNESCO declared the Everglades a World Heritage Site and included it on the list of Wetlands of International Importance in 1987, bringing it to the attention of humanity across the world.

While most national parks preserve unique geographical features, Everglades National Park was the first one created to protect a fragile ecosystem. The intricate network of wetlands and forests is the most significant breeding ground for tropical wading birds in North America and it contains the largest mangrove ecosystem in the Western Hemisphere. All in all, thirty-six threatened or protected species call the park home alongside 350 species of birds, 300 species of fresh and saltwater fish, 50 species of reptiles, and 40 species of mammals.

The National Park Service is a team of people dedicated to protecting, preserving, and speaking information about the Everglades. The more people know about this rich and diverse landscape, the more hope there is for its future.


Now that you have learned some interesting facts, it’s time to take a trip over to our Everglades Gator Park and experience the wonderful wetlands for yourself! The Everglades is a must when it comes to sightseeing in Florida.

At Everglades Holiday Park, you can climb aboard state-of-the-art vessels for an unforgettable tour. These tours are guided by knowledgeable captains who know the best spots for spotting wildlife. They’ll point out animals, answer your questions, and take you on one of the smoothest rides of your life. If you want to experience the Everglades in a unique and relaxing way, zipping across the River of Grass at top speeds is the way to do it.

FAQs About Everglades

Why is the Everglades often referred to as the “River of Grass”?

It is because of the Everglades’ massive system of slow-moving bodies of water that spread well past the National Park boundaries. Especially from an aeriael view, the color and the gentle swaying make it look very much like a river of grass flowing peacefully on its way.

How deep is the water in the Everglades?

The water level averages around 4 to 5 feet deep. The deepest point is around 9 feet.

What endangered species can be found in the Everglades?

There are several endangered species living in the Everglades, including the West Indian Manatee, the Florida Panther, the Wood Stork, the Snail Kite, the Gopher Tortoise, the Smalltooth Sawfish, the Eastern Indigo Snake, and others.

Is it safe to swim in the Everglades?

While this river is technically shallow enough for people to swim in, it is not considered safe to swim in the Everglades. There is such an abundance of wildlife and such low visibility that you wouldn’t be able to maintain safe boundaries.

What activities can tourists engage in when visiting the Everglades?

There are many ways a tourist can immerse in the Everglades. The *60-minute airboat tour is an excellent way to view the beautiful scenery and get some stunning pictures, while the animal encounter and live gator shows are a little more up close and personal.

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