The folks who charter our Florida airboat to tour the River of Grass are often surprised to learn that the Florida Everglades is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Being included in the list of World Heritage sites is quite an honor. To make the list, a place must represent “outstanding universal value” and must meet at least one of the criteria established by UNESCO, which range from being a “masterpiece of human creative genius” to a place that has “superlative natural phenomena” or “exceptional natural beauty.”
What Makes the Everglades So Special
If you have ever taken an airboat ride through the Florida Everglades, it’s easy to understand how it made the list. The official UNESCO listing doesn’t convey the haunting beauty of the Everglades (unless you are a scientist, perhaps), but it does describe the importance of the area.
The Statement of Significance reads:
“Everglades National Park is the largest designated sub-tropical wilderness reserve on the North American continent. Its juncture at the interface of temperate and sub-tropical America, fresh and brackish water, shallow bays and deeper coastal waters creates a complex of habitats supporting a high diversity of flora and fauna. It contains the largest mangrove ecosystem in the Western Hemisphere, the largest continuous stand of sawgrass prairie and the most significant breeding ground for wading birds in North America.”
The Everglades really do contain an amazing variety of life and habitats. If you are on an airboat in the Everglades, see how many of these you can spot:
- subtropical wetlands
- freshwater marshes
- tropical hardwood hammocks
- pine rocklands
- extensive mangrove forests
- saltwater marshes
- seagrass ecosystems
This unique area is also the only place in the United States where you can find both subtropical wildlife and temperate wildlife, according to the official UNESCO World Heritage Site listing.
There’s really only one way to get a true appreciation for the exceptional natural beauty of the Florida Everglades – in person! If you are interested in chartering an airboat to see the Everglades, contact us for information!