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Everglades Initiative

Everglades Initiative

Conservation in the Everglades

Southern Florida’s landscape is a mosaic of ecosystems providing habitat for numerous rare and endangered species like the manatee, American crocodile and Florida panther. The Everglades are home to the largest mangrove ecosystem in the western hemisphere as well as a network of wet prairies, sawgrass marshes, swamps and hardwood hammocks stretching from Lake Okeechobee to Florida Bay. Not only do the Everglades provide critical habitat for wildlife but they serve as the primary source of drinking water for more than 7 million Americans, more than a third of Florida’s population.

But the Everglades are threatened by urban development, agriculture and invasive species. NRCS is working with farmers, ranchers and forest landowners in the region to restore and protect the landscape.

Through the Everglades Initiative the NRCS and partners work with producers to implement conservation practices to improve water quality, irrigation management, control invasive species and improve wildlife habitat. 

All or parts of 17 counties are covered: Broward, Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, Highlands, Indian River, Lee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Osceola, Orange, Palm Beach, Polk and St. Lucie. Everglades Initiative map 2015 - Click on map to download PDF map file.











The initiative is implemented through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIPand Agricultural Conservation Easements Program (ACEP). ‚ÄčEQIP provides private landowners financial and technical assistance to implement conservation practices that protect water quality and quantity. ACEP works with partners to purchase easements and restore wetlands. Florida’s easement program is one of the largest in the nation with more than 200,000 acres restored and protected.

Program Contact
Local USDA Service Center or
Crenel Francis, program specialist, 352-338-9508