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Water, Wildlife And The Future Of Florida

A new, ground-breaking national refuge will ensure that our wetlands and
ranches will continue to flourish.

Mike Rowe, the popular host of the Discovery Channel series “Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe,” brings his show to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in April 2010. Rowe, seated with goggles, surveys the vast expanse of the Everglades.

Mike Rowe, the popular host of the Discovery Channel series “Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe,” brings his show to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in April 2010. Rowe, seated with goggles, surveys the vast expanse of the Everglades.

The protection and restoration of the northern Everglades received a big boost earlier this year as The Nature Conservancy facilitated the legal establishment of the new Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge & Conservation Area. It was smiles all around as Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe made it official during the January 18 signing ceremony that took place near Haines City.

As TNC’s Chief Operating Officer Brian McPeek says, “We believe so strongly in the incredible value of this refuge and conservation area for people, wildlife and the ranching and agricultural communities of the northern Everglades, that we donated 10 acres of our nearby Hatchineha Ranch so the Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge & Conservation Area could not only be authorized here but established today as well.”

This little-known section of wide-open savannas in the heart of the state south of Orlando, which many people picture as an extended Disney World, looks nothing like the marshlands of the southern Everglades. However, it plays a crucial role as, without the flow of water from the grasslands in the north, a huge portion in the south would more than likely dry up. These savannas support an assortment of rare wildlife and supply water for about 40 percent of the people in Florida. Amazing.

Read the entire article in the March 2012 issue