While images of the Everglades often focus on individual ponds, rivers, birds, and even blades of grass, the area is a monument to the incredible diversity of life that can live in the various ecosystems that make up the region. The modern face of the Everglades began over 100 million years ago with the forging of its geologic foundation as a seafloor. Decaying skeletal remnants of dead marine organisms built the sedimentary foundation, layer by layer, of today's modern panoramas of forest, grassland, and marsh. No longer under water, but just a few feet above sea level in most locations, this limestone bedrock forms not only the flat base of the Everglades, but also the important hydrologic substrate of porous rock.
ED DARACK is an independent author and photographer who covers a broad range of topics. His next book is Highest Valor, published by Smithsonian Books. Learn more at www.darack.com.