Flooding concerns for the Everglades

WEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. (WSVN) — Dangerously high water levels in the Everglades have officials worried for wildlife.

Defenders of the sea of grass are concerned wildlife in the Everglades will have difficulty surviving and flourishing due to nonstop rain brought upon during the storm season.

Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Ron Bergeron said most of the Everglades has been hit hard by mother nature. “Most of these islands are completely submerged,” Bergeron said. “Probably 90 percent of them, and we’re in the highest point. If we go to other islands, they’ll be water up over my waist.”

Dry islands necessary for the survival of animals have become waterlogged, and they are unable to live in these conditions for more than 30 to 60 days. The water levels have hit record highs and are considered an ecological emergency. “This water could end up being four feet.” Bergeron said.

Bergeron, along with others, have begun pushing federal and state agencies to work with the water-management timetable and open the man-made gate holding back the Everglades water at Tamiami Trail from its natural escape route.

The plan was already used in 2008, when the Everglades faced a similar scenario. “All government agencies should come together and deviate from normal operations since we’re in a state of emergency in our environment,” Bergeron said.

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