On our kayak tours people regularly ask me ‘What is an Everglade and what is the extent of the Noosa Everglades’?
There are only two Everglades in the World – the first being in Florida and the other is our very own Noosa Everglades. The definition of an Everglade is: A tract of low, swampy land characterized by tall grass and branching waterways. There is very little information about the Noosa Everglades and it is thought the term Everglade was first used to describe part of the extensive water way and wetlands of the Noosa River by tour guides.
When considering the extent (length and breadth) of the Noosa Everglades I have heard people say many different things. If one compared the Noosa River system with the Florida Everglades system (see figure 1) the extent of the Noosa Everglades may include the Upper Noosa River catchment area, the Upper Noosa River, Lake Cootharaba through to Lake Cooroibah and into Laguna Bay and include Donella Lake and Lake Weyba (see figure 2).
Please feel free to add to this discussion as I would love to hear other people’s views on this.
The Florida Everglades system begins near Orlando with the Kissimmee River, which discharges into the vast but shallow Lake Okeechobee. Water leaving the lake in the wet season forms a slow-moving river 97 km wide and over 160 km long, flowing southward across interdependent ecosystems that include cypress swamps, the estuarine mangrove forests of the Ten Thousand Islands, tropical hardwood hammocks, pine rockland, and the marine environment of Florida Bay.