Muggy breeze is blowing over the river of grass. Bald cypresses stand in foul water. Trees are overgrown. Ferns, palm trees, aerial roots, mangroves, thicket. Moss beards hanging down long from branches. Strangler figs throttle their host trees. Death and life are one here. The moisture tastes rotten. According to legend, the ape-like creature Skunk Ape goes around here. Tall and heavy. But benevolent. If only his terrible stink would not be. In this world everything is possible. The habitat is not made for humans. King of the swamp is Alligator mississippiensis. He saw dinosaurs come and go. His secret? The living fossil simply has let time pass by. And one can see it: a face like cold lava. Suddenly an eye opens, a snake disappears, the anhinga bird is calling.
An otherworld. The Everglades. The area extends from Lake Okeechobee in northern Florida to the southern tip of the peninsula. There is the Everglades National Park located, World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Conservation outlook: Critical!
The largest subtropical wilderness in America is threatened with extinction. It loses its elixir of life. Its blood is water. This fragile ecosystem is fed by a river, which is up to 60 kilometers wide, but only few centimeters deep. It flows from Lake Okeechobee to the south. Continuously and very, very slowly, only one meter per hour. This has always been that way.
Now the natural flow of things is interrupted. The bloodletting is done by excessive agriculture, population growth, urban development, and water regulation. Already in 1882, the erroneous plan came up to dry out and develop the Everglades. Climate change, combined with a threatening rise in salty seawater, is giving the ecosystem the rest.
The disappearance of the Everglades would not only be an ecological disaster, but it also would be the loss of an essential cultural heritage. Right next to the crazy-pinky-noisy Florida lifestyle, oases exist, islands of timelessness. These time capsules are the ones who make this swamp so unique. There is a deep need in humans for such untamed places out there. That’s what our photographs are about.