Last weekend, our lab headed over to Tampa for a small conference,called FISH. It consists of a few South Florida shark/fish/amphibian labs getting together for student talks. My talk was scheduled first, which was awesome! Got it out of the way (went great) and was able to kick back and enjoy the rest of the day of talks. That night, we had a party at one of the professors house. Super fun, great food, lots of dancing!! My professor, Steve, has his pilots license and flew to the conference. I decided to fly back with him on a beautiful, clear Sunday. Getting an aerial perspective on the Floridian landscape really gave me a feel for the history.
Lake Okeechobee, which you can see in some of the pictures, is sort of in the middle of the state. Historically, it would overflow its Southern banks every year and the water would spread out in a shallow sheet across South Florida – aka the Everglades. That made SFl pretty much uninhabitable, so the Army Corps of Engineers dug giant canals and straightened rivers to improve flow to the ocean and drainage of the flood plain. This dried out the land for farming South of the lake and for residential areas. They allow a small amount of the original flow through the South in what’s left of the Everglades. You can see EVERY BIT of that in the landscape today….. the swamp land, the canals, the way the inhabited area meet the Everglades in a sharp (I wrote the word “shark” instead of “sharp” on accident! Finger memory much?!) line…. It is something to see. Hope you enjoy the pictures!
Also, here is a video of our landing! Very exciting!!