Monthly Archives: March 2013

Miami is greener than you think

The Environmentally Endangered Lands program in Miami helped to save this area from–believe it or not– overdevelopment. It started in 1974 as a “covenant” program around the same time that the population and development were booming, and it got private land owners involved in conservation.

Upwards of 71% of Miami-Dade County is protected. That’s right, only 29% is developed, despite what you might think based on a drive through Brickell and Little Havana. Most development in Miami-Dade sits atop the Atlantic Ridge, a long strip of elevated rock near the coast, which is relatively higher and dryer than the rest of the swamp. Lest we get too self-satisfied, we should remember that the Everglades used to cover all of South Florida before it was chopped to pieces, so even 71% of one county represents a small percentage of the original Everglades.

Private land conservation is limited but vital; most of the protected land is federal. Miami-Dade County is the only county in the U.S. with two national parks: Everglades National Park, and Biscayne National Park. Plus, the Big Cypress Preserve adds another huge swath of land to the county. Check it out.

The Urban Development Boundary lies east of Everglades National Park.

The Urban Development Boundary lies east of Everglades National Park.